Big Downtown Bar & Restaurant

★★★★☆

Food

Food
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Whether you want to have a quiet meeting or a celebration with friends, this is a great spot since you can choose a comfortable dining area or a lively bar area. The food is great too!

4
★★★★☆

Whether you want to have a quiet meeting or a celebration with friends, this is a great spot since you can choose a comfortable dining area or a lively bar area. The food is great too!

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I've been here for drinks a couple times after work, and it's nice. Reasonable price (for the area) for large glasses of beer. The train going around the room is also cool. However, for food, I'd go somewhere else. They have a relatively small menu. The food tasted average at best. My burger was dry and my soup was bland. Service was merely mediocre. I expect somewhat better from a $10 hamburger.

1
★★★☆☆

I've been here for drinks a couple times after work, and it's nice. Reasonable price (for the area) for large glasses of beer. The train going around the room is also cool. However, for food, I'd go somewhere else. They have a relatively small menu. The food tasted average at best. My burger was dry and my soup was bland. Service was merely mediocre. I expect somewhat better from a $10 hamburger.

Pros: Huge glasses of beer, the cool el train in running around the bar room

Cons: Food, service

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I would definitely NOT recommend this restaurant. Even on an expense account found the food and drinks to be too expensive for the type of restaurant. The food itself was OK... certainly not great. The service was so awful that by the end of the meal we were laughing at the waiter. He was so pompous and self impomrtant he made us feel like we should be grateful to him for stooping so low as to wait on us. If we had not been in good humor the trip into downtown Chicago would have been a total waste! I've told as many people as I possibly could already and hope this reaches you either before you go to The Big Downtown or I hope it sets the right mood if you do decide to visit.

1
★★★☆☆

I would definitely NOT recommend this restaurant. Even on an expense account found the food and drinks to be too expensive for the type of restaurant. The food itself was OK... certainly not great. The service was so awful that by the end of the meal we were laughing at the waiter. He was so pompous and self impomrtant he made us feel like we should be grateful to him for stooping so low as to wait on us. If we had not been in good humor the trip into downtown Chicago would have been a total waste! I've told as many people as I possibly could already and hope this reaches you either before you go to The Big Downtown or I hope it sets the right mood if you do decide to visit.

Pros: Food was not bad

Cons: Service was Terrible, Prices too high, Drinks and wine very expensive

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The Big Downtown, adjoining the Palmer House Hilton, is not good. Service was average. I had a burger, salad, and fries, and felt sick to my stomach after. The ambience is just okay, though the El going through the ceiling was very, very cool. I would recommend the place for drinks only, at the bar.

1
★★★☆☆

The Big Downtown, adjoining the Palmer House Hilton, is not good. Service was average. I had a burger, salad, and fries, and felt sick to my stomach after. The ambience is just okay, though the El going through the ceiling was very, very cool. I would recommend the place for drinks only, at the bar.

Pros: Ambience; train on the ceiling was cool;

Cons: Food and service lacking.

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Service was terrible! Waited forever for everything. I ordered a beer. When the waiter was MIA, I just got up and went to the bar andrdered a beer. I was back to the table drinking my beer before the waiter returned with the beer I ordered 15+ minutes ago.

1
★★★☆☆

Service was terrible! Waited forever for everything. I ordered a beer. When the waiter was MIA, I just got up and went to the bar andrdered a beer. I was back to the table drinking my beer before the waiter returned with the beer I ordered 15+ minutes ago.

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anyone who wishes to have an enjoyable dinner and excellent service should make this a requisite stop while in the heart of downtown Chicago. I do not understand why there are negative reviews, which directly contradict the 9.3 rating. i personally give it a 10. as for those who complain about the prices, don't be such a cheapskate. the waitstaff work very hard to ensure a pleasant experience. tip them generously -- mine was $20 on a bill of about $80, INCLUDING tax. i will be making future visits while in or near the Chicago area. Considering the food and quality of service, this is a terrific value. if you're staying at the Palmer House and don't feel like messing with traffic but want an excellent meal, The Big Downtown is an excellent choice!

2
★★★★★

anyone who wishes to have an enjoyable dinner and excellent service should make this a requisite stop while in the heart of downtown Chicago. I do not understand why there are negative reviews, which directly contradict the 9.3 rating. i personally give it a 10. as for those who complain about the prices, don't be such a cheapskate. the waitstaff work very hard to ensure a pleasant experience. tip them generously -- mine was $20 on a bill of about $80, INCLUDING tax. i will be making future visits while in or near the Chicago area. Considering the food and quality of service, this is a terrific value. if you're staying at the Palmer House and don't feel like messing with traffic but want an excellent meal, The Big Downtown is an excellent choice!

Pros: reasonable prices, atmosphere, service

Cons: , none

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We had our holiday party here. We had a great time. Great food. We will do it again!

