Palmer House Provides the Center for a DIY Chicago Food Tour

The Centrally-Located Palmer House Hotel
The Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel was a great stay for our family of four. This Hilton hotel is centrally located and only two blocks from Millennium Park and the Art Institute. We walked to almost everything we did. When we got tired, Lyft and Uber car services delivered us for about the same price as taking public transportation.

Named after its owner, Potter Palmer, his newly built hotel burned down less than two weeks after its completion in 1871 in the Great Chicago Fire. It was rebuilt twice, and Conrad Hilton purchased the property in 1945. Today, the hotel is a popular destination for social gatherings in its magnificent lobby. This historic hotel takes you back to the Gilded Age with its seven elegant ballrooms with painted ceilings offering guests of weddings and business conferences both old world charm and modern hospitality.

Our family enjoyed the use of the Executive Floor Lounge. For those staying on the executive floors, the lounge offers continental breakfast and evening hor d’oeuvres. It’s nice to return to the hotel for an afternoon break and some coffee, tea, cookies and other snacks. The executive lounge is definitely a family favorite and an upgrade in the fun factor.

Best restaurantes in Chicago food tour - Palmer House Hilton executive lounge
Relax and recharge in the Palmer House executive lounge.

To give you an idea of how centrally located Hilton Palmer Parker House is in Chicago, here is a list of nearby attractions and Chicago restaurants and the distance from the hotel. We walked to everything except the Museum of Science and Industry.

Chicago Attractions
The Art Institute and Millennium Park (0.2 mile)
Willis (formerly Sears) Tower (0.5 mile)
Field Museum of Natural History (1.3 miles)
John Hancock (1.3 miles)
Water Tower Place (1.3 miles)
John G Shedd Aquarium (1.4 miles)
Adler Planetarium (1.8 miles)
Lincoln Park Zoo (2.3 miles)
Museum of Science and Industry (7.4 miles)

Chicago restaurants
Al’s Beef (0.2 mile)
Giordano’s (0.4 mile)
Lou Malnati’s (0.6 mile)
Xoco (0.9 mile)
The Purple Pig (0.9 mile)
Portillo’s (1.1 miles)

Self-Guided Walking Chicago Food Tour
I love to sample food in different cities but there never seem to be enough meals. That’s where food tours come in. Instead of joining one, we created our own Chicago food tour with the help of knowledgeable friends.

Who says you need to eat an entire meal at one restaurant? These progressive meals work when there are so many great restaurants within walking distance. Map them out on Google Maps and create your own Chicago food tour.

Appetizer: Charcuterie at The Purple Pig

Best restaurants in Chicago food tour - Purple Pig
Sample some charcuterie at Purple Pig.

First Course: Hot dogs at Portillo’s

Best restaurants in Chicago food tour - Portillo's
Try a dog at Portillo’s on your DIY Chicago food tour. I did not think I’d like it but I loved it!

Second Course: An Italian sandwich at Al’s Beef

Best restaurants in Chicago food tour - Al's Beef
Enjoy an Italian beef sandwich at Al’s Beef.

Dessert: Churro’s with chocolate at Xoco

Best restaurants in Chicago food tour - Xoco
Finish off your meal with some churros and chocolate sauce at Xoco, one of the best restaurants in Chicago.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza
I’m not going to get into the Chicago Deep Dish pizza wars. I’ve had Gino’s East, Giordano’s and Pizzeria Uno. They are all Chicago classics in their own right. On this visit, our friends and local residents took us to Lou Malnati’s. I loved the simplicity of the buttery crust. I appreciated even more sharing this meal and catching up with a college friend. That was the highlight of our trip.

Best restaurants in Chicago food tour - Chicago Deep Dish Pizza at Lou Malnati's
Try one of Chicago’s classic Deep Dish pizzas at Lou Malnati’s.

Public Transportation in Chicago
The Chicago “L” (elevated train) stops at Adams/Wabash right outside Palmer House on the Wabash Street. I recommend taking the train to the airport if your flight is during commute hours. We bypassed the traffic by taking the Orange Line to Midway International Airport arriving in 35 minutes. The Blue Line will take you to O’Hare International Airport in about 45 minutes.

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Know Before You Go

  • Chicago’s nickname is “The Windy City.”
  • Make sure to visit Millennium Park so that you can see the world-famous Bean!
  • Avoid visiting in the winter if you aren’t a fan of cold weather! The weather warms up around May.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Eugene C. Are you interested in traveling to Chicago? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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