Chicago is a city that's known for its vibrant food scene, with countless restaurants and eateries to choose from.
Whether you're a local or a visitor, finding the best affordable restaurants in the city can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of hidden gems that offer delicious food without breaking the bank.
From classic Chicago-style hot dogs to mouth-watering deep-dish pizza, the city is home to a variety of cuisines that won't cost you an arm and a leg.
Many of these affordable restaurants are located in the city's diverse neighborhoods, so you can try different cuisines from around the world without having to spend a fortune.
Whether you're looking for a quick bite or a sit-down meal, there's something for everyone. From casual diners to upscale restaurants, the city has a wide range of options that won't leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied.
In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at some of the best affordable restaurants in Chicago, so you can explore the city's food scene without breaking the bank.
1. Carnitas Uruapan Restaurant
Carnitas Uruapan Restaurant is a must-try for anyone looking for authentic Mexican food.
This affordable restaurant offers delicious carnitas and a variety of other flavorful dishes. The portions are generous, and the meat is tender and juicy.
The homemade chipotle salsa is a perfect match for the carnitas. The service is friendly and fast, making for a great dining experience.
Although the interior is simple, the food more than makes up for it. Highly recommended for anyone looking for a fantastic meal in a casual setting.
Cafecito is a Cuban restaurant that serves delicious and affordable food. The menu is full of comfort foods with a Cuban twist, from omelettes to sandwiches to full plates.
The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is chill. They also offer desserts and a variety of drink options, including Diet Pepsi.
The food is well-packaged and hot, making it a great option for takeout. The Cubano sandwich and black bean soup are highly recommended.
Parking is available nearby. Cafecito is definitely worth checking out for a quick and tasty bite to eat.
3. Aloha Eats
Looking for affordable Hawaiian food that will transport you to the islands without breaking the bank, then Aloha Eats is the place to be.
This cozy eatery offers a variety of dishes ranging from Spam musubi to BBQ teriyaki chicken.
The portions are generous, and the staff is friendly. The menu has a lot of interesting items, so there's always something new to try.
If you're in the mood for comfort food, then Aloha Eats is the spot for you.
4. Palace Grill Restaurant
Palace Grill Restaurant is a classic diner that has been serving delicious food since 1938.
The menu is not overwhelmingly long, but it has something for everyone. The portions are generous, the prices are affordable, and the service is excellent.
The owner, George, walks around the dining room and talks to his customers, which adds to the welcoming community feel.
The restaurant is decorated with Blackhawks memorabilia, which adds to the fun atmosphere. Palace Grill Restaurant is a must-visit for anyone looking for a great breakfast or brunch spot in Chicago.
5. Taza Cafe
Taza Cafe is a must-visit Mediterranean restaurant with excellent customer service and affordable prices.
The restaurant offers classic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes in a modern counter-serve space with limited seating. The food is fresh, delicious, and generously portioned.
The falafel is a must-try dish, and the chicken shawarma sandwich is filling and flavorful. Even the fries are unique and tasty.
The staff is friendly and welcoming, making the dining experience enjoyable. Taza Cafe is an excellent option for those looking for a delicious and affordable meal in the city.
6. Aloha Wagon
Aloha Wagon is a Hawaiian restaurant that offers amazing food at affordable prices. The portions are large and the flavors are delicious.
The staff is friendly and accommodating, making the dining experience a pleasant one.
The menu includes both meat and plant-based options, making it suitable for everyone. The restaurant is cozy and welcoming, and the island music adds to the ambiance.
Aloha Wagon is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for delicious and affordable Hawaiian food.
7. Redhot Ranch
Redhot Ranch is a no-frills spot that serves up some of the best burgers and fries in town.
Their smash-style burgers are full of flavor and come with an excellent crust that is complemented by all the melted cheese. The fresh-cut fries are a must-try and are cooked to perfection.
The menu is simple and offers burgers, hot dogs, fried shrimp, shakes, sodas, and fries. The staff is friendly, and the service is quick.
The prices are affordable, making it an excellent spot for a quick and delicious meal. Redhot Ranch is a must-visit for burger and fry lovers.
8. Bayan Ko
Bayan Ko is a Filipino-Cuban fusion restaurant that offers creative and delicious dishes at an affordable price.
The staff is attentive and friendly, making the dining experience enjoyable.
The outdoor seating area provides a relaxing atmosphere in a great neighborhood.
BYOB is only $5, making it a great spot for a casual night out with friends. With a variety of options on the menu, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
9. BIBIBOP Asian Grill
BIBIBOP Asian Grill is a casual and modern Asian counter-serve restaurant that serves up customizable rice bowls inspired by the Korean dish bibimbap.
The restaurant offers a variety of fresh vegetables, flavorful beef, and a selection of sauces to choose from. Their purple rice selection is an added bonus.
BIBIBOP Asian Grill is a great option for those seeking a healthy and affordable meal. They have gluten-free and vegetarian options available.
The customer service is good and the restaurant is well-kept. All in all, BIBIBOP Asian Grill is a great place to grab a quick and delicious bite.
10. Los 3 Panchos
Los 3 Panchos is an affordable Mexican restaurant that serves up delicious food quickly and with great service.
The menu offers a variety of options that are all reasonably priced and made-to-order. The steak is highly recommended and the portions are generous.
This is a great spot for a quick lunch or a late night bite. The no-frills setting and counter service make for a casual dining experience.
If you're in the mood for authentic Mexican food that won't break the bank, Los 3 Panchos is definitely worth checking out.
11. Chicago Lunchbox
Chicago Lunchbox is an affordable Asian fusion restaurant that offers delicious rice boxes and sandwiches.
The food is consistently good, and the portions are reasonable for the price. The staff is friendly and provides quick service, making it a perfect spot for a lunch break.
The menu is simple, with only four protein options, but each can be customized in multiple ways. The restaurant is a popular choice for takeout, and the food is always prepared fresh.
If you're looking for tasty and affordable Asian fusion food in the city, Chicago Lunchbox is definitely worth a visit.
12. Oasis Cafe
Oasis Cafe is a hidden gem in the heart of the city.
Tucked away in the back of a jewelry store, this affordable Mediterranean restaurant offers fresh, made-to-order food that is both authentic and delicious.
The portions are generous and the prices are unbeatable, making it a great lunch spot for those on a budget.
The falafel sandwich and chicken shawarma plate are highly recommended. Despite its location, the service is quick and friendly. Don't miss out on this solid lunch spot in the Loop.
13. Osaka Sushi & Fresh Fruit Smoothies
Osaka Sushi & Fresh Fruit Smoothies is a counter-serve restaurant that offers a variety of affordable sushi options and fresh fruit smoothies.
The sushi is always fresh and has a unique spin on it with a wide range of variety.
The smoothies are outstanding, too. The atmosphere is peaceful, and the staff is friendly. It's a great option for a quick bite to eat if you're in the area.
The restaurant also offers takeout and delivery, making it a convenient option for those on the go.
14. BienMeSabe Venezuelan Arepa Bar
BienMeSabe Venezuelan Arepa Bar is an affordable restaurant that offers authentic and delicious Latin food from Venezuela.
The staff is friendly and attentive, and the ambiance is welcoming for families. The menu features arepas, empanadas, plantains, and more traditional Venezuelan dishes.
The food is made from scratch and is hot, fresh, and flavorful. The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable.
This restaurant is a great option for those looking for a tasty and affordable meal in a casual setting.