Slideshow: 32 Cheap Eats We Love in Lakeview

Saigon Classic Bánh Mì at Bánh Mì & Co. ($4.85)
Saigon Classic Bánh Mì at Bánh Mì & Co. ($4.85)
"Whereas the bread on most sandwiches is at most a complimentary support system and at least a vehicle through which to ingest a bunch of meat and vegetables without using utensils, the baguettes at Bánh Mì & Co. are the star of the sandwich. Individually warmed after ordering, they come out with a reinforced crackly crust. Order the Saigon Classic ($4.85), and the baguette comes stuffed with ham, thinly sliced headcheese, soft pork roll, and salty, unctuous liver pate. The usual cilantro, jalapeño, mayo, and pickled carrots and dikