This was originally published in 2018, but has been updated for 2019. Note that this is completely unofficial; it’s just me and my overblown opinions. Also, your opinions may be different from mine. I don’t care Get your own blog!
Midwest FurFest used to publish a 20-30 page booklet of listings and reviews of local restaurants, but unfortunately when you have to print 5,000+ copies of anything (let alone a 20-30 page booklet) costs start to get prohibitive, and with the availability of Yelp and similar sites we had to make the difficult decision to discontinue the Restaurant Guide.
That said, I’m happy to offer a (completely biased) overview of restaurants in and around the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, though I will leave it to the reader to find exact locations on Google Maps.
So first there’s inside the hotel.
- Midwest FurFest offers a con suite every year which has light snacks (think chips and such) and soda for free all weekend. We do not recommend you try to go through the weekend relying solely on this – any right-thinking nutritionist would scream in horror. This is located in the Rosemont Ballroom on the Entry Level.
- O’H Restaurant: a full-service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food is good to really good, but it’s expensive hotel prices. The good news is that the hotel runs specials for all meals (including the breakfast buffet) that lowers the prices from crazy high to slightly expensive.
- Red Bar: Bar/restaurant open late afternoons and evenings with has a small food selection available as well. The prices are also not cheap, and the service is usually regrettably slow, although they are actively working with MFF to improve this. It sure is convenient, though!
- Perks, the coffee shop/gift shop. They have a selection of grab-and-go sandwiches and salads, but even better throughout the weekend they set up a food station (in the past they have offered on different nights Build Your Own Mac and Cheese, Mini Naan Pizzas, Tacos, and Subs) that is actually quite reasonably priced.
- There are rumors of a food truck as well. Stay tuned to @FurFest for more info on that.
The Hyatt will set up larger food service stands (drinks, sides, burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs) that are on the expensive side but terribly convenient. Rumor has it they are working to improve on these as well, creating themed “pop-up restaurants”.
In the convention center:
- Expoteria: Right across the street from the hotel. Hours can vary. The food is cheap, and it is certainly…food. So there’s that.
- Starbucks: In the ground floor lobby of the convention center. Pretty much your standard Starbucks, and the prices are surprisingly not inflated for the location.
- There will be a concession stand in the Dealers Den in Hall G. Expect drinks, sides, burgers, chicken sandwiches, and hot dogs that are on the expensive side but terribly convenient. The food is provided by a vendor which supplies many school cafeterias. I’m sure the similarity between the food quality is purely coincidental.
About a 5-minute walk away is the “Parkway Bank Park” (ugh, branding) with a lot of options of varying quality:
- Five Roses Pub: Pseudo-Irish pub. Average.
- King’s Dining & Entertainment: Bowling and restaurant. The place is loud, though fun with a group of friends out for drinks.
- Adobe Gila’s: Mexican-ish. Not recommended.
- Sugar Factory: Ridiculously overpriced tourist crap (think $19 burgers)
- Bub City: BBQ. Haven’t tried but reviews aren’t terrible. Takes reservations on their website.
- Park Tavern: The one bright spot. Gastropub with some good food selections and a great beer list. Service can be slow at peak times, though. Takes reservations on their website.
- Fogo de Chao: Brazilian steakhouse. “The Meat Faucet”. Takes reservations on their website.
- Hofrauhaus: German beer hall. Oompah oompah music. Tourists. Fun with a group of rowdy friends though. Takes reservations on their website.
- Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar: Chain piano bar that just opened in early November
A 10-15 minute walk south on River Road is the Fashion Outlets Chicago (fancy name aside, it’s a mall). The food court and other restaurants have some decent options that are quite affordable. A 10-15 minute walk north on River Road brings you to McDonald’s and also Giordano’s Pizza, one of the Holy Trio of Chicago deep-dish pizza restaurants.
A little further walk (or a short Uber/Lyft/whatever trip) south on River Road, two blocks south of the Loews Chicago O’Hare, is Short Fuse Brewing Company I’ve found their beer decent (nothing stellar, but not bad), and the food is pretty good.
Finally, a few miles south on River Road is Hala Kahiki Tiki Bar and Lounge. This is a shockingly legit retro tiki bar that has no business being tucked away in a Chicago suburb, but there it is. They have a huge menu, and the drink prices aren’t outrageous. You’ll want to eat before you go though – the food options there are pretty scarce.
Other good things to know: The Rosemont Entertainment Circulator is a free shuttle that runs nonstop all weekend and even late into the night. It stops at the CTA Blue Line station, at the front of the convention center, in the Parkway Bank Park, and at the Fashion Outlets Chicago.
Finally, Grubhub, UberEats, DoorDash, and other food delivery services are alive and well in Rosemont. Don’t be shy about using them to order as well!