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Jun 18, 2012 03:02 PM

what are your 10 favorite cheap(less that $10) breakfast, lunch, dinner and "4th meal/snack" places

Im on the hunt for inexpensive edible gems. And rather than delicious dives that reward the less squeamish in terms of dingy atmosphere, Id love a place that offers a touch of ambience - clean and inviting is enough. Funny owners, memorable staff is always a plus. Im an out of towner so forgive me if I seem like I don't know the city(cuz i dont)


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  1. Breakfast Burrito at the Burrito Buggy (no ambience - just be happy for no health code violations).
    Breakfast sandwich at Hannah's Bretzel (lunch sandwiches are also good, but they're starting to price themselves out of business).
    Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner at Cafecito (I love this place).

    1. Oasis Cafe on Wabash in the Loop - I know it has become trite but I do enjoy breakfast or lunch at Potbelly's

      1 Reply
      1. re: weinstein5

        I second the very well-named Oasis. In the heart of the Loop, it has daily lunches well under $10, more like $7. It's in the rear of a jewelry mall at 21 N Wabash. Home-cooked style Middle Eastern food at dirt-cheap prices. Another suggestion, Mei Shung, 5511 N Broadway at Catalpa has unusually good Chinese food with lunches priced around $7, a great neighborhood favorite. And again: Reza's, either N Clark or W Ontario, has an all-you-can-eat Persian buffet lunch for $10, pleasant and cheery surroundings. In the expensive Mag Mile area, don't laugh, Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Allspice Cafe at lunchtime on weekdays has all its chef stations open and food is decent and within the budget you stated---public is welcome---hospital fills block between Huron, Erie, St Clair, and Fairbanks (1 block off Michigan and right behind Apple). Go to 2nd floor and ask people.

      2. Best soup as a meal:
        Xoco: River North
        Pork Belly Vermicelli (Fideos): Crispy-tender pork belly, toasty-tender noodles, woodland mushrooms, zucchini, avocado, salsa negra   $12.00

        Best sandwich for the dollar:
        Frontera Fresco: (Macy's on State)
        Grilled Steak Chipotle-rubbed steak, Chihuahua cheese, cilantro chimichurri, poblano rajas, black beans, wild argula and avocado $8.95

        Best huge deli sandwich:
        Perry's (Loop)
        The Ormand Street Special
        our thinly sliced lean tender corned beef and rare juicy roast beef covered with coleslaw, sliced tomato, Muenster cheese, and Russian dressing

        Pierogi: (Loop
        )Meat, cheese, kielbasa, etc.

        1. Thanks guys - Ill let you know what the final selects are and how they faired

          1. And don't forget the Polish smorgasbords which, for weekday lunch, cost around $10 for a gargantuan amount of all-you-can-eat food. Look online for locations and details but two good ones are 1) The Red Apple and 2) Staropolska.

            Another idea is the excellent small Thai places all over town. I like Thai Pastry on N Broadway but there must be 100 other good ones where a meal costs <$10.

            And again: go up to Devon Avenue running west of Western Avenue for a few blocks---dozens of Indian and Pakistani restaurants offer an all-you-can eat lunch buffet for <$10. My favorite is Viceroy of India.

            Send word if you need directions to any of these or google CTA Chicago for bus/subway. If you get out of downtown you can eat yourself into a coma for $10.