Dining Deals in Chicago

Nickle candy is a thing of the past, and you've gotten used to the good life when it comes to dining out. Chicago restaurants feel your pain, and they're responding with dining deals that feel more like steals. There's no shame in counting your pennies--these Chicago dining deals may even leave you with bucks to burn. (Photo: Carlucci Restaurant)

Updated: June 22, 2010

Eat on the Cheap in Chicago

Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant

1835 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

The tequila selection is killer, but also appealing at this art-adorned, creative Mexican is its prix fixe special. Offered Sunday through Thursday, it includes a choose-whatever two-course meal. That means the lump crab cake with jicama, cucumber and avocado relish alongside jalapeno aioli and pan-roasted mahi with kumquat salsa and purple potatoes is just $27--house margarita included.

Shaw's Crab House

21 E Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60611

The last Monday of each month, beginning June 28 and continuing through the end of 2010, oysters on the half shell cost--wait for it--a quarter. But there's a catch: The indulgence must take place between 3pm and 6pm, and no more than two dozen can be ordered at once.

Blue 13

416 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654

How's this for a steal: Seasonal, family-style Sunday suppers from chef/owner Chris Curren cost just $20. Emphasizing protein--from local pork and beef to lamb--past menus included the likes of grilled Caesar salad, roasted free-range Amish chicken with dilled cavatelli, haricots verts and horseradish whipped potatoes, and key lime tart.

Cafe Ba Ba Reeba

2024 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL 60614

Daily from 4pm to 6pm and again from 10pm until midnight, select tapas rings in at $3 a pop. Options range from gazpacho to garlicky grilled squid. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Park Spaniard dishes up pintxos, such as Serrano and caramelized pineapple, for a buck.


3868 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

Sunday through Tuesday, this inviting neighborhood haunt proffers a three-course, choose-your-own salad, entree and dessert special for $25--choices from the regular menu only. A one-pound meatball atop red-sauced rigatoni with whipped ricotta, anyone?

Carlucci Restaurant

1801 Butterfield Rd, Downers Grove, IL 60515

On Sundays, a selection of five pasta dishes are buy one, get one free?including its basil-flecked linguine, tossed tableside and dished out from inside a Parmesan wheel ($15.95). Come during lunch Monday through Thursday and a selection of noodle dishes cost just $5.