This is a photo of

Allow the trippy community to use this photo in their answers.

Allow the trippy community to use this photo in their answers

Image Source:

  • Lindsey Silva
  • "Best, most unique Chicago food--on a budget?"

Best, most unique Chicago food--on a budget?

Hey all!

Hubs and I are taking a trip to Chicago in April, and I was wondering if anyone could recommend unique, local spots that are delicious but won't break the bank?

Extra points for throwing in tips about which places have the best brews, too! :)

Comments (0)

Need more information? Question already been asked? Let the poster know!


Comment required

 

					
					
					
				

Answer this Question

 Video: How to write a great answer

Mentioned in this answer:

Type the @-symbol in your answer to plot places on map!

6 Answers

Most Mentioned Places for this Question

  • Big Star (restaurant)

    1531 North Damen Avenue Chicago Illinois 60622 (773) 235-4039

    2 mentions

  • Pequod's Pizza (restaurant)

    2207 N Clybourn Ave Chicago IL 60614 (773) 883-0344

    2 mentions

  • Revolution Brewing Brewery (restaurant)

    3340 N Kedzie Ave Chicago IL 60618 (773) 588-2267

    2 mentions

  • Emily Brennan

    top answer by

    Hi Lindsey!

    Chicago has a world-class food scene but with it can come world-class prices. In order to eat really well for a more moderate price, venture outside of the downtown area and into some of Chicago's awesome neighborhoods!

    Chicago has a great Chinatown just south of the city and easily accessible by the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station My two favorite spots down there are Lao Sze Chuan and MingHin Cuisine for dim sum. Both are very reasonably priced.

    Also south, and a bit west, of downtown is Lagunitas Taproom While Lagunitas isn't originally from Chicago, it's founder is and he recently expanded his operation to the area. It's great place to go a try a variety of different Lagunitas brews.

    Northwest of downtown are the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods, with tons of great food options! You can get to both on the CTA Blue Line. For Wicker Park get off at CTA - Division stop and walk to Bangers & Lace for a great beer selection and an array of interesting sausages/dogs. Also in the neighborhood is the The Winchester, doing some interesting things with contemporary American food, tucked away on a residential street. and is a great place for brunch, lunch or dinner.

    Jump off of at the Damen Blue Line Station for Bucktown and check out Big Star. Killer margaritas, great tacos, crazy addictive chips and guac, all served on a fun patio. Note: this place is packed year-round, especially if the weather is nice. If the wait is too long, check out Dove's Luncheonette, by the same owners and located right next door. It's totally different cuisine, an updated take on diner food, but still good. If you still have tacos on the brain and Big Star is too long of a wait, check-out Antique Taco around the corner. It's a bit lower key vibe but also great margaritas and tacos. A few blocks north on Damen is Mindy's Hot Chocolate, another great place for brunch or dinner!

    A few other spots in the Wicker Park/Bucktown neighborhoods that don't fall into the budget category but are worth mentioning are Carriage House, Ruxbin Kitchen (which is BYO!), Mott Stand Trenchermen. None are bank breakers and all worth the extra money!

    Further northwest in the Logan Square and Avondale neighborhoods are the Revolution Brewing Pub and Revolution Brewing Brewery, respectively. The pub has food and a great selection of brews but a little further north (in a very non-descript building), the brewery has a great tasting room where you can try varieties you can't get elsewhere and they offer a free tour that comes with a beer! The pub can be reached on CTA - California and the brewery CTA Blue Line - Belmont

    Lastly, due north of the city there is a lot of great Vietnamese food off the Lawrence Red Line Station. My personal favorite is Tank Noodle.

    I could go on and on but hope this is a good start. All of these neighborhoods are also worth spending some time exploring, in addition to enjoying the great food they have to offer. Have a great time!


    Comments (2)

    Ask for clarification, suggest corrections, or give thanks!


    Comment required

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Wow, amazing tips Emily! · (1 likelikes)

    • Lindsey S.

      Lindsey S.

      Dang, really awesome! Sorry my response is so delayed, but I definitely appreciate all the great tips! Hubs and I will absolutely have to check out some of these! Thanks again! :) · (2 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Cermak-Chinatown Red Line Station (attraction)
    2. Lao Sze Chuan (restaurant)
    3. MingHin Cuisine (restaurant)
    4. Lagunitas Taproom (attraction)
    5. CTA - Division (attraction)
    6. Bangers & Lace (attraction)
    7. The Winchester (restaurant)
    8. Damen Blue Line Station (attraction)
    9. Big Star (restaurant)
    10. Dove's Luncheonette (restaurant)
    11. Antique Taco (attraction)
    12. Mindy's Hot Chocolate (restaurant)
    13. Carriage House (restaurant)
    14. Ruxbin Kitchen (restaurant)
    15. Mott St (restaurant)
    16. Trenchermen (restaurant)
    17. Revolution Brewing (restaurant)
    18. Revolution Brewing Brewery (restaurant)
    19. CTA - California (attraction)
    20. CTA Blue Line - Belmont (attraction)
    21. Lawrence Red Line Station (attraction)
    22. Tank Noodle (restaurant)

    Type the @-symbol in your answer to plot places on map!

    • ·
      • twitter
      • facebook
      • google
    • ·
      • Doesn't answer question
      • Mean-spirited
      • Spam
      • Inappropriate

    Send Emily a Thank You Note

    • Thank you!

    • Spot On!

    • You inspired me!

    • Amazing details

    • Saving for later

    • Great photos

    • Great restaurant recommendation

    • Leave a comment

  • Rob Chopra

    answered by

    XOCO for Mexican by master chef Rick Bayless

    For beers try Goose Island, Hopleaf and maybe take a tour of the Revolution Brewing Brewery (www.revbrew.com)

    My two favorite spots for deep dish pizza is Lou Malnati's Pizzeria on Rush St and Pequod's Pizza.

    Here's another link for you that might help. It lists all the Chicago classics that only locals "in the know" know about.

    http://chicago.eater.com/maps/25-classic-restaurants-every-chicagoan-must-try

    Comments (4)

    Ask for clarification, suggest corrections, or give thanks!


    Comment required

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      great call on XOCO! · (0 likelikes)

    • Rob C.

      Rob C.

      Thanks Jillian. You seem to remember the city well for someone who doesn't live here anymore! :) My brother in law is a real foodie. I took him to Xoco and he loved it. Mind you their speciality is torta's and it's fast casual so don't expect a huge menu. But they are awesome! The most popular torta there is Ahogado served in s pool of spicy tomato sauce! · (1 likelikes)

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      I get back often as my family is there! Chicago is really a foodie's paradise. I've been to XOCO but have NOT tried this Ahogado torta you speak of.. another reason to come back home soon. I love reading your Chicago answers, thanks for all of your great tips! · (1 likelikes)

    • Lindsey S.

      Lindsey S.

      XOCO sounds like a winner! We'll definitely have to try it. Thank you! · (1 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. XOCO (restaurant)
    2. Goose Island (restaurant)
    3. Hopleaf (restaurant)
    4. Revolution Brewing Brewery (restaurant)
    5. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria (restaurant)
    6. Pequod's Pizza (restaurant)

    Type the @-symbol in your answer to plot places on map!

    • ·
      • twitter
      • facebook
      • google
    • ·
      • Doesn't answer question
      • Mean-spirited
      • Spam
      • Inappropriate

    Send Rob a Thank You Note

    • Thank you!

    • Spot On!

    • You inspired me!

    • Amazing details

    • Saving for later

    • Great photos

    • Great restaurant recommendation

    • Leave a comment

  • Selina Rodgers

    answered by

    Well you have the infamous Giordano's that has various locations downtown and next up you have Lou Malnati's Pizzeria that has a few locations as well...they are both pizzeria's but there is always extra items on the menu to choose from. Hope this helps! Enjoy!

    Comments (1)

    Ask for clarification, suggest corrections, or give thanks!


    Comment required

    • Lindsey S.

      Lindsey S.

      Thanks so much! Can't wait to try them :). · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Giordano's (restaurant)
    2. Lou Malnati's Pizzeria (restaurant)

    Type the @-symbol in your answer to plot places on map!

    • ·
      • twitter
      • facebook
      • google
    • ·
      • Doesn't answer question
      • Mean-spirited
      • Spam
      • Inappropriate

    Send Selina a Thank You Note

    • Thank you!

    • Spot On!

    • You inspired me!

