Old Town Business Directory for Dining, Shopping and Lodging from Chicago Traveler

by Zahra Ink - Chicago Writing Services

Old Town Feature | Old Town Business Directory | Old Town Map

PLACES TO EAT:

Salpicon, 1252 N. Wells St. - Official Web Site

Salpicon can be described in one word: bold. At this upscale Mexican restaurant the décor is as colorful as the food, and nearly as daring.

As you enter Salpicon, you are met with an explosion of color. The walls are covered with large oil paintings, depicting everything from scenes of Carnivale to religious frescoes to bowls of fruit. There is plenty to take in as you are led to a table.

The frenzy of color continues even as you sit down: the tables themselves are decorated with hot pink tablecloths and green chairs, blue plates and green glasses. Piano music plays in the background and the restaurant is well-lit, furthering the stimulating atmosphere.

The food is stimulating as well. If you are accustomed to having wine with your meal, you will appreciate the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Your waiter is on hand to explain the specials of the day and to recommend the most complimentary drinks for your order. If you want the work done for you and you are part of a larger party, you can try the Chef’s 7-Course Tasting Menu, with matching wines.

If your party is smaller, there are several items on the menu that are sure to delight your taste buds. Start with the Sopa de Tortilla, a rich vegetable soup with tomatoes and epazote, garnished with chile pasilla, avocado, fresh cheese and tortilla strips. This soup is earthy yet delicately flavored; it is possible to actually taste individual herbs in every bite.

Sopes Rusticos is an appetizer which is almost hearty enough to be an entrée. This is a trio of small, thick tortillas topped with a roasted tomatillo sauce, fresh cheese, onions and avocado chunks. It delivers a very unique taste and is absolutely studded with flavor.

For a main course, try the Pollo en Mole Poblano; these are free-range chicken breasts that are charcoal-grilled, topped with a classic Pueblan mole and served with Mexican rice. The mole, or sauce, that covers these chicken breasts is made of several ingredients and is unique to Salpicon; it will have you asking to buy a bottle to take home!

The Fudge Pot, 1532 N. Wells St. - No Official Web Site

The Fudge Pot is a family owned chocolate shop; it was founded by the Dattalo family in 1963.

As you walk in, you are hit with the unmistakable scent of chocolate. The reason for this becomes clear as you take in the walls; every shelf is laden with chocolate in every imaginable shape. The display case has trays full of chocolate dipped fruits and marshmallows, slabs of pure dark or milk chocolate, blocks of fudge, caramel apples and even lollipops of various sizes and flavors.

All chocolate is made on the premises and you can custom order anything. Any object can be created out of chocolate, including animals, gift boxes, cameras, watches, bowling shoes, pianos, tools, sports equipment, etc. You can even have your company logo reproduced in chocolate!

The Fudge Pot is a wondrous shop; stop in for a glimpse of this chocolate fantasy!

BARS/CLUBS:

Spoon, 1240 N. Wells St. - Official Web Site

Spoon is a lively lounge and restaurant built to resemble a loft. 20-somethings and 30-somethings mingle, dance and simply hang out amidst sophisticated décor and dj music.

At Spoon you can find a comfortable seat in the main room, or choose a more secluded table. There are also private rooms and an outdoor seating area. The décor is dark, with interesting blue lighting that gives the space a unique energy. The walls are stone and give the interior and exterior a distinctly castle-like aura. Since the music is not overbearingly loud, Spoon is a great place to enjoy the company of friends.

The food is American, including chicken wings, macaroni and cheese, French fries and other basic fare.

There is no cover charge. Spoon is open Wednesday through Friday, 6 p.m. – 2 a.m., Saturday 6 p.m. – 3 a.m., and Sunday 9 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Hotels near Old Town Chicago

$800
$0
0
5
Hotel Info Nightly Rates*
Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
4.5
Located in Gold Coast
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

$189* Details
Ambassador Chicago
4
Located in Gold Coast
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

$169* Details
Sutton Place Hotel Magnificent Mile
4
Located in Gold Coast
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

$290 you pay $246* Details
The Tremont Magnificent Mile Hotel
3
Located in Gold Coast
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

$183* Details
Four Seasons Chicago
5
Located in Gold Coast
Bar/LoungeBusiness ServicesConciergeFitness CenterFree InternetLakesidePet-FriendlyBusiness Center

Rates Starting At

$391 you pay $313* Details

Restaurants near Old Town Chicago

Attractions near Old Town Chicago

Venue Info Location
Chicago Museum Located in Gold Coast ArtsyCulturalFamily FriendlyHistoricMuseumSights of Chicago

Attraction
Details

Details
Second City Theatre Located in Lincoln Park ArtsyChicago Theater DistrictSights of Chicago

Attraction
Details

Details
Tony N' Tina Located in Old Town ArtsyFamily FriendlyNightlife

Attraction
Details

Details

*Terms & Conditions: Offers, promotions and rates subject to change and may vary based upon date, length of stay and other factors. Some offers do not include taxes and fees. All offers based on availability and are subject to change without notice.

PLACES TO STAY:

Old Town Chicago Bed & Breakfast Inn, 1442 N. North Park Ave. 312.440.9268. - Official Web Site

The Bed & Breakfast Inn is a gem; a complete departure from high-rise hotels that house hundreds of guests, this art deco home gives visitors the feeling of being at home.

The interior of the Inn is furnished with plush furniture and designed to be inviting. There is no front desk, in fact. Rather, guests are given the impression of being in a charming country home from the moment they enter the building.

The Inn has four guest suites, each with a queen-sized bed and a private bathroom. Additional beds can be added as necessary. There are common areas for guests, including a living room/dining room, a fully equipped chef’s kitchen, rooftop gardens, sitting areas, a study, laundry facilities and a workout room. The living room offers an 800 title library of movies for guests to use.

Room rates include 24-hour access to the fully stocked kitchen as well as parking permits. The owners of the Inn use a separate entrance to the home, and thus are nearby if guests need them, but are never an imposing presence.

Advance registration is required at the Inn.

TOURS:

Second City Walking Tours

Second City Improv has teamed up with the Chicago Historical Society in this series of tours that combine humor and history. The tours cover Old Town and are led by actors from Second City. Some of the highlights on the tour include the Blues Brothers’ secret speakeasy, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Second City theatre and Chris Farley’s former apartment. The tours are held every Sunday from April through September, 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Each ticket is $15. For more information, contact Second City at 312.337.3992.

For the months that the Second City Walking Tour is not available, check out the traditional tour of Old Town offered by the Chicago Historical Society. This tour is led by trained and passionate volunteers who engage the tour-goers in dialogue about the neighborhood. The tour is held Fridays 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and starts off at the Chicago History Museum. Advance registration is recommended; for more information, contact the Chicago Historical Society at 312.642.4600.

For your convenience, the locations of all the businesses mentioned in this article are shown on our Old Town Neighborhood Map.

Old Town Web Links:

Chicago Neighborhood Information