Spectator Sustenance: Where To Chow & Cheer At The Chicago Marathon

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So, you're not a runner — or maybe you just didn't get into that whole training thing. Regardless, the 35th annual Chicago Marathon is taking place this Sunday, and chances are you know someone who is taking on the challenge. Your task at hand? Figuring out where you're going to get a little spectator sustenance! Yes, we know it seems crazy, chowing down while your pals are running all over the city. But, the race starts at 7:30 a.m. — it's kind of a long day.
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There are 45,000 registered participants this year and 12,000 plus race volunteers to keep things, um, running smoothly. Among this incredible number are the station leaders at the various "cheer stations." They've given us the scoop on the best places to grab a bite while you wait for your friends and fam to run by. To ensure you don't miss them while you're scarfing down waffles, there are eight runner update centers where you can check the status of any participant. Pretty neat, right? Now, on to the eats.
Old Town: Mile 2-3, and 10
See participants run up LaSalle at miles two to three, then walk one block west and wait for the runners to come back down from Lakeview at mile 10.
Recommendations from Old Town Aid Station Leader John Blick:
La Fournette, 1547 North Wells Street (at North Avenue); 312-626-7324
Bistrot Margot, 1437 North Wells Street (between North Avenue and Schiller Street); 312-587-3660
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O’Briens, 1528 North Wells Street (at North Avenue); 312-787-3131
Lakeview: Mile 8
This station boasts three stages of entertainment, including cheerleaders, dancers, and the ROTC — Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps.
Recommendations from Lakeview Aid Station Leader David Reithoffer:
Melrose Restaurant, 3233 North Broadway (between Belmont Avenue and Melrose Street); 773-327-2060
Stella's Diner, 3042 North Broadway (between Wellington and Barry Avenues); 773-472-9040
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Rocks Lakeview, 3463 North Broadway (between Cornelia Avenue and Stratford Place); 773-472-0493
Pilsen: Mile 19
Talk about a party — entertainment at this station includes mariachis, ballet folklorico, mojigangas, and DJs.
Recommendations from Lakeview Aid Station Leader Carlos Jaramillo:
Kristoffer’s Café, 1733 South Halsted Street (between17th Place and 18th Street); 312-829-4150
Taqueria El Milagro, 923 South Blue Island Avenue (between 19th and Cullerton Streets); 312-433-7620
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Nuevo Leon, 1515 West 18th Street (between Laflin Street and Ashland Avenue); 312-421-1517
Chinatown: Mile 21
Definitely a fun, alternative station to hang out at. Chinatown entertainment includes everything from lion dancers to DJs and more.
Recommendations from Chinatown Aid Station Leader Phil Chan:
Dim Dim, 2820 South Wentworth Avenue (between 28th Place and 29th Street); 312-842-2822
Golden Horse Carriage, 2826 South Wentworth Avenue (between 28th Place and 29th Street); 312-949-9222
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Furama, 2828 South Wentworth Avenue (between 28th Place and 29th Street); 312-225-6888
Greektown: Mile 13 and 16
While this station will not feature any entertainment, the dining options here make up for it.
Recommendations from Greektown organizer Endy Zemenides:
Meli Café & Juice Bar, 301 South Halsted (at Jackson Street); 312-454-0748
Artopolis, 306 South Halsted Street (between Gladys Avenue and Jackson Boulevard); 312-559-9000
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9 Muses, 315 South Halsted Street (between Gladys Avenue and Jackson Boulevard); 312-902-9922
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