20 Apr RedEye Restaurants to hit during C2E2 weekend
This weekend the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) will be exhibiting and celebrating the latest and greatest in the world of comics, movies, television, toys, anime, manga and video games. The weekend will be jam-packed with exciting events, and we’ve created a super list of the best places to eat, drink, cosplay and geek out.
1944 W. Division St. 773-227-4644
If you’re looking to make a farther trek (get it?) up north, head on over to Wicker Park Thursday night for Easy Bar’s Funky Klingon Costume Party from 8 p.m. to midnight. The venue is teaming up with Shmaltz Brewing Company to host a special kickoff to C2E2. Featured beers will include Klingon Imperial Porter, Funky Jewbelation, Slingshot American Craft Lager, Circumsession Sour and She’brew ($6.50-$8). They’ll also be serving a special Klingon Bloodwine, and Shmaltz will be handing out freebies and glassware. Trekkies can enjoy a live performance from local musician, Klingon Pop Warrior, and “Star Trek” will be playing on all TVs throughout the night. Don’t be shy—costumes are encouraged!
Eleven City Diner
1112 S. Wabash Ave. 312-212-1112
Need to fuel up with a big brunch before heading down to McCormick Place? Look no further than this old school diner and delicatessen. No worries if the previous day’s festivities have you hitting the snooze button—this retro diner serves breakfast all day. Have dessert for breakfast with the sweet and savory Black and White Challah French Toast with a white chocolate sauce, a drizzle of milk chocolate and pretzel dusting ($12.50), or opt for a more protein-packed lox and bagel Old School Platter ($16.99). With an extensive menu and large portions, you’ll be flying high all day.
2323 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773-588-2267
Illinois’ largest independently owned craft brewer, Revolution Brewing, is teaming up with C2E2 again this year with their intergalactic IPA, Galaxy Hero, earning its place as the featured beer of the convention for the fifth year running. Revolution will have its own booth at C2E2, but after convention hours, you can hit up the Logan Square pub for some out-of-this-world food, including a House Pretzel with Galaxy Hero Mustard and Beer Cheddar Fondue ($6) or a Galaxy Hero Burger topped with griddled cheese crisp, tomato-pineapple compote, jalapeño relish and a smoked onion ring ($15).
2105 S. State St. 312-949-0120
Former auto repair shop turned rock club and bar Reggies Chicago is the place to hang out after convention hours, or whenever you feel like taking a break to eat some classic bar food. Comic Book Certification Service (CBCS Comics) will be expertly certifying and encapsulating comics from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. every day from Thursday to Sunday during C2E2. Each day the event will take place on the 21+ rooftop deck of Reggies. Full menu and drink service will be available, in addition to a pool table, pro basketball pop-a-shot and bags. Daily specials will include half price burgers and sandwiches with fries on Thursday, multiple drink specials on Friday and Saturday and all-you-can-eat Sloppy Joes ($5) on Sunday. Reggies will also be providing a free shuttle bus to and from McCormick Place throughout the convention.
Triple Crown Dim Sum
2217 S. Wentworth Ave. 312-842-0088
McCormick Place’s close proximity to Chinatown makes it necessary to stop by the historic South Side neighborhood for some delicious dim sum. Triple Crown Dim Sum not only offers a comfortable and casual environment for groups, but they also stay open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and until midnight from Sunday to Thursday to accommodate all of your late-night cravings. Stop in for some pan-fried pot stickers ($3.75) or a steamed BBQ pork bun ($3.75) and finish it off with mango pudding ($3.75) or coconut cake ($3) for dessert.
Goddess and the Baker
33 S. Wabash Ave. 312-877-5176
Need a buzz to keep you going all weekend? Stop by this bakery-cafe in the Loop for a caffeine fix and a fresh selection of salads and sandwiches. Try the chicken bahn mi sandwich with grilled chicken, pickles, jalapeno, miso aioli and herbs ($9.99) or opt for a twist on a classic, the naan bread grilled cheese with white cheddar and curry tomato relish ($9.99). Goddess and the Baker is also conviently located around the corner from Graham Crackers Comics (77 E. Madison St. 312-629-1810), a staple spot for C2E2 attendees to visit. Graham Crackers will have its own booth at the convention, but stop by the Loop location to browse or take advantage of the C2E2 shuttle’s pickup spot near the store.
Harold’s Chicken Shack
612 S. Wabash Ave. 312-362-0442
DC picked the wrong chicken hero, and King Harold is ready to show the Colonel up. Stop by this famous Chicago chicken chain either north or south of McCormick Place for food that hits the spot. Try a five-piece wing dinner ($6.99) with a side of fries ($1.99) and make sure to add a side cup of Harold’s special mild or hot sauce (65 cents).
Kroll’s South Loop
1736 S. Michigan Ave. 312-235-1400
This South Loop neighborhood bar and grill wants to be your hang out spot all C2E2 weekend long. On Saturday night, Kroll’s will have a DJ and a costume contest hosted by Chicago-based wig and cosplay retailer Arda Wigs. Enjoy a Chicago burger, a half-pound patty served on a pretzel roll ($11) while you compete to win for the best cosplay of the night. Can’t make it to the party on Saturday? No worries, Kroll’s will be serving C2E2 comic inspired cocktails all weekend long.
213 W. Institute Place 312-291-8735
Get your game on at Beercade River North this weekend. The bar and pub not only has a huge selection of vintage arcade games (including Donkey Kong), but they also have a variety of themed pinball machines featuring “Star Trek,” “Ghostbusters” and “X-Men.” Still hungry after your Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde snacks? Try the chicken and waffles with cayenne maple syrup ($13) or the Not Yo Mama’s Mac with cavatappi, bacon, white cheddar, gruyere, parmesan and herbs ($14).