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May 16, 2009 10:48 PM

Inexpensive places around Grant Park

I will be traveling to Chicago with a friend in August for Lollapalooza. We will be staying across from Grant park (without a car) and would love to hear any suggestions for good, cheap food (less that $20 per person) in the area. We will be there for five days.

We would also love to try deep dish pizza while were there, so any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. That area is not known for cheap eats (anyway, cheap good eats...there are plenty of sandwich shops in the area) but Chinatown is only a few stops on the Red Line to the south and the Red Line headed north will take you to just about any kind of food that you like. Take it north to Argyle for great and cheap Vietnamese, for instance.

    You will be about a 10 minute walk (a bit more, actually) from Uno and Due for deep dish pizza. Just walk north on Michigan to Ontario, take a left and you're there.

    Some other good deals are Duke of Perth on Clark near Surf (take the 22 bus on Dearborn north), where on Wed. and Fri. you can get all you can eat fish and chips for about $12, one of the best deals in town. A bit further north, near Wrigley Field, is a Japanese restaurant called Mitsuya. $12 or so for a four-course combo platter.

    Near Uno (Ohio and Wabash) is Heaven on Seven. It's upstairs in the movie building. $12 will get you gumbo and a shrimp poboy with fries.

    There are a lot of threads here about cheap eats, buffets and the like. You can search or just browse for a while. There are tons of places that will feed you well for under $20.

    1. For deep-dish pizza, I recommend Pizano's on Madison ( ), which is right across the street from the park, rather than trekking up to Uno and Due (over 1/2 mile). The pizza is similar to Uno's, which is not a coincidence; Pizano's was founded by Rudy Malnati Jr., whose father played a lead role in the early decades of Uno and Due. (Uno and Due are fine if you happen to be that far north though!) Phone ahead with your pizza order to avoid waiting 30-45 minutes while seated for your pizza to bake.

      I would start with Pizano's. If, after that, you would like to try Chicago's other common style of deep-dish pizza, the double-crust "stuffed" pizza, Giordano's has a location in the Prudential building, just north of the park.

      Park Grill, at the entrance to Millennium Park (at Grant Park's north end), does a great burger which won't break the bank.

      Oasis Cafe has cheap Middle Eastern food.

      Heaven on Seven has a location on Wabash, a block from Grant Park, for their Cajun food for breakfast and lunch. It's not usually open for dinner, though, at which time you'll need to travel to their other location mentioned above.

      Greek Town is a mile west and the restaurants there are inexpensive. For recommendations see

      For breakfast, go to Bongo Room at Congress and Wabash, for their creative pancakes.

      You'll find inexpensive recommendations in the "lunching in the Loop" discussion at

      You'll also find lots of recommendations for "cheap eats" near Grant Park in the discussion at If you're willing to take public transportation, that topic also contains directions on how to get to neighborhoods with concentrations of Chinese, Mexican, Vietnamese, and Indian/Pakistani foods.

      Another tip - You can often eat inexpensively by going out for lunch, when prices are lower, rather than dinner; you can eat at lots of nicer restaurants at lunchtime for under $20.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        I mis-typed the location of Bongo Room in my post above. It's actually at ROOSEVELT and Wabash. Sorry!

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Does Oasis Cafe still have that strange location of being situated behind jewelry counters?

        2. A couple of places to search for here, easily walkable from the Lollapalooza venue in south Grant Park:

          Calecito (for Cuban sandwiches and black bean soup)
          Chicago Curry House (for the curries and Nepalese specialties)\
          Epic Burger (for tasty smash burgers)
          Hackneys (for tasty non-smash burgers and a beer).
          Lou Malnattis (at around 8th and State) for deep-dish pizza.
          Edwardos for stuffed pizza.
          Next to Hackney's on Dearborn by the way, is an independent taco place that I haven/t yet tried.
          Canady's (on Wabash) for gelati
          Panozzo's at around 13th and Michigan for take-out subs.

          As suggested above, for other cheap venues, master the subway system.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jbw

            How far south is the Lollapalooza venue? If it's further south than Congress, stick with jbw's recommendation of Lou Malnati's for pizza and scratch my previous Pizano's recommendation. (Like Pizano's, Lou Malnati was founded by another son of Rudy Malnati Sr.) In fact, if it's that far south, stick with the rest of jbw's recommendations too; mine (other than Bongo Room) are clustered near the north end of Grant Park (and those River North recommendations like Uno/Due and the Rush St HO7 are even further).

          2. Forgot one that's rarely mentioned here, but is certainly a cheap option (particularly if you want to eat out in the park, since indoor dining there is formica-minimal);

            Harold's Chicken Shack around 600 south Wabash (best fried chicken in the immediate area)

            1. thanks everyone for all the help! we will definitely try your suggestions

              1 Reply
              1. re: oceansize17

                One thing that nobody's mentioned is that Lollapalooza tends to have some pretty good local choices on-site. It will come in handy if you don't want to leave the venue. Here's an article about last year's choices: