City guides

Great value restaurants around Chicago

Popular Chicago photographer and videographer shares his favorite cheap Chicago restaurants by neighborhood.

February 2, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Jan 15
A salad bowl with various vegetables on a black table.

Popular Chicago photographer and videographer is known across soial media for his stunning photographs and his ability to capture truly authentic Chicago life. We say down with Jack to to chat about all things Chicago, including his favorite great value restaurants around the city.

1. What's your go-to great value restaurant in Chinatown?

Lao Sze Chuan

I live walking distance from Chinatown, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago. From the amazing food to the unique festivals to the frequent events, there’s always something to do in Chinatown. Lao Sze Chuan is my favorite Chinese restaurant in the whole city. My go to dish here is the beef fried rice which is only $11.95 and enough food for 2 to 3 meals. Pro tip- they give you an even bigger portion if you order your food to go.

2. What about on Chicago's East Side?

Tacos El Rey

Taco’s El Rey is one of the only restaurants serving Tijuana style tacos and food in Chicago. Their al pastor tacos are my favorite in the city- you can watch them be sliced fresh off the trompo in front of you! They also have a great selection of margaritas to check out! The restaurant has a beautiful outdoor patio that feels and looks like the backyard of a house. This is a great restaurant for a group dinner with friends or a casual date night.

3. Where would you go for a cheap meal in Bridgeport?


Ricobene’s is a Chicago staple restaurant which has been open in Bridgeport since 1946. They’re famous for their breaded steak sandwich which is what I get every single time I go. Ricobene’s has an extensive menu of Italian and American food. They even have a breaded steak pizza. It’s one of my favorite late night food spots in the city. The pricing is unbeatable- the breaded steak sandwich is only $7.79.

4. Where do you recommend in River North?

Quartino RIstorante

Quartino Ristorante is one of my favorite Italian restaurants with great value in Chicago. They have an extensive wine selection and great food deals. My go to dish here is the penne alla vodka which is only $12. I definitely recommend calling to make a reservation ahead of time because it can get pretty crowded here even on weekdays. They’re even opening a location in Texas soon too! Quartino is a great spot for a large group dinner since their menu is so massive!

5. What's your go-to restaurant in West Loop?

Trivoli Tavern

West Loop is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Chicago because it’s packed with fun and unique restaurants, bars, shops and more. Many of my favorite restaurants are here in West Loop. Trivoli Tavern is a cozy Italian restaurant with a beautiful interior and exterior. It’s a great spot for a date or a happy hour and dinner with friends. They have great happy hour deals every Monday through Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 pm like $6 wine! They also have great cocktails!


So there you have it! Five of Chicago's iconic neighborhoods with five great value restaurants for your next meal out. If you're looking for more fun things to do (and eat!) in Chicago be sure to check out our full Chicago City Guide.

*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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Jack is a 21 year old photographer and videographer living in Chicago in South Loop! He's passionate about traveling, eating at new restaurants and trying new things, all while sharing his experiences on social media. He loves taking photos and videos of the city and the amazing people there. His biggest goal as a content creator is to encourage other people to try new things and explore new places through his photography and videos.