    • Amazing details

    • Saving for later

    • Great photos

    • Great restaurant recommendation

    • Leave a comment

  • Jillian Geer

    answered first by

    What a fun trip! Definitely smart to eat your way through this city...

    For tacos, you have to check out Big Star. Everything is great here - I'd recommend the pastor and pescado tacos and the queso fundido! Oh and love the Big Star marg made with mezcal. There's usually a wait (they don't take reservations), but they do have a order and sit option as well which is quick (seating for this is outside).

    For pizza, my unique to Chicago favorite spot is Pequod's Pizza. Two words: caramelized crust. That's all you really need to know.

    For bbq, Lillie's Q. It's just good. Their sauces are the best and they have a nice beer selection! Not to mention fried pickles...

    For an insane cheeseburger, Au Cheval. It's $11 for the cheeseburger so maybe a little splurge, but it's worth it. And get an egg on top! I'm still trying to find a better burger and I can't. The honey fried chicken is also perfection, fyi.

    For beers, I'd recommend DryHop Brewers for a great craft beer selection of IPAs, Pale Ales, and Belgium beers they brew in house. I'd go for a boozy brunch! The food is really fresh so you can't go wrong.

    Enjoy and let me know if you have any other questions!





    Comments (1)

    Ask for clarification, suggest corrections, or give thanks!


    Comment required

    • Lindsey S.

      Lindsey S.

      Oooo, thanks Jillian! All of that sounds awesome! · (1 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Big Star (restaurant)
    2. Pequod's Pizza (restaurant)
    3. Lillie's Q (restaurant)
    4. Au Cheval (restaurant)
    5. DryHop Brewers (attraction)

    Type the @-symbol in your answer to plot places on map!

    • ·
      • twitter
      • facebook
      • google
    • ·
      • Doesn't answer question
      • Mean-spirited
      • Spam
      • Inappropriate

    Send Jillian a Thank You Note

    • Thank you!

    • Spot On!

    • You inspired me!

    • Amazing details

    • Saving for later

    • Great photos

    • Great restaurant recommendation

    • Leave a comment

  • Sharon Davis

    answered by

    Portillo's for Italianbeef and hot dogs and chocolate cake.

    Al's BeeforAl's Beef for Italian beef

    Gino's East for Pizza (my fav for over 40 years)

    Miller's Pub a long time Chicago favorite for steaks and clubby atmosphere. Decent prices in the loop.

    Comments (1)

    Ask for clarification, suggest corrections, or give thanks!


    Comment required

    • Lindsey S.

      Lindsey S.

      Thank you, Sharon! Quite a ringing recommendation for Gino's East if you've been going there that long! :) · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Portillo's (restaurant)
    2. Al's Beef (restaurant)
    3. Al's Beef (restaurant)
    4. Gino's East (restaurant)
    5. Miller's Pub (restaurant)

    Type the @-symbol in your answer to plot places on map!

    • ·
      • twitter
      • facebook
      • google
    • ·
      • Doesn't answer question
      • Mean-spirited
      • Spam
      • Inappropriate

    Send Sharon a Thank You Note

    • Thank you!

    • Spot On!

    • You inspired me!

    • Amazing details

    • Saving for later

    • Great photos

    • Great restaurant recommendation

    • Leave a comment

  • Jaime Scilingo

    answered by

    Try out Pilsen! Dusek's (where Jay and Bey went after their On the Run show) or Nightwood. Both have excellent brunch, lunch, and dinner menus, but Dusek's has a stronger beer selection.

    Comments (1)

    Ask for clarification, suggest corrections, or give thanks!


    Comment required

    • Lindsey S.

      Lindsey S.

      Yesss, we're so thrilled to be getting all these good beer recommendations! Thank you! · (0 likelikes)

    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Dusek's (attraction)
    2. Nightwood (restaurant)

    Type the @-symbol in your answer to plot places on map!

    • ·
      • twitter
      • facebook
      • google
    • ·
      • Doesn't answer question
      • Mean-spirited
      • Spam
      • Inappropriate

    Send Jaime a Thank You Note

    • Thank you!

    • Spot On!

    • You inspired me!

    • Amazing details

    • Saving for later

    • Great photos

    • Great restaurant recommendation

    • Leave a comment