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Guide: Where to Fuel Up for the Chicago Marathon

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Photo: Barry Brecheisen

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is this Sunday, Oct. 7 and if you're participating, you'll want to make sure you've got plenty in the tank to make it across the finish line. It's not difficult to find restaurants to carbo-load for the 26.2 mile run, but these spots will be offering special deals for runners. Whether it's pasta from a world-renowned Italian chef or post-marathon celebratory drinks, these businesses will reward you and your wallet for a job well done. So get a head start on the competition by loading up before the race and putting that extra spring in your step.

1) Mercadito
Where: 108 W. Kinzie
What: Guests who show their bib number will receive a free order of tacos de huevos a la Mexicana after the race. An additional menu or drink item must be purchased to redeem the free tacos.
Call: 312-329-9555

2) Mercat a la Planxa
Where: 638 S. Michigan
What: All throughout the weekend, enjoy a special "Dine and Dash" menu for $35, with four protein-packed courses including a chicken breast with truffle rosemary white beans and grilled asparagus; and a saffron chicken broth with rice, chorizo, poached chicken and Maine lobster. On Sunday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., runners are welcome to come in for a three-course brunch with endless dessert and charcuterie helpings for $25 per person.
Call: 312-765-0524

3) Frasca Pizzeria and Wine Bar
Where: 3358 N. Paulina
What: Carbo-load and get the energy you need by showing your bib number and receiving 20 percent off pasta dishes. After finishing the race, stop in for $6 Bloody Marys for all runners on Oct. 6 and 7.
Call: 773-248-5222

4) 2 Sparrows
Where: 553 W. Diversey
What: Reward yourself after the long run with brunch at 2 Sparrows. All runners will receive a 26 percent discount on all food and non-alcoholic drinks on Sunday when they present their bib.
Call: 773-234-2320

5) Michael Jordan's Steak House
Where: 505 N. Michigan
What: On Saturday, get your last carb fix with a twist on the traditional favorite with a wagyu meatball pasta special for $23. Then stop by after the marathon on Sunday and receive a complimentary pour of Metropolitan Krankshaft when you show your bib.
Call: 312-321-8823

6) The Florentine
Where: 151 W. Adams
What: Receive 25 percent off your bill all weekend from Friday to Sunday when you show your bib. With dishes like gnocchi with veal ragu and mezzelune butternut squash-filled pasta with amaretti, there's plenty of carbs to keep you energized for the marathon.
Call: 312-660-8866

7) Balsan
Where: 11 E. Walton
What: Oct. 6 marks the eve of the Chicago Marathon and is also National Noodle Day. The Waldorf Astoria will be flying in world renowned Italian chef Heinz Beck to create special hand made pasta dishes for runners. The pre-race lunch will take place on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Call: 312-646-1400

8) Eleven City Diner
Where: 1112 S. Wabash
What: Located right off the marathon finish line, Eleven City Diner will offer a special "Finish Your Plate" menu. Dishes include mish mosh pasta, "Fish Fuel" tilapia, deep dish paella, a granola and yogurt tower, and veggie and beef sliders.
Call: 312-212-1112

9) Rockit Bar & Grill
Where: 22 W. Hubbard
What: On Saturday, try the mac and cheese poppers or gluten free penne pasta specials; marathoners will receive 20 percent off the dishes. Runners will also receive 20 percent off brunch on Sunday when they show their bib.
Call: 312-645-6000

10) Lockwood
Where: 17 E. Monroe
What: Fuel up on a Marathon Menu of unlimited pasta for $18. Choose from strozzapretti, linguini or pappardelle pasta, and a choice of marinara, alfredo or pesto sauce.
Call: 312-917-3404

11) Carriage House
Where: 1700 W. Division
What: Mark Steuer's new Lowcountry cuisine restaurant in Wicker Park is the perfect spot to load up on some carbs. Get ready for the marathon with baked grits with roasted wild mushrooms, truffle vinaigrette, coddled farm egg and thomasville tomme or Carolina gold rice balls with pimento cheese, sweet potato puree, smoked pork neck gravy and pickled cabbage.
Call: 773-384-9700

12) Filini
Where: 221 N. Columbus
What: Filini will offer high-protein pancakes to the breakfast menu all week leading up to the marathon. Top it off with fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt, blueberries, crushed almonds and hazelnuts for $9.
Call: 312-477-0234

13) The Pony
Where: 1638 W. Belmont
What: Celebrate the completion of your long run by rehydrating at The Pony. Show your bib for a complimentary Powerade Pony Punch with the purchase of a food item. Other specials include a $5 burger, $5 24 ounce Pony Punch cocktails and $4 16 ounce Miller Lite bottles.
Call: 773-828-5055

14) Lottie's Pub
Where: 1925 W. Cortland
What: Kick back and celebrate your post marathon by enjoying a 26.2 percent discount for your entire group at Lottie's. The runner must show their bib to receive the deal.
Call: 773-489-0738

15) Luxbar
Where: 18 E. Bellevue
What: Celebrate after the marathon and help a good cause as Luxbar has partnered with Goose Island Brewery for Brews for Breast Cancer. All proceeds from the sale of Goose Island's 312 Urban Wheat, offered at $3.12, will benefit The Lynn Sage Foundation.
Call: 312-642-3400

16) Tesori
Where: 65 E. Adams
What: Just a hop, skip and a ... oh hell, you just ran 26.2 miles, so just stroll over to Tesori, show your bib and get a craft beer on the house. Friends and family joining you? They can get 10 percent off the total bill.
Call: 312-786-9911


553 W Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614 (773) 234-2320


11 E. Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60611 (312) 646-1400 Visit Website

Mercat a la Planxa

638 South Michigan Avenue, , IL 60605 (312) 765-0524 Visit Website

The Florentine

151 West Adams Street, , IL 60603 (312) 660-8866 Visit Website

Eleven City Diner

1112 South Wabash Avenue, , IL 60605 (312) 212-1112 Visit Website


108 West Kinzie Street, , IL 60654 (312) 329-9555 Visit Website