Cheap eats Navy Pier Chicago. Most of the better food options at Navy Pier are pricey so you need to order selectively. If you’re on a budget bring your own food and beverages (non-alcoholic) in. You can still eat in the food court, the large communal seating areas past the food court, outside along the pier (weather permitting) or in the Crystal Garden. The food police won’t drag you away.
If you’re walking to the Pier from Michigan Avenue there’s a Whole Foods at 255 E Grand Ave (at Fairbanks), (312) 379-7900.
Navy Pier Booze Rules
People who purchase an alcoholic beverage from a licensed vendor at Navy Pier are allowed to carry that drink throughout the Pier’s indoor and outdoor areas in specially marked, disposable cups provided by the vendor. Just ask for your drink in a to-go cup. No BYOB allowed anywhere on the Pier.
There were some dining deals but the page listing these deals is gone from the Navy Pier website.
Cheap eats Navy Pier Chicago
I saw a number of signs that said No Cash. So be prepared.
America’s Dog & Burger: Hot dogs and hamburgers.
Beat Kitchen: No menu for Navy Pier on website. Good tacos starting at $6. They don’t take American Express.
Freshii: salads As of mid June 2021 this location was not open.
Garibay Tamales: This is new but it looks like tamales are $6 and elotes $3.
IDOF (I Dream of Falafel): Decent falafel. I don’t have current prices. I’m guessing a falafel will start at around $10.
Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville, 312-496-3840. It’s better than you would expect it to be.
In winter there’s happy hour M-F 3PM-6PM $3 beer and $5 Margaritas. Get a $5 off $25 food purchase coupon from the Guest Services desk at the entrance to Navy Pier. They have nice outdoor seating. If you sign up for their Fins Up club you get a coupon for a free appetizer. I believe you have to either purchase an entree or spend $25 on food to use the coupon.
Navy Pier Beer Garden There’s a link to a Happy Hour menu on the Beer Garden page. I’m not sure if it’s current. I emailed and no one responded. $3-$7 beer and drinks; $4-$6 food Monday-Friday 4pm-6pm.
Potbelly: More expensive than a regular Potbelly but still relatively cheap.
Personally I would skip a meal and go to The Original Rainbow Cone a kiosk on the south dock (summer only).
Snow Dragon Shavery: Flavored shaved snow topped with fruit, jellies, candy and other toppings
$6.49. Also macaroons, macaroon ice cream sandwiches, bubble teas $3.99-4.49 and coconut water $3.99 in faux shell. I don’t know current prices.
There’s also a Starbucks (you can’t order from the app) and a McDonald’s.
When the weather is nice grab food from any of the locations mentioned above and head east on the pier. Walk up the stairs beneath the Ferris wheel and dine al fresco with great city and lake views. Or you can get up there from the elevator located just past Benn and Jerry’s. There are also tables along the Wave Wall and placed along the water down the pier. You’ll have to bring something to wipe them off yourself.
Cheap eats Navy Pier Chicago – Other options (not cheap)
Harry Caray Tavern has a $7.95 kid’s menu for age 10 and under.
Lirica: This is the restaurant located in the Sable Hotel at the end of the pier. This is where to go to get an excellent sit down meal and cocktail. It’s not as expensive as you would think for a major tourist attraction. It can be too windy to eat outside. Menu on website
Offshore Rooftop and Bar: This is the rooftop bar at the end of the pier. I haven’t eaten up there but the group that runs Lirica also runs Offshore (separate kitchens). The views are unparalleled and the drinks are fantastic but nothing here is cheap. Splurge-worthly!