chicago essential cheap eats
For my city guides, I try to have a mix of everything - new restaurants, iconic venues, and tourist spots worth a visit. As with all guides, it is not exhaustive but hopefully full of wonderful recommendations that will help you make the most of your visit! Here's what I love on the cheap in Chicago:
Al's Italian Beef
Chicago-based chain known for overstuffed Italian beef sandwiches & hot dogs
234 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60604
Big & littles
Beyond burgers & fried fish, this quick-serve spot does po' boys, tacos & gourmet fries.
860 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60610
Mexican street food, plus margaritas & other drinks fuel a lively scene at this funky hangout.
1531 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Casual, brick-walled pizza pub where deep-dish pies with caramelized crusts are served until late.
2207 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Seasonal menu of gourmet tacos & Mexican appetizers doled out in a shabby-chic, counter-serve space.
1360 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Counter-serve joint for creative burgers with Korean & other global ingredients
6604 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60626
The Wiener Circle
Famously surly staffers serve char dogs & more at this tiny institution that's open late.
2622 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
Stylish spot supplying gourmet donuts
26 E Roosevelt Rd, Chicago, IL 60605
Portillo's Hot Dogs
Chicago-born chain for hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches & more
100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60610
Honey Butter Fried Chicken
Quick-serve outfit furnishes fried poultry, craft beer & cocktails in rustic digs with a patio.
3361 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Counter serving chef Rick Bayless's take on Mexican street food, plus tap beers.
449 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Cash-only counter-serve Middle Eastern spot with falafel, gyros & more
2057 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Japanese ramen soup offered with toppings & sides in a simple wood-lined space with counter seats.
1571 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
nyc bagel deli
Casual spot for New York-style delicatessen sandwiches & pizzas by the slice or the pie.
515 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60654
Lao Sze Chuan
Chinatown eatery serving Szechuan specialties alongside traditional Chinese dishes.
2172 S Archer Ave, Chicago, IL 60616