Hannah's Bretzel (Illinois Center)
We've written about Hannah's Bretzel numerous times before, and we keep including it in roundups because new locations continue to open up. Here's what Roger said about the place for the Vegetarian Option: "My favorite vegetarian sandwich at Hannah's is the portabella and goat cheese ($8.59), which is presented on the crustier, seed-filled whole grain bread...Texturally, the crunch of the asparagus spear pairs well with the easily forgiving marinated mushroom. The creamy, salty goat cheese brings in the mellowing, palate-coating element of dairy that slows your eating and encourages you to savor eat bite. Don't fight it."
Tortas Frontera (Urban Market in Chase Tower)
Considering it fails to connect to the rest of the Pedway, it's strange that Chase Tower's underground level is included on the official map. But it is, which is great news for this feature. Namely, inside the bank's Urban Market is probably the best Pedway option of them all: Tortas Frontera. Here's what we wrote about the Milanesa: "It's an engaging balance of flavors and textures: the crunch of the moist, panko-crusted chicken contrasts with the smooth, citrusy crema, while the rich avocado coats your tongue before the spicier-than-expected jalapeños get a few jabs in at the end."
The Big Easy by Jimmy Bannos (Urban Market in Chase Tower)
Tortas Frontera isn't the only good option in the Urban Market. Though some haven't had as much luck, I quite enjoyed Big Easy, which is sort of like an express version of Jimmy Bannos's Heaven on Seven.
The Big Easy by Jimmy Bannos, Urban Market in Chase Tower, 10 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60603 (map); 312-732-6505
Wow Bao (Michigan Plaza and Renaissance Chicago Hotel)
Wow Bao seems particularly well suited for the Pedway, and not just because it has two locations to choose from. The portable little buns make for good snacks while you're trying to warm up from the cold. If you're unsure which filling to go with, Dennis tried them all so you don't have to.
Potbelly (Illinois Center)
As I've explained before, sometimes Potbelly's hits the spot, and you better believe there is one on the Pedway (actually I'm surprised there aren't more). I'm guessing most of you know what the deal is with this place and have your own go-to sandwich, but even after trying them all, I have a hard time saying no to A Wreck.
Olive Mediterranean Grill (201 North Clark Street)
Connected to the Clark and Lake station via a skybridge, the food court at 201 N. Clark Street is mostly filled up with the usual fast food suspects. Sticking out amongst the mediocrity is Olive Mediterranean Grill, which came in third in my countdown of the best falafel in the Loop.
Protein Bar (Renaissance Chicago Hotel)
I wasn't sure if this location quite counted, but there is an entrance to the health conscious chain right off the Pedway, so I'm throwing it in. Choose from a number of filling salads and wraps, including the Buffalo bar-rito (pictured above). Read more here >>
Snarf's (Prudential Plaza)
You can question the name, but the sandwiches at Snarf's hold up. "The warm, crunchy, and chewy baguette seals the deal as one of my favorite renditions of chicken salad in Chicago—sorry Potbelly's." Read more here >>
Pita Express (James R. Thompson Center)
Pita Express didn't exactly run away with the Best Falafel Sandwich in the Loop post, but it's eighth place finish says more about the number of good falafel options downtown than anything else. Honestly, it's a perfectly serviceable option, especially considering it's located down some random hallway, instead of being out in the atrium's food court.
Pita Express, James R. Thompson Center, 100 West Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60601 (map); 312-422-0422
Mezza (Michigan Plaza)
Mezza is another mini-chain, but as Roger explained in a Vegetarian Option post, it's a good option: "For a chain, Mezza gets a lot of the details right: its hot sauce is actually hot and tangy, its black olives are nice and pungent, and the feta is creamy and rich. Mezza's falafel isn't mind-blowing by any means, but it is very tasty, fresh, and consistently good."
M Burger (James R. Thompson Center)
M Burger griddles up fresh beef with a minimum of fuss or pretension, making it one of the best fast food-style burgers around. The single cheeseburger ($3.49) makes for a nice snack, but if you need to quell some serious hunger, go for the Double M Burger ($4.99).
Pret a Manger (Michigan Plaza)
Over the past few years, Pret a Manger has opened six or so locations in the Loop, and luckily there is much to like about the British chain. Though all the sandwiches are wrapped up and ready to go before you enter, they are freshly prepared each morning. More importantly, they tend to be well proportioned, with lots of vegetarian options in the mix. I'm quite partial to the egg and watercress sandwich.
Which Wich Superior Sandwiches (Block 37)
I'm still dealing with Beard Papa's untimely demise, but there are still some options in Block 37. Upstairs is a Magnolia Bakery, but if you're staying on the path, Which Wich is probably your best option. Most sandwich chains let you select a few toppings, but this place takes customization to the extreme. Above is one of the offerings included in our grilled cheese roundup.
Caffe RōM (Prudential Plaza)
Dennis covered a different Caffe RōM location for Lunch in the Loop, but you'll find the same sandwich collection here: "The Jo Jo ($7.69) is Caffe RōM's signature sandwich, featuring prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, artichoke hearts, basil, and tomatoes, all on a chewy ciabatta roll... The artichoke hearts are marinated in a balsamic vinaigrette, adding a deep, sweet tartness that played nicely with the salty prosciutto and fresh mozzarella... It's a classic combination for a good reason."
Armand's Pizzeria (Millennium Station)
Best known for showing up in the Dark Knight (watch here, starts at 1:45), Millennium Station is the most impressive looking part of the whole Pedway. Too bad there aren't better restaurants located inside. That said, I had a decent thin-crust slice from Armand's. Oh, and don't be fooled by the thought of paying $5 for slice. Each one is so gargantuan, it has to be cut into two, making this a fairly good deal.