Last month, we took a look at the affordable options in Humboldt Park, so it feels natural to move directly east to see what's available in West Town. That's a lot to cover, and know that this list could have been twice as long, but instead of simply adding in every good dish in the area, we decided to strip the list down to 12 genuinely great options.
'cheap eats' on Serious Eats
This large neighborhood is probably best known for its Puerto Rican community and as the birthplace of the jibarito. But there is much more to explore in Humboldt Park.
It's no secret that the neighborhoods of Lincoln Square and Ravenswood are stuffed with enticing options, but what is most exciting is the variety. Here you'll find old school German joints, cozy neighborhood gems, and perhaps the city's highest concentration of great Thai restaurants.
Sticking under the $10 mark helped narrow the list down to the truly cheap, and I think it is better for it. These are the dishes to look for in Chinatown if you are really looking for a bargain.
Pilsen is best known as the cultural center of Chicago's Mexican population, which partly explains why it contains the most diverse and delicious collection of Mexican restaurants in the city, from beloved old-school institutions like Nuevo Leon to trendy new spots like Del Toro.
Of all the Cheap Eats guides I've put together, this was easily the most personal. I've lived in Logan Square for the past five years, so I feel like I've amassed some serious first hand knowledge of the affordable options.
Whether you're looking for tacos, hot dogs, or Latin American/Korean fusion, Bucktown has so much to offer.
Wicker Park is home to a satisfying mix of cuisines, including established stalwarts and an ever expanding list of new projects. Luckily, many of the places are focused on serving the neighborhood, meaning that finding a stunning, and affordable, meal is easy.
From hand pulled noodles doused in a savory sesame paste sauce, to a bowl of Chinese bacon and smoked peppers, to tender Afghan mantoo dumplings, Chinatown's offerings go far beyond the wide ranging variety of Chinese cuisines. Thai, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Middle Eastern restaurants all hold court here.
We don't want to get all hyperbolic, but we're unsure if any other neighborhood equals Lakeview in the quantity and diversity of its cheap eats. Sure, the Chicago classics are covered, including some of the best examples of burgers, hot dogs, and pizza in the city. But what we love the is the mix of new and old.
What we love about the best cheap eats in Lincoln Park is that there is an appealing mix of old school joints and new concepts hungry to win over the crowds.
River North, the neighborhood just north of the Chicago River, has no shortage of exceptional restaurants. But eating cheaply here is a totally different prospect, one that requires planning and some serious detective skills.
There's no end to great places to eat near NYU, which covers several of the city's best eating neighborhoods. New to town, broke, and hungry? Take a peep for some can't-miss bites to get you through class.
Being one of the busiest tube stations and main tourist attractions in London means that the restaurant space around Leicester Square is, inevitably, snapped up by big rich chains with cash available to them. Two Aberdeen Angus Steakhouses flank the Square, with Strada, Garfunkels, McDonald's and KFC by their sides. For something decent to eat and so you don't feel like you've been wheeled in and churned out, you need to look a little harder. Here are our top five picks.
You can get a full meal for two or three people at Yummy Noodle for $7 to $10. But the best part of the clay pot rice dishes? You get to keep the clay pot, but only if you take your food to go.
There's a game I like to play from time to time in this city: find something so completely foreign to me that I have to see it with my own eyes to believe it's really in New York. This round set me on the trail of New York's Indian taxi drivers and the places they go to eat between fares.
The dazzling array of neon-colored, silver-laced Indian sweets, or mithai, is yours for the taking in Jackson Heights!
Over an hour from Manhattan by subway and a light year away in atmosphere, Brighton Beach is a jackpot for adventurous food field-trippers. Markets and restaurants offer a greatest-hits list of Russian cuisine—smoked fish and meats, soups, blintzes, caviar, dumplings, pickled vegetables, slaws, rye breads, pastries, and so much more—often at mind-bogglingly low prices.
It's hard not to love doubles, the handheld street snack that's as ubiquitous in Trinidad and Tobago as hot dogs are in New York: they're cheap, filling, healthyish, and open to plenty of recipe improvisation at the hands of skilled street vendors. Doubles are a sandwich consisting of two pieces (hence the name) of fried turmeric-spiked quick bread called bara and a filling of curried channa, or chickpeas, optimally laced with shado beni, a West Indian herb that's a stronger cousin to cilantro. Toppings include a vinegary Scotch Bonnet-infused hot sauce and tamarind chutney, and the harder to find (but equally delicious) cucumber or mango chutneys.