Finding a great place to eat, on the cheap, is easy in River North. This area of the city probably has one of the highest concentrations of restaurants and more keep opening so there are many options. Here are the best quality, lower cost options.
All prices were valid at the time of this post and can change without notice. Prices stated don’t include beverage, tax and tip. Cheers!
Big & Little’s, 860 North Orleans Street, 312-943-0000. Cash only. Most everything under $10.
Brett’s Kitchen, 233 W. Superior St., 312-664-6354. Fresh, healthy and reasonably priced food. Limited seating gets crowded may be best for take out.
Cafe Iberico 737 North LaSalle Drive, 312-573-1510. Excellent and cheap tapas. Have a sangria or two and you can still get out of there for less than $25.
Club Lago, 331 W. Superior St., 312-951-2849. Old, traditional Italian that’s been there for ever.
Hub51 51 West Hubbard Street, 312-828-0051. This Mexican, sushi and burger establishment makes a fine margarita. Most non-sushi menu items like tacos are around $15. Join Frequent Diner program; Get $10 free.
Kiki’s Bistro, 900 North Franklin Street, 312-335-5454. Kiki’s is a french bistro with marvelous food, ambiance and service. Dine between 5pm-6:30pm $30.95 plus tax and tip prix fixe menu. Call to confirm that the special menu is available on the date you plan to go.
Kinzie Chophouse, 400 N. Wells St., 312-822-0191. Lunch entrees are a great deal at around $13. At dinner they offer a quarterly, seasonal prix fixe menu for $40. Call to confirm that the special menu is available on the date you plan to go.
M Burger 5 W Ontario, 312-428-3548. Burgers, fries and shakes. There’s indoor seating for maybe 20.
Mr. Beef, 666 North Orleans Street, 312-337-8500. This may be rated the top Italian beef in the city and their fresh cut fries are good too. Beef sandwich $7. They also have a parking lot. No website.
Pizano’s, 800 N. Dearborn, 312-335-8833. Delicious entrees and thin crust pizzas.
Portillo’s, 100 W. Ontario, 312-587-8910. Okay so this is a fast food chain but everything is good including their burgers, crinkle fries and garbage salad. And of course the Italian beef and Chicago style hot dogs. Plus they have a drive-thru. Join Ritual for $10 free.
Quartino, 626 North State Street, 312-698-5000. Small plates made for sharing but you can also turn a couple of them into a low cost meal. You can order half portions of many menu items. Three course lunch for two for $25. Good wine sold by the fraction of a litre.
Ramen-San, 59 West Hubbard Street, 312–377-9950. This is probably not the best ramen joint in town but the prices are low, the ramen bowls large and the cocktails unique. $15Express Lunch. Join Frequent Diner program; Get $10 free.
Seoul Taco, 738 N. Clark St. 312-265-1607, Korean-Mexican tacos three for $8.
Shake Shack 66 East Ohio Street, 312-667-1701. Stick to the locally sourced dogs and sausages. Shakes $6.
Tall Boy Taco 325 W Huron, 312-488-4917. This is a taco counter inside Nacional 27 offering tacos, guacamole, queso fundido, beer and margaritas. Tacos are around $4 each. Join Frequent Diner program; Get $10 free.
3 Greens Market, 354 W. Hubbard St. (312) 888-9195. Hot and cold bar $10/lb., Small Cheval burgers $9-10, Dillman’s pastrami $12-14. Nice patio.
Xoco, 449 North Clark Street (entrance on Illinois), 312-334-3688. Rick Bayless’, always packed, torta, soup, salad and churro shop Everything around $8-12. Daily specials $12. On Wed. only after 5PM get three tacos for $11.50. Limited seating.