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Taste of Chicago - Girls' Getaway Guide to Chicago

By Casey Wohl

Chicago is known for its regional cuisine specialties, which reflect the city's ethnicity and working class roots. Included among these is its renowned deep-dish pizza, although locally the Chicago thin crust is also equally popular.

To get a true "taste" of Chicago, visit the annual "Taste of Chicago" festival that runs from the end of Taste of ChicagoTaste of ChicagoJune through Fourth of July weekend in Grant Park. "The Taste" showcases Chicago's ethnic dining diversity as well as all the local favorites.

For girlfriends everywhere, I've compiled a list of some fabulous places sure to fit every budget and culinary craving! And if you want more info on any of these great eating places, visit Restaurantica - GoGirlfriend's sister site.

Japonais Restaurant: Located along the River with 2 separate kitchens (sushi and hot) and a fabulous downstairs lounge, it is easy to see why this is one of Oprah's favorite restaurants. One look at the menu and it's sure to be one of your favorites as well. Specialty appetizers include Kani Nigiri, Japanese Yonezawa beef rolled with asparagus and mango in a teriyaki glaze and Sizzling Samurai served with mini maki rolls. For dinner, we shared the Spicy Mono and Special Salmon rolls...amazing!

The Cubby Bear Wrigleyville: The Cubby Bear, formally known as Cubs Pub and Cubs Grill, opened in 1953. It's one of the most famous landmarks on Chicago's North Side. As a 30,000 square foot, multipurpose venue, it's played host to numerous entertainers, athletes, corporate functions and a spectrum of charitable foundations. Located across the street from historic Wrigley Field, it goes beyond being "THE place" for Cubs post-game parties.

D'agostino Pizzeria: For Chicago-style Deep Dish, Stuffed or Thin pizza, visit ‘Dags.' You'll find unique pizzas, such as the Taco Pizza, Cheeseburger Pizza, and BBQ Chicken Pizza. We indulged in the Dags Special...yum! In addition to pizza, Dags also serves amazing salads, sandwiches, subs, grinders, entrees and pasta.

Potbellys Sandwich Works: Potbelly Sandwich Works began in 1977 as a small antique store. Despite the fast-paced, never-a-dull-moment world of antique dealing, the owners bolstered their business by making sandwiches for their customers. What began as a fluke, turned out to be a stroke of genius. Soon, people who couldn't care less about vintage glass doorknobs were stopping by to enjoy special sandwiches and homemade desserts in this unusual atmosphere.

NoMi Restaurant: Overlooking Chicago's Magnificent Mile, NoMi was named Best Hotel Restaurant in Time Out Chicago's 2007 Reader's Choice Eat Out Award. Located on the seventh floor of the Chicago Park Hyatt, NoMi provides contemporary French cuisine in its main dining room, private dining room, cellar, lounge and garden area.

Corner Bakery Café: After starting out as a true bread-supplying bakery, Corner Bakery evolved into a store to evolve into serving sandwiches, sweets, paninis, salads, soups and pasta. It is much like a Panera, and is great for a quick bite to eat. We loved the breakfast paninis!

Got a question for the Getaway Girl? Email us and she'll answer them and likely throw in a few freebie tips as well. And don't forget to visit Restaurantica and rate your favorite eating places!

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