Friday, May 31, 2019

Planning My National Trip. Seeking Advice From Chicagoans

Aloha, everybody, 

I'm taking the leap, and traveling to Chicago this year for the big show ~ The National (July 31 - Aug. 4)

Since I've never been to Chicago before, I'm totally unfamiliar with the areas around the Donald E Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont and Wrigley Field. I'm also planning to take in a Cubs game. 

I'm considering staying at the Comfort Suites in Schiller Park. Is this a sketchy area? If so, can anyone recommend another area? 

I could use any and all advice about getting to Wrigley Field from Schiller Park. Are the trains easy to take? Safe? and so on. 

Last, but not least, are any of you down for a beer while I'm in town? Of course, that goes for anybody else who might be traveling to the National also. I'd love to have a get-together with my fellow collector/traders. 

One more ~ how about must see spots while I'm there. Are there any places that were featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives that I should check out? How about the best spot for deep dish Chicago pizza? I loooooove deep dish. 

I'm looking at Base Card  Hero, Dime Box Nick, The Hopeful Chase, Waiting Till Next Year, Wrigley Roster Jenga, and anyone else out there. 

Just drop a word in the comments below, or an email to me. Any advice is appreciated. 

Thanks, aloha! 


  1. Alright:

    Schiller Park - that's fine. Ok area. Pretty blue collar, though a little wealth in spots. But if you are concerned with crime, you're fine. Farther south - Franklin Park and Stone Park. That's kinda sketchy. But even those are fine, really.

    Public trans in Chicago is awesome. If I was to guess, metra to Union, then a quick hike to the Red line (I think it's the Red - I hate the Cubs) that will drop you a block from Wrigley. You can use this site to help with the train schedules:

    The one place I know of for sure that was on triple D was well south in Alsip, and it's closed. I know there was some sandwich place I think near United Center on it as well - no idea if that is still around. Now, I grew up south side, so all my recommendations are more to that area. Really, I think based on Schiller Park, Nick might have the best ideas for more local food. Cuz I would tell you to get a Jrs hotdog in Oak Lawn and Phil's Pizza in Burbank. I think SuperDawg is overrated. Avoid the cliche pizza like Gino's. It's fine, but you can get just as good at Malnati's, Uno, Nancy's (that I think is only south, though), Connie's, Giordano's, etc. Definitely get a beef at either Al's, Portillo's or Buona. Buona is my personal fav, but there are plenty locations of all three around.

    1. Thanks for the great info! Back in the day, we used to have a deep dish pizza chain out here called Uno. Gone now, but It's still my favorite. I wonder if it was a west coast expansion from Chicago?
      Glad u mentioned to get a beef. I saw those on Triple D and they look absolutely delicious. It was a Chicago guy who opened a joint in Texas.
      I cant wait to chow it ALL down! lol

  2. I echo much of what Jeff said -- and if you're a hot dog guy and have a way to get there, I'd recommend a place called Gene's and Jude's. It's on the same street as the convention hall (River Rd.) about 15 minutes south. There's also a place called Paradise Pup in Rosemont not far from the National that I think was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives -- I've never been there myself but I hear it's terrific. I'm not 100 percent sure I'll make the National this year but I'll let you know if I'm there!

    1. Thanks for the tips on the dogs. Chicago dog is my second fave dog (behind LA street dog style). Hope to see u in Chicago

  3. I will defer to the two gentlemen above me. I don't make it Chicago all that often and I actually have never heard of Nancy's, Al's, Gene's or Jude's. I had Buona for the first time last fall and I would definitely recommend it. You can't go wrong with any of the other places mentioned either. Have a great time!

    1. 2 votes for Buona. That's good enough for me!

  4. Super jealous. I'd love to one day make it out to a National. It probably won't happen unless it comes back to the west coast. Have fun!

    1. Thanks Fuji. We'll meet up at the next West Coast National

  5. That's awesome that you're traveling to Chicago for the NSCC. I sure wish I could join you in traveling up there but my work schedule definitely wouldn't allow it. Luckily, I was able to take my kids to the Anaheim NSCC back in 2006--awesome memories!

    1. Yup, I went to the Anaheim one as well. Been itching to return since. I'm only able to make it this time bc a generous benefactor helped me out. I cant wait to be there!

  6. For Triple D restaurants none better than, ribs are great, but I can’t help but order the Brisket dinner, fabulous. Walking distance off the Blue Line, street parking if you drive, count on circling to find parking. It is small but if you avoid rush hours for meals you’ll do well for seating. Food is always great, my reward for taking the wife into the city.

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