The Cheesecake Factory is a chain restaurant that serves good food at a decent price. The menu provides a huge selection with something that is sure to whet your appetite. You can get appetizers and drinks or a full dinner. Of course, for dessert you should try a piece of their specialty cheesecakes.
There is indoor and outdoor seating. The tables are spaced so you're not right on top of your neighbors. And the noise level is generally moderate.
While the food may not excite gourmets, it is all of good quality and tasty. Great choice when you don't want to go somewhere fancy, but still want a good meal.
Favorite Dish: I love their jambalaya pasta. Just the right spiciness, plus lots of chicken and shrimp.
This place is so cool because it is located right below the John Hancock building. It's literally right underneath it. The restaurant itself is kind of dark. There is indoor and outdoor seating. I reccommend outdoor to get the full experience. The atmosphere is great. Everyone is especially friendly. The food is of course, great. And who goes to the Cheesecake Factory without getting cheesecake? No one. They have superb cheesecake. If you don't like cheesecake, don't worry. They have plenty of other desserts. Overall, definitely one of the best restaurants in the city in one of the coolest locations.
Favorite Dish: My favorite dish is between the fried macaroni and cheese balls and the lemon raspberry creme cheesecake. The macaroni balls are so good because they give you four per serving and they have this amazing macaroni on the inside but have this crumbly bread that is fried on the outside. One of the best dishes in my opinion. Then there is the cheesecake. It is tangy and a little sour but so so good. My favorite dessert to get.
The Cheesecake Factory in Chicago is a chain restaurant but we really love it! The service is good and the prices aren't bad. The only problem with this on Michigan Avenue is that it's PACKED. It's always at least an hour to an hour and a half wait.
My tip is this.
It's a little known FACT that you can walk right into the bar area, get a table without waiting and order from the full menu. We do this every single time we go in Chicago. People perceive it as more of a waiting area so tables open up fast. The last 2 times in Chicago, we've walked right in, gotten a table in the bar area (which incidentally is no different than the restaurant area) and eaten and been out within an hour and a half. Depending on how fast we wanted to go.
Favorite Dish: I'll eat anything, most things I've tried are great.
Went to see a show at the Watertower Theater with our high school band and wandered over here for an after dinner treat. The staff was very accomodating of our large group and kept our tab on one bill even though our tables were scattered throughout the joint. Our waiters were great. Treated our kids as adults and had fun conversing with them.
Favorite Dish: Cheesecake - any kind you can imagine.
I don't think I have laughed so much in a restaurant ever, and it wasn't an intentional part of the service. We'd already eaten that evening at Gino's East, but after wandering around late in the night and seeing that the Cheesecake factory was still open, we dropped in for a slice. The conversation was on the subject of obsequious waiters, and we all commented positively on how genuinely friendly the ones in Chicago had been.
Then Dork One came to our table. It was like something from a parody TV show. I think he may have been on uppers of some kind.
"What would you like to order, sir? Can I recommend the... oh you've already decided, sir. That is wonderful. I'm sure you made a great choice! Oh you want cheesecake! That IS a great choice, sir. We do a great cheesecake. Would you like something to drink with that? Water? Fantastic! What a great choice, sir. So many people don't go with water, you know? So refreshing to see a change!"
He left. Incredulous looks around the table. Someone else brings the order. But five seconds after I put a forkful of deliciously artery bursting cheesecake in my mouth, he's back.
"Are you enjoying that, sir? Oh you are! Fantastic! And you sir? Great! Amazing! Can I help you with anything? Would you like anything else?"
My friend Joe was physically recoiling from him at this point, leaning far over into me while I tried to eat and ignore him. Joe didn't even realise he was doing it. He was so disgusted by the waiter he just wanted to get out of there. He begged us to pay the bill, with his credit card. Anything so that he wouldn't have to deal with him. But we were enjoying his discomfort. There was no escape.
Favorite Dish: "What great accents you guys have! Where are you from?"
"Ireland?" he asks me. "No, England"
"England! Fantastic! I'm half-Polish!"
"Really?" I say, sensing some fun, "Joe's half..."
"I'm American." Joe says flatly.
He picks up Joe's credit card. He garbles Joe's name several times.
"Oh! What an interesting name, sir! Do you pronounce that with a hard or a soft J? That's a difficult name! So few vowels! A bit like my name... Szymczak"
Joe tells him how to pronounce it.
"It's Polish" I tell him. Joe casts me a fearsome glance.
"Oh! How amazing! What are the chances of that? Two people with Polish names..." in the city with the second highest population of Poles after Warsaw! Joe is now nailed with a conversation all of his very own with Dork One. Once the bill is paid, we race out of the place like children escaping an embarrassing aunt.
Man what a jerk. I hope he was on drugs, because it would be bad for him if he was naturally like that.
Don't bother with anything but the cheesecake, which is great, but expensive. It is incredibly creamy and sweet. It must have been a few thousand calories per slice. I felt like I was going to explode after eating half a slice. I think eating several of these might be a good way of inducing bulimia.
I went to this one located on the ground floor of the John Hancock building... I went there because the menu was familiar and I was hungry, and walking by... this is a great place toi eat, but in the city of Chicago, I had really wished I would have held out for some of the more authentic restaurants, as this one has become cookie-cutter to me, a huge menu but it hasn't changed that much over time.
I originally expected this establishment to be overpriced and not great portions either, just because it is at the bottom of the John Hancock building i.e. a tourist trap.
MY THEORY WAS PROVEN TO BE COMPLETELY WRONG!
I have visited this restaurant twice. Both times, the meals were EXCELLENT. The meals were large and EXTREMELY TASTY, served with abundance of fresh bread. I do believe my excellent tasty meals were overpriced either. If I ever visit Chicago again, I will gladly return to this restaurant.
Favorite Dish: My first time here, I had a pizza, one of the tastiest pizzas I have ever had; EXCELLENT.
My second visit, I chose "Orange Chicken' which was also extremely good.
I went there a couple of years ago. as others have said it was quite busy and I noticed there was a lot of people with young children in there. The vanilla cheescake was excellent. I still remember what I had two years on, so it must have been good. It is at the base of the John Hancock Building - the big black one with the X's. Have a trip up there as well, much less crowded than Sears Tower.
As an aside, for all of you British readers the interia puts you in mind of the TARDIS.
Although you can go for breakfast, they are naturally more famous for their desserts (cheesecake of course)!
I say if you're on vacation, spoil yourself and have cheesecake for breakfast...I did!!
Favorite Dish: It's been a while since I've eaten here, so other than the cheesecake I'm not sure what to recommend, but the restuarant itself is definitely a must-try!
This fun restaurant, one of the national chain, looks like a giant mushroom! :) The decor quirky and unique, and the place is very cozy despite the huge capacity. Be prepared for a long wait if you're there during peak hours without a reservation!
Favorite Dish: The cheesecake, of course! I go for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake , but there are at least 20 to choose from on the menu. They also have an excellent veggie burger and great fries. Oh, and the best lemonade I've ever had (caution, I like it strong!). However, don't plan on eathing both a full meal and a whole piece of cheesecake. Unless your stomach is made of elastic, you'll never make it!
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