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Good Cheap Places to Eat in Downtown...


I am looking for some advice for the Hurry days for Breakfast and lunch...Maybe dinner but for dinner I am saving for more kind of gourmet choices.

I am open tu sugestion it could be a hole in the wall if you like it, just let me know what do I need to order there and don´t miss. :),

I am looking for a good cheap Steak...I know its Hard but please try.

A good Cheap Breakfast...

Your top choice for the famous deep dish Pizza.

A good Gyro or shwarma or Falafel...

And please add your personal choices for comfort food like hit and don´t miss.

I am going to be in the area of the Hyatt regency Chicago and also in the area of the McCormick Convention Center.

Thank You all.

  1. I'll take a stab at answering your questions in a moment. But first, here are some discussions that you'll find helpful to review.

    This discussion is a summary of moderately-priced food options in the vicinity of the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Wacker Drive: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/387291

    This discussion has a variety of moderately-priced food options. In addition to places downtown, it also mentions inexpensive ethnic food options in outlying neighborhoods and how to reach them via public transit: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/616007

    This discussion outlines food options near McCormick Place: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/368426

    Now, as to your specific questions...

    >> I am looking for some advice for the Hurry days for Breakfast and lunch...Maybe dinner but for dinner I am saving for more kind of gourmet choices.

    The links above have recommendations. Here are some more.

    For breakfast close to the Hyatt, go to Fox & Obel. It's a five minute walk from your hotel.

    Fox & Obel is Chicago's premier gourmet food store, with the highest quality everything - fresh meats and seafood, cheeses, prepared foods, and baked goods. Some of their best baked products include their yummy cinnamon swirl rolls, the world's best bran muffins, excellent croissants, etc, as well as refrigerated pastries and such. You can get them all for carry-out at the bakery counter. Or, in the rear of the store is a cafe where you can get anything from a cup of coffee and a muffin to a complete meal, made to order. I recommend the Cobb omelet! It's just your basic coffeehouse atmosphere, but the food is excellent. If the seating is crowded, there's more seating on the opposite side of the store. www.fox-obel.com

    The main entrance of the Hyatt Regency Chicago is on Upper Columbus Drive. Inside the hotel, go down a level to Lower Columbus Drive. From there, you can walk across the river to Fox & Obel. (You can get there via Michigan Avenue, but it's a bit longer.)

    For lunch, a lot of places that would be expensive for dinner are quite reasonable at lunch. Here's a topic that lists some of those places in various parts of the downtown area (the Hyatt is roughly at the junction of the Loop, Mag Mile, and River North, and many places in all three areas are walkable): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/618336

    Here's a discussion on cheap lunches in the Loop; the Hyatt Regency Chicago on East Wacker is roughly the northeast corner of the Loop, Chicago's historical and commercial downtown area covering roughly one mile square: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/527275

    If you are at McCormick Place and you want a cheap lunch, your best bet - heck, your ONLY really good bet that's walkable, and it's not even THAT close - is Chinatown, which is about 3/4 mile west of the convention center. We have some excellent, inexpensive restaurants there. For recommendations, see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/594324

    >> I am looking for a good cheap Steak...I know its Hard but please try.

    There are several ways to eat at steakhouses inexpensively. One way is to go there for lunch; many steakhouses are open for lunch, with moderately-priced menu options. One way is to order less expensive items; some steakhouses have a separate bar menu with such items (burgers, etc). This discussion has links to the websites of the major steakhouse chains where you can find those menus: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/359377

    One local steakhouse which tends to be a bit less expensive than some others is Wildfire. While I wouldn't necessarily call it our best, it's still decent. The location on West Erie is a 5-10 minute walk from your Hyatt. www.wildfirerestaurant.com

    >> A good Cheap Breakfast...

    See above regarding Fox & Obel.

    >> Your top choice for the famous deep dish Pizza.

    There are two primary styles of deep-dish pizza. One is the single-crust "pizza in the pan"; great places to have it include the original locations of Pizzeria Uno (where it originated in 1943) and Pizzeria Due in River North ( www.unos.com ), Lou Malnati's ( www.loumalnatis.com ), and Pizano's ( www.pizanoschicago.com ). Both Lou Malnati's and Pizano's were founded by sons of Rudy Malnati Sr. who played a lead role at Uno and Due in their early decades. The other is the double-crust "stuffed" pizza of Giordano's ( www.giordanos.com ), Bacino's ( www.bacinos.com ), and Edwardo's ( www.edwardos.com ). All of these are excellent, delicious examples and good representatives.

