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Chicago Area

great budget dining experiences


Restaurants & Bars 3

great budget dining experiences

jbl | Dec 6, 2001 10:37 PM

to follow up on the cheapest meals post, the following generally budget dining options offer some of the best food and dining experiences in the city, combined with unusual atmosphere, imho--some of my categories are weak, though, and I'd love to hear some more suggestions...

Ribs: Lem's (enough said, there are so many posts on Lem's on this board already)

Vietnamese: Pho 777

Mexican: tacos at Maxwell street market; also la kermese in little village

japanese: sunshine cafe on clark and catalpa (prices have gone up a little but still a great familyish noodle place with sukiyaki to die for); also matsuya

middle eastern baked goods: ME bakery; pies, cabbage rolls, and lots of great smells

Swedish/Norwegian: Tre Kronor (not super cheap but very very good value); honorable mention--Svea

Belizean: flowers pot; great kingfish in curry and other delights--not super cheap but also a great value

ethiopian: ethiopian diamond on n. broadway, other new restaurants just south of this one, best in wrigleyville: ethio cafe

soul: gladys luncheonette has fantastic catfish

chinese: kim yen (chinese-vietnamese in chinatown with a really unusual chef's menu; things like chives in blood and all sorts of other unique dishes); honorable mention: mei shung (broadway/berwyn) and happy chef dim sum house for cheap dim sum

tapas: iberico is definitely the best value option, although tapas may be higher quality at other places

chili: Lindy's on archer and 37th

cuban food with great music and fun feeling: Rancho luna, peterson and kimball (food is maybe not so cheap but it's a lot of fun with music and dancing on the weekends)

pizza: chicago pizza and oven grinder on clark... not so budget but good

south indian: udupi palace

north indian: pakistani cab driver restaurants (zaiqa et al) and hema's kitchen (off devon)

filipino: fish pond

some worthwhile splurges (not cheap but worth a little extra):

le bouchon

i'd love feedback on these and some suggestions for other categories like polish, korean, thai, cajun/creole, italian, deli, ....

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