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family, friends, fish, fun!?

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I have friends and family coming into town visiting for my birthday. As a college student with minimal income I rarely am able to enjoy the wonderful dining chicago has to offer. Looking for a seafood restaurant ranging from$18-30/plate and possibly vegetarian friendly? While upper casual would be a nice environment, I am mainly looking for something with great service, fresh seafood, appealing drink menu, and overall relaxing environment. Let me know if this exists.

Location: Living in East Lakeview--willing to travel for great food!

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  1. There are different kinds of places to get good seafood.

    There are traditional seafood restaurants, where most of the menu is seafood, not overly expensive although fresh seafood isn't usually inexpensive either. Four of my favorites are in and around River North:

    Hugo's - www.hugosfrogbar.com
    Shaw's - www.shawscrabhouse.com
    Fulton's on the River - www.levyrestaurants.com
    Catch 35 - www.catch35.com

    Spring is an upscale restaurant which emphasizes seafood. It might push your budget but I've heard that they've dropped their prices significantly recently, what with the economy and all. It's in Wicker Park. www.springrestaurant.net

    Another, less expensive option is to go to a bistro type place, and order seafood dishes from their menu. Jack's on Halsted is right in Lakeview, and is very good; they have some awesome specials (e.g. buy 1 entree, get 1 free, Sunday through Thursday). www.jacksonhalsted.com Cafe Spiaggia is very affordable and has some of the best, moderately-priced Italian food in the entire city, and has lots of pasta dishes for vegetarians. www.cafespiaggia.com For more Italian recommendations, see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/360990 , and for French bistros, see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/602957

    Check out the restaurants' websites to get a better idea of their prices. (Note that Spring's website reflects their older, higher prices, or so I've been told.)

    1. Glenn's Diner is probably a lot more casual than you desire, and the drink menu probably leaves much to be desired (I think they just have some wine), but it's reasonable, relaxed, and has fresh seafood:

      http://www.glennsdiner.com/