by Kimberly Peiffer - 51 Reviews - 84 List
Just because you're not wearing a suit doesn't mean you don't want a good meal. It just means you're after a casual, low-key and (most importantly) inexpensive one. Fortunately, Chicago is full of neighborhood joints that leave plenty of change to spare but definitely don't skimp on flavor. Check out our list of favorite cheap eats in Chicago. (Photo: Crocodile)
Updated: July 27, 2011
The little (and less expensive) sister to Urban Belly serves up hefty portions of noodles and pot stickers for cheap. Get your paws on a fresh, mint-studded Asian meatball sandwich stuffed with somen noodles, Korean chili paste and mint for $9--and did we mention this place is BYOB? Bonus.
Sure, the owner is gruff, but no one seems to mind as evidenced by the always long line at this pint-size suburban stand. The reason? Amazing Italian beef sandwiches, served pipping hot with all the fixings--sweet peppers, toasted bun and gravy--for around $5. Order yourself a combo and get even more (like a side of chips or Italian ice) for a steal.
The Korean fried chicken craze continues at Crisp, where gluttons can't help but lust after Korean barbecue sauce and peppery wings that are served alongside egg-topped bibimbap and bulgogi burritos. Add fries and a drink to your meal for just $2.50 more.
This ode to encased meat offers up gourmet sausages named after stars as well as weekly game specials (think cognac and hazelnut-accented pheasant sausage with black currant Dijonnaise, port wine chicken pate and truffle-balsamic cream). On Fridays and Saturdays, the duck fat fries have a following of their own.
This hip Wicker Park bar is known for cocktail specials, but it also serves a mean pizza for mere dollars. Order up a $3 pie and a $2 Caesar salad for a full meal, or better yet, save your appetite and go there later for a cocktail--this spot is known for serving free late-night pizza to bar-goers.