ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Must-Have Cheap Eats in Chicago

Updated on December 26, 2010

The Best Cheap Eats of Chicago

The best type of "Foodie" one could hope to be, I've discovered is a "Traveling Foodie." A Traveling Foodie is someone who travels all over the world in search of amazing foods. For those of us who don't have a job at the Travel Channel or own PJ's (Private Jets), I've created a hub to mimic the ultimate traveling for food experience!

And what better city to do this than in Chicago. Chicago is this wonderful sprawled-out multi-culture city that showcases a variety of cuisines all in one spot. It's a similar feeling to walking down New York's 5th avenue: Your head is spinning from trying to keep up with all the designers and fashion houses; Chanel, Prada, Saks Fifth, Hermes all crowded into one area! Chicago is the exact same, but with food: hand-made raviolis, Chinatown, French crepes, 26th Street (home to the multitude of taquerias) and many more!

So many cuisines and so little time!

Today, we are traveling to four very different countries to get our hands on authentic tastes without ever leaving our chairs! Hurry, our plane's about to take off!

Stop 1: Warsaw - Maxwell

Ladies and gentlemen, we've landed in Warsaw, Poland. This is not really an exaggerated statement considering the fact that Chicago boasts the highest population of Poles outside of Warsaw.

An absolute must-eat of Chicago is Original Maxwell Street Inc. Not only does this place smell like grilled onions from miles away, but it also attracts any and all nearby drunks, which can make for a very amusing evening. This is not a joke (I've never been to Maxwell without a drunkard in my presence!) The polish sausage is a mixture between a Polish Kielbasa and a hot dog. It's extremely cheap, extremely greasy, extremely delicious and best of all, every order comes with free fries.

Location: 3801 W Harrison St. Chicago, IL 60624

Price: $

What to order: Polish sausage with onions

Health: Heart-attack

Local Tip: Get the grape soda.

Stop 2. China - Joy Yee

Ok, the Chinatown doesn't have a Great Wall, but it does have a cool entrance with dragons! Explore Chinatown by sampling new sweets at the Chinese candy store and even venture into the "herb" store (watch your noses!) It's all in the same square as Joy Yee's. Joy Yee's is modern noodle place featuring dishes from Thailand, China, Korea and Vietnam. 4 countries in one is certainly a bargain.

They do have the good-ole' Chow Mein, but it's so much more fun to eat shrimp from inside a whole pineapple or eel from a bamboo pot!

Location: 2139 S. China Place Chicago, IL 60616

Price: $

What to order: Coconut Curry (It comes inside a whole coconut!)

Health: Stuffed

Local Tip: Leave room for the fresh fruit drinks. Try the avocado freeze drink!

My sorority sisters @ Joy Yee's
My sorority sisters @ Joy Yee's

Stop 3. Italy - Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co.

Next-a stop is-a Italia! Chicago is THE kingdom of the deep-dish, don't tell me you didn't anticipate pizza on this list! However, (as always) we're doing things with a twist.

Welcome to Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co. This place will take your Friday pizza and Bud-Light routine to a whole new level. Branch out and say hello to the pizza pot pie. The gem, no the 'gemma' of the establishment. It is a pizza that gets flipped upside down, inside-out. It's fantastically strange and delicious. Although the wait can be over an hour, the yummy cheesy gooey-ness keeps me zen in line. Coupled with a cold, draft beer, and I can't think of a better meal!

Location: 2121 N Clark St. Chicago, IL 60614

Price: $

What to order: Pizza pot-pie

Health: Stuffed

Local Tip: Order the Mediterranean Bread for an appetizer!

4. Puerto Rico - Borinquen

Vamanos a Puerto Rico! They are such a close neighbor after all, but we hardly visit! Borinquen Restaurant in Chicago is here to close that culture gap! Now remember, this is a down-home, no-frills kinda place, so don't expect decorations and muzak.

Their famous Jibarritos are to die for. The garlic, steak, garlic and garlic make the dish absolutely yumalicious. Yes, I made up a new word just to describe the essence of these steak Jibarritos. They come with arroz con gandules on the side, which are probably the best I've ever tasted in my entire life! You really can never go wrong with cheap eats.

Till next time then, when we "travel" around to new destinations seeking out more food gems!

Location: 1720 N California Ave Chicago, IL 60647

Price: $

What to order: Steak Jibarrito

Health: Full

Local Tip: For garlic-lovers only: Try the Mofongo

Where are these food destinations?

Original Maxwell:
3801 W Harrison St, Chicago, IL 60624, USA

get directions

Joy Yee:
2139 S China Pl, Chicago, IL 60616, USA

get directions

Chicago Pizza & Oven Grinder Co.:
2121 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614, USA

get directions

1720 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647, USA

get directions


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)