2
★★★★★

We had our holiday party here. We had a great time. Great food. We will do it again!

Pros: spacious, food, staff

Cons: parking

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Good if you like corporate atmosphere. The outside is appealing but everything inside needs a lot of work.

1
★★☆☆☆

Good if you like corporate atmosphere. The outside is appealing but everything inside needs a lot of work.

Pros: Nice outside

Cons: expensive, bad service

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Great blues on Wednesday nights. Drink specials daily. Good value.Big Protions. First "hotel" bar that I have ever frequented and liked so much.

2
★★★★★

Great blues on Wednesday nights. Drink specials daily. Good value.Big Protions. First "hotel" bar that I have ever frequented and liked so much.

Pros: specials, entertainment, atmosphere

Cons: parking

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hated it sooo much, service sucked...not rude, just totally inattentive. Food cold & drinks seemed to be short pours

0
★☆☆☆☆

hated it sooo much, service sucked...not rude, just totally inattentive. Food cold & drinks seemed to be short pours

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Searching for someplace not too high-end to have dinner the other night. We stumbled upon this restaurant. Not very busy on a Saturday night, which was good because we were in and served in record time! The waitstaff was effecient and not in your face. The food was excellent! Not sure that we really experienced the atmosphere, like I said, they weren't very busy that night. Cute working miniature "el" model suspended from the ceiling.

This restaurant services the Palmer House guests and the bill represented that. Without drinks, our total would have been $50 per couple. Not bad.

2
★★★★☆

Searching for someplace not too high-end to have dinner the other night. We stumbled upon this restaurant. Not very busy on a Saturday night, which was good because we were in and served in record time! The waitstaff was effecient and not in your face. The food was excellent! Not sure that we really experienced the atmosphere, like I said, they weren't very busy that night. Cute working miniature "el" model suspended from the ceiling.

This restaurant services the Palmer House guests and the bill represented that. Without drinks, our total would have been $50 per couple. Not bad.

Pros: Easy access from "El", definite personality

Cons: No night life on Sat.

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I visited this classic styled old town Chicago eatery and was very impressed. Live music on Wednesday Night. Lovced the music and the food. I had the Filet which was very jucy and tasty. I started with the Norwegean Salmon and had a nice cup of soup that appeared to be home made. The Desert was filling and delicious. I had to wait for an hour after dinner to move, fortunately there wa slive music and great beverages! Try it. Located close to the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago.

2
★★★★★

I visited this classic styled old town Chicago eatery and was very impressed. Live music on Wednesday Night. Lovced the music and the food. I had the Filet which was very jucy and tasty. I started with the Norwegean Salmon and had a nice cup of soup that appeared to be home made. The Desert was filling and delicious. I had to wait for an hour after dinner to move, fortunately there wa slive music and great beverages! Try it. Located close to the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago.

Pros: Good FOOD, Great Fun, Beveraged!

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Enjoyed the great martini specials. My girlfriends and I enjoy the giant 40oz cosmopolitan. Great place to unwind before going an hour trip home. The ribs are great!

2
★★★★☆

Enjoyed the great martini specials. My girlfriends and I enjoy the giant 40oz cosmopolitan. Great place to unwind before going an hour trip home. The ribs are great!

Pros: parking across street, near trains

Cons: needs a bigger smokin

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I couldn't wait to get back to my Favoirite CHicago Food Place. Steaks, Pizza, Ribs, Ribs and More Ribs. I first saw the Big Downtown featured on "Great Hotels" on TV. IT looked good on TV and it was even better than I expected. The Price is a great value. Better than you would expect for a food place located in the Loop. Try their deserts too! Home made!!! Real nice place to eat and hang with your friends.

2
★★★★★

I couldn't wait to get back to my Favoirite CHicago Food Place. Steaks, Pizza, Ribs, Ribs and More Ribs. I first saw the Big Downtown featured on "Great Hotels" on TV. IT looked good on TV and it was even better than I expected. The Price is a great value. Better than you would expect for a food place located in the Loop. Try their deserts too! Home made!!! Real nice place to eat and hang with your friends.

Pros: Food was Good, Value A+, Good Time

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It's like a home away from home; an after work oasis to wet the whistle. Keeps us reved up for the next occasion. Grrrrrrrrreat Food and Service.

2
★★★★★

It's like a home away from home; an after work oasis to wet the whistle. Keeps us reved up for the next occasion. Grrrrrrrrreat Food and Service.

Pros: Service, Food, People

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Great Location close to our favorite hotel, the Palmer House. We ate here for Dinner on Friday and really enjoyed the food. I had the Filet and it was cooked perfect. YOu get sides and potatoes with the steak. Small Onion rings make the dish. We had a HUGE margarita too. That always goes good with a Friday in Chicago. Good Food and value!

