Chances are if you get summoned for jury duty in Cook County, you’re either heading south to 2600 South California Avenue or going to the Loop and visiting the Daley Center. While there’s not much in the way of lunch spots near the circuit court on California, other than food trucks, you’ll find a whole variety of options near Daley Plaza in the Loop. Here are five of the best spots, as long as you get dismissed from jury duty early enough to enjoy them.
(Photo Credit: Petterino's on Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Petterino’s on Facebook)

Petterino’s Restaurant
150 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 422-0150

For a sit-down Italian meal in a relaxing environment, step on over to Petterino’s. While it is open for just about any meal time, situated in the heart of the Loop next to Daley Plaza, Petterino’s also knows how to do power lunches well, without sacrificing flavor. Take your pick of salads (both classic and signature salads) as well as main dishes that include everything from sandwiches to pasta, seafood, steak and chicken. Lunch is available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hannah’s Bretzel
180 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 621-1111

For a delicious hearty and healthy organic sandwich, head to Hannah’s Bretzel, which is always hopping come lunch hour. Whichever sandwich you choose – from a portabella sandwich to a Sergio’s Special (made with French Madrange ham and grueyere cheese) – it’ll come loaded up in the fresh bread. And the bread is pretty tasty too, whether you’re getting a baguette or a pretzel roll. Before you leave, don’t forget to grab a dessert or chocolate from the wall of chocolate.

(Photo Credit:

(Photo Credit:

Frontera Fresco
111 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 781-2955

Rick Bayless’s quick Mexican fix may be located on the 7th floor of Macy’s, but it’s worth the trip up the elevator. The tacos are the biggest draw, and for good reason: just a bit of crunch from the corn tortillas complements a range of flavors, like chipotle chicken, grilled steak and cochinita pibil. Tortas, huaraches, quesadillas, tamales and soups are also available. One last thing? Don’t forget the guac and chips.

Related: Best Sandwiches in Chicago

Ba Le Banh’wich Shop
166 W. Washington St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 346-3971

For a sandwich like no other, swing by this Loop hot spot (the original store opened and continues to operate in Uptown). The sandwiches here perfectly fuse French and Vietnamese flavors, from the pickled vegetables to the crusty bread. Not only are these “banh mi” sandwiches packed with flavor, but they’re very reasonably priced, with many of the full-sized sandwiches only $5.95. And don’t let the idea of Vietnamese/French fusion intimidate you; many of the sandwiches feature recognizable foods, from tuna to even meatballs. In addition to sandwiches, Ba Le also offers noodle salads, salad rolls, rice and appetizers.

312 Chicago
136 N. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 696-2420

For one of the more elegant lunches near Daley Plaza, dine on the Italian creations of Chef Luca Corazzina. Along with his team of chefs, he creates a wonderful array of dishes that feature house-made sausages and organic pastas. For the best value, go with the prix-fixe menu option, which will get you one appetizer, one entree and one dessert (with a choice of three for each course), all for $27.

Related: Best High-End Lunch Deals in Chicago

Elizabeth SanFilippo is a freelance writer, who enjoys trying new foods from all over the world. But her favorite city for culinary treats will always be Chicago. When not writing about food, she’s writing about a variety of topics for numerous websites and blogs, and working part-time at a culinary vacation company based in the Windy City. Some of her work can be found at