    If you've never had deep-dish pizza here in Chicago before, I recommend trying "pizza in the pan" first. Uno and Due are the closest to the Hyatt Regency Chicago, only a 5-8 minute walk. If you've already had it and you'd like to try something different, the locations of Bacino's on Wacker and Giordano's in the Prudential building are even closer, 3-5 minutes walk away. Wherever you go, phone ahead with your pizza order to avoid waiting 30-45 minutes while seated for your pizza to bake.

    >> A good Gyro or shwarma or Falafel...

    For the gyro, go to Greek Town, about a mile west of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. There are lots of Greek restaurants there; for recommendations see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/119233

    For Middle Eastern cuisine near the Hyatt, go to Oasis Cafe. www.oasiscafe1.com

    >> And please add your personal choices for comfort food like hit and don´t miss.

    Two local specialties are our Italian beef sandwiches and Chicago-style hot dogs, which are often sold at the same places. For recommendations...

    Hot dogs:

    Italian beef:

    Chicago has several other kinds of moderately-priced cuisine you haven't mentioned, and which we do really well. I especially recommend our Mexican restaurants, which feature creative, provincial Mexican cuisine not often found in most other cities in the States, and our Thai restaurants, some of which have more authentic dishes than generally found elsewhere. For recommendations on these and other cuisines, see:




    French bistros:

    Upscale ethnic:

    Eastern European:




    Jewish Deli:



    Quintessential Chicago:

    Feel free to ask more questions, and enjoy your visit!

    4 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      Great choices I will print it... and read it carefully.

      Thank you very much.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        "If you are at McCormick Place and you want a cheap lunch, your best bet - heck, your ONLY really good bet that's walkable, and it's not even THAT close - is Chinatown, which is about 3/4 mile west of the convention center."

        DO NOT try to walk from McC Place to Chinatown. Take the bus if you don't want to cab it. ... but DO NOT attempt to walk it. ... enuff said

        1. re: citywayne

          There's no problem walking to Chinatown, even more so during the day. The entire neighborhood has changed quite a bit in recent years. Perhaps you haven't been in the area lately?

          1. re: nsxtasy

            You braver than I am ... I just drove down cermak towards MC place the other day and still am of the opinion that I would not chance the walk.
            ... but you are right, the neighborhood has been changing for the better in recent years ... but not enough to take chances IMO...

      2. Brazazz, at Dearborn and Grand downtown, offers a Brazilian steakhouse deal for $20 (all you can eat) at lunch. It's about $45 for roughly the same thing at dinner.

        1 Reply
        1. When it comes to Brazilian steakhouses, Fogo de Chao is the gold standard. Brazzazz may be cheaper, but it is a pale imitation.

          Banderas on Michigan Avenue is decent. I think it's owned by the same people who own Houston's.

          Another place on Michigan Avenue, one that's cheap, is Grand Lux Cafe. I think that one is part of the Cheesecake Factory family. The portions are too much, but the menu is pretty comprehensive, and the food isn't that bad for what one pays.

          If you want really cheap, in the Loop is Chicken Planet, located near Dearborn and Jackson.

          A great place for breakfast is Ceres, in the Board of Trade building, at La Salle and Jackson.

          1. Alright, the steak/falafel are hard cause I've never gotten one cheap. If you don't mind taking a little trip to the south side, there is this great breakfast place called Valois on 53rd and Harper that is amazing. And Pizza is pretty easy to find. You could try Giradano's or Edwardo's.

            1. I am taking notes thank you everyone for taking the time to post in this thread...

              1. One more recommendation for near McCormick Convention Center. If you're not in the mood for Chinese, head two block west and two blocks north to La Cantina (near 19th and Michigan) for some mexican food. It's fairly inexpensive and there's a little patio for eating outside if you'd like. I'd especially recommend the margaritas, at $6.95 they're a little pricy but they're huge and not shy on the tequila.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chriskoo

                  Mhhh sound good :)))))

                  Thanks for the Info....

                2. What about a good Chinese Restaurant...???