2
★★★★★

Great Location close to our favorite hotel, the Palmer House. We ate here for Dinner on Friday and really enjoyed the food. I had the Filet and it was cooked perfect. YOu get sides and potatoes with the steak. Small Onion rings make the dish. We had a HUGE margarita too. That always goes good with a Friday in Chicago. Good Food and value!

Pros: good food.

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Food was great and the Service is exceptional. Great location and the styleing of the decor is totally Chicago. Live action El Train runs overhead while we enjoyed some of the best Pizza I've ever had. Music the night we were there made the total Chicao Experiance even greater. live Blues on Wednesdays! Two Thumbs up!

2
★★★★★

Food was great and the Service is exceptional. Great location and the styleing of the decor is totally Chicago. Live action El Train runs overhead while we enjoyed some of the best Pizza I've ever had. Music the night we were there made the total Chicao Experiance even greater. live Blues on Wednesdays! Two Thumbs up!

Pros: value, taste, variety

Cons: Culdnt eat any more!

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A great place in the loop. I go there after work often..they have great specials on Thursdays. Always friendly and quick.

2
★★★★★

A great place in the loop. I go there after work often..they have great specials on Thursdays. Always friendly and quick.

Pros: specials, service, food

Cons: parking

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Having eaten at the Big Downtown, I couldn't believe the reviews I've read on this site. Then it hit me - they were just too good, and too well-written. A quick search of other sites confirmed the obvious "ballot stuffing" by parties connected to this restaurant. I was considering taking a party there for dinner, but have decided not to. I had a decent experience there previously, but can't honestly support this type place.

1
★★★☆☆

Having eaten at the Big Downtown, I couldn't believe the reviews I've read on this site. Then it hit me - they were just too good, and too well-written. A quick search of other sites confirmed the obvious "ballot stuffing" by parties connected to this restaurant. I was considering taking a party there for dinner, but have decided not to. I had a decent experience there previously, but can't honestly support this type place.

Pros: Ambience

Cons: Value, Service

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We had a birthday party last saturday and it was just OUSTANDING, the food was delicious, loved the appetizers and the Ribs, the chocolate mousse cake birthday cake was out of this world, to die for.. The service was perfect, we felt like we were at home. The kids enjoyed the food and ice cream and loved the miniature electrical train going around the restaurant. I will definetly bring some friends to eat there.

2
★★★★★

We had a birthday party last saturday and it was just OUSTANDING, the food was delicious, loved the appetizers and the Ribs, the chocolate mousse cake birthday cake was out of this world, to die for.. The service was perfect, we felt like we were at home. The kids enjoyed the food and ice cream and loved the miniature electrical train going around the restaurant. I will definetly bring some friends to eat there.

Pros: location, inexpensive, ambiance

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Excellent in all aspects of Food and Beverage. I would definitely be back. Cannot say enough about the atmosphere. Everyone from the Hostess to the busser ; they all made it a heartful event.

2
★★★★★

Excellent in all aspects of Food and Beverage. I would definitely be back. Cannot say enough about the atmosphere. Everyone from the Hostess to the busser ; they all made it a heartful event.

Pros: Music, Food, Patio

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I enjoy the great blues bands on Wednesday night's. The early shows are nice and it's great that I don't have to travel across town. Great Martini specials on Thursday's! Near all the major theatres. A great meeting place, would recommend it highly.

2
★★★★★

I enjoy the great blues bands on Wednesday night's. The early shows are nice and it's great that I don't have to travel across town. Great Martini specials on Thursday's! Near all the major theatres. A great meeting place, would recommend it highly.

Pros: Great Service, Near All Theatres, Discount parking

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The ribs and steak were outstanding. Great ambiance, the bar was crowdy. I love the mini train going around the restaurant

2
★★★★★

The ribs and steak were outstanding. Great ambiance, the bar was crowdy. I love the mini train going around the restaurant

Pros: good location, ambiance

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After sitting in the Bridal Department at Marshall Fields all afternoon watching my girlfriend pick out a veil, it was time to get some food. It was HOT and crowded - we found our way into the BIG DOWNTOWN and had a GREAT lunch. Easy menu, good prices, and fast service. Highly recommend.

2
★★★★★

After sitting in the Bridal Department at Marshall Fields all afternoon watching my girlfriend pick out a veil, it was time to get some food. It was HOT and crowded - we found our way into the BIG DOWNTOWN and had a GREAT lunch. Easy menu, good prices, and fast service. Highly recommend.

Pros: Food, waitress, Location

Cons: grouchy table cleaner

Editorial from

In Short
Visitors congregate at this hotel hangout for lunch, while business types head to the long bar, booths or small sidewalk patio. Kids of all ages get a kick out the main dining room, where a model train circles the room…

 

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