Cheap Evanston eats? Clarke's for sure...breakfast food any time of day, but it was most likely there when you were in school. A place that certainly wasn't there is called Uber Burger. Cheap, simple and tasty...it's on Church St, a door or two down from Whole Foods, across from the library.
For Thai food, Thai Sookdee ( www.thaisookdee.com ). The very best Thai food in Evanston (and IMNSHO in the entire Chicago area). Don't miss the tom kha gai (soup).
For breakfast, go to Walker Brothers in Wilmette, just over the town line from Evanston. www.walkerbrosoph.com Don't miss the apple pancake.
For lunch, go to Al's Deli on Noyes Street for sandwiches. It's just a little hole in the wall, mostly carry-out with 2-3 tiny tables, but the sandwiches are great. Don't miss the cookies (the chocolate chip cookies taste like the best homemade ones you've ever had!).
One of the best values in town is Lulu's ( www.lulusdimsum.com ) for their "Munch a Bunch" special, at lunchtime Saturday and Sunday, and dinner Monday and Tuesday. All you can eat of almost everything on their (pan-Asian) menu, for a reasonable price (around $15).
We like Siam Pasta (on Dempster) - especially in summer when you can sit on the "roof" outdoors. And while it's always mobbed, Joy Yee Noodle on Davis St. serves HUGE portion of usually pretty good food at very moderate prices. We also second the votes for Lucky Platter and Noyes Street Cafe.
Also, while technically NOT in Evanston but just across the Howard Street border (where Asbury becomes Western) you should check out the vast and varied buffet at New China Buffet (in the shopping center) and a couple of blocks south on the west side is Candlelite Chicago - go for the specials: Sunday night $1 burgers that actaully come with lettuce, tomatoes and FRIES - and are even quite good! On Tuesdays they feature 2 for the price of 1 Pizzas - and they are pretty good pizzas! Potbelly's serves decent sandwiches - and the Trattoria a few doors to the south - serves up good Italian cheap and has outdoor dining in summer...
When I'm looking for a low key affordable place near the NU campus, I usually choose Noyes St. Cafe at 828 Noyes (next to the Purple Line L tracks). Food is good and plentiful, although not outstanding, and the price is right. Staff is attentive with zero uppity attitude. I've been there mostly for dinner, but the brunch menu is good, too. I'm crazy for their enormous Cobb salad (served on a platter) for under $10. Check them out at: http://www.noyescafe.com/index.html
A couple of my favorites -
Dixie Bait and Kitchen Cafe - a great spot for breakfast in addition to Lucky Platter
Ruby of Siam and Thai Sookdee - both excellent Thai food -
Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop
825 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201
1125 Emerson St, Evanston, IL 60201
Thai Sookdee Restaurant
1016 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201
For breakfast/brunch/lunch, we loved the Lucky Platter Cafe - it's video review - http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?ti...
I also miss (weve moved..) prarie joe's cafe (central & green bay road-ish) for breakfast/lunch. there is a geltao place across the street now that is tasty, too....
both are affordable....