Deep-dish pizza. Chicago-style hot dogs. German sausages. Cans of Old Style. Chicago has a rep for hearty, no-frills food that’s more about being filling than fancy, but its culinary scene is a lot more diverse than you might think. Thriving Mexican restaurants mean fresh-made tortillas are never in short supply, it’s home to one of the best Chinatowns in the US, and it’s even home to Alinea—a restaurant that consistently ranks among the best in the world (and is just as hard to get a table at as you’d expect). But with all that and more to offer, the point is that you don’t need to break the bank when looking for quality Chicago restaurants, especially not with deals like these:
This smaller, more pared down version of the famed Au Cheval focuses on its big sister's cult favorite, and what many say is truly the best burger in Chicago. Possibly the shortest food menu in the city, it lists just three things: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and french fries.
Pro Tip: The drink menu is longer than the food menu, and lists pitchers of beer and the house special boozy punch.
Built by high-school sweethearts, the classic drive-in is clearly doing something right, because it's been a favorite of native Chicagoans since 1948. The Superdawg deviates from the classic Chicago-dog recipe in only one respect: it swaps out classic tomato for a slice of pickled green tomato, a unique touch you won't find anywhere else in the city making it well worth the trip.
Lao Sze Chuan has been serving up Chinese classes for over 20 years, but the one you’ve got to try is the Peking duck. Roasted until the skin develops an incredible crispy texture, it’s served with scallions, a sweet hoisin sauce, and delicate pancakes that you can wrap it all up in. Don’t worry though, after savoring the crispy skin and tender breast meat, the rest of the duck turns into duck fried rice and a delicious duck soup!
“We had the Peking duck which was excellent. I am not a big duck fan, but this duck was totally different meaty, juicy and the plum sauce was heavenly. The waitstaff was very attentive and patient.” – Rose M.
“The seven course duck dinner is fantastic! Quiet atmosphere and a beautiful view of the Magnificent Mile. Servers are wonderful and very attentive. Highly recommended.” – Joy N.
“Each of the 7 courses of the duck dinner was delicious. Lovely ambience, wonderful service and juicy Peking duck made it an amazing experience. I’d definitely go back again.” – Kathy P.
Part of Chicago’s vibrant Little Village neighborhood, this local taco joint is as unfussy as it is delicious. Attached to a grocery store, La Chaparrita serves all the classic tacos you’d expect from al pastor to lengua (or beef tongue). But the one most fans agree you can’t skip is the crispy tripa, which is a blend of crisp tripe topped with onion and cilantro.
Where better to sample what might just be the city’s most famous creation than it’s true birthplace? That’s right: Pizzeria Uno invented the iconic cheesy dish in 1943 and it and its sister location (Pizzeria Due) are still slinging slices today. Don’t let its towering height scare you off; we promise a few bites and you’ll be in heaven.
“Love as always, not my first time actually like my 10th!! Always a great experience, and I love bringing friends to enjoy it as well!!!” – Danielle G.
“Great consistent deep dish pizza!!! Excellent service and friendly professional staff!!” – Annette S.
“Cannot beat the food. Best pizza in town. Bring your pals, especially if you have visitors. Just be prepared for a good nap after.” – Ramona S.
“Pizza was great! we had a small deep dish and a personal thin, the thin was very crispy crust toppings and cheese were plentiful! delicious. We also got the cheese bread for an app, it was okay- save your appetite for the pizza :) atmosphere was small and cozy!” – Erica O.
Ramen is having a moment and the bowls of spicy, slurp-able soup are popping up all over, but Slurping Turtle is one of our favorites. Grab a spot at one of the long communal tables and order the tan tan men, which combines pork belly, meatballs, and miso pork with bean sprouts, bok choy, scallions, chili flakes, and sesame seeds. It’s a must-try.
It’s also a 4.5-star fave with our customers. See what they had to say:
“Ramen and Japanese whiskey!!! It was first time going and I loved it.” – TBLarnell
“Food was really good, first time I could almost finish a bowl of ramen broth and all. Had their green tea cream puff was really delicious . . . Will definitely go again.” – Ashley J.
“Great food! I had the Tan Tan Ramen and it was amazing! The noodles are made in house and you have your choice of wheat or rice noodles, which I great for anyone who is gluten free like me. . . . I will be going back here in the near future. Definitely recommend to anyone.” – Gina L.