[Photographs: Huge Galdones and Nick Kindelsperger]

Not that we need to remind you, but the holiday shopping season has officially started. (Actually, it probably began before you probably had the chance to finish your Thanksgiving meal.) For many of you, that means some serious shopping in downtown Chicago, both along the Magnificent Mile and State Street. While we won't weigh in on what specifically you should buy, we do know that you can stir up a pretty sizable hunger rushing around other motivated shoppers. Luckily, we do know a thing or two about finding a place to eat downtown.

Eating Near the Magnificent Mile


Chicago's most famous shopping strip, which is technically less than a mile long, has loads and loads of stores, but finding a place to eat requires a little more work. That isn't to say there aren't options, but the best restaurants tend to be just off the main strip. Fortunately, by taking the extra minute walk, you'll be rewarded with a meal that is both cheaper and more satisfying.


Lorenzo Pizza at Bar Toma

Our Magnificent Mile Survival Guide has most of the best options, but also take a look at our picks for Where to Eat Near Navy Pier, since there are a surprising number of good options in the Streeterville neighborhood. Also, don't forget about Arami Go, which just opened a month ago.

Eating Near State Street


The number of retail options on State Street has steadily grown over the past ten years, as have the number of places to eat. In fact, we think it might be easier to get a memorable, and affordable, bite to eat on this stretch.


One of the best options is the food court on the eighth floor of Macy's, where you can find Takashi's Noodles, Marc Burger, and a Frontera Fresco. But there are other great hidden gems all around the Loop.


Red Velvet Cheesecake from Magnolia Bakery [Photograph: Lindsey Becker]

Check out our State Street Survival Guide for most of the options. But definitely also check out the 26 Cheap Eats We Love in the Loop, which has some great additions from our Lunch in the Loop contributor, Dennis Lee. And if you just need a little dessert to keep you going, definitely click through the 10 Non-Cupcake Desserts We Love at Chicago's Magnolia Bakery.

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