You can't always drop $100 on dinner–here's where to get a delicious meal without spending a fortune.
Great vegan dishes - the milkshakes are to die for and the buffalo wings are nice and spicy.
The inventive sausages may draw you in, but the classics will keep you coming back. The bratwurst is a nearly perfect sausage.
Budacki's is where I ate my first Chicago-style hot dog, so I have a soft spot in my heart for it. It's a pretty excellent rendition and the great fries don't hurt either.
Great little stand in Lakeview - the bratwurst is top notch.
The Chicago-style tofu sandwich and biscuits and gravy are favorites. Great for both vegans and omnivores.
This place is a hidden gem: get meat and veggie pies at the back counter, all kinds of hummus, olives, pita, and other Mediterranean foods.
I opt for the roasted pork, which is a classic version made with rich pork belly and served with the traditional accompaniments.
I like the spicy chicken shawarma but the spinach pie is great too.
A favorite spot for brunch or lunch. The Cuban sandwich is made with brisket and giardiniera and the cupcake pancakes are a signature.
It's always a debate between sweet and savory here, with the fight coming down to sassy eggs or Emily's dream pancakes. Solution: bring someone and share both.
This is my favorite banh mi - the fried pork roll and pate version has the right balance of richness cut with pickled vegetables and cilantro.
Fun, creative slices like mac and cheese and crab Rangoon make this a Wrigleyville institution. Plus, there are regular vegan slices offered.
A go-to spot for hot dogs of all styles. It's easy to walk past it, so keep an eye out.
Fantastic churros are a must order at the end of a meal, which should definitely involve a caldo or fantastic torta. There are also a range of hot chocolates, like the spicy Aztec.
Great burgers and beer list. Play shuffleboard in the back room after you eat.
Always hopping, this place has great dish tacos and strong cocktails. Hit the takeout window to avoid the wait. Get the thick, chocolatey champurrado in the winter.
You can't go wrong at any of the M Burger locations downtown - unless you forget to ask what the milkshake flavor of the day is.
Cozy spot to settle in with a sandwich, croissant, or other baked treat.
I get the spicy shrimp banh mi, but you'll want to bring along someone to share some Korean-influenced tacos as well.
I dream of the tan tan men.
This new WIcker Park taco joint has great fish tacos, guacamole, and agua fresca.
Whether you go for brunch or lunch, you're in for a treat. A seasonal menu includes winter treats like turkey sloppy joes and a bacon, date, and ricotta sandwich.
Two words: bacon flight.
You must get an order of fries and you must get the BBQ bacon burger.
The beauty of Fish Bar is that preparations are simple - including oysters, which are stripped down to the basics: bivalve, mignonette, lemon. Also try: mussels cooked with rosemary and white wine and the crab gumbo. Plus - key lime pie!
Try pizza by the slice, like the boiler room with PBR meatballs and giardiniera for $4. You can always order whole vegan pies and on Tuesdays get 'em by the slice.
An ever-changing beer list and great sausages make this a Wicker Park gem.
Burgers for breakfast? Sure - just top a patty with an egg and you're good to go. You can also get an egg, sausage, or bacon sandwich. Plus, get sausages and other meats to go.
A go-to spot with my vegan friends, this place is delicious no matter how much of a carnivore you are.
I love the Frenchman banh mi, with duck confit, kumquats and mustard seeds. The pho is also terrific.
I like a classic cheeseburger, and a vanilla shake on the side is a must order (get it with frozen yogurt and feel less guilty).
Head here for well-done banh mi and accompaniments like summer rolls and soups. They often do sampling, so you can try a new sandwich before ordering!
The brand new spot is just as great as the Evanston original. Cheese fries use Merkt's cheddar and the thinly griddled burgers are exactly what beefy patties should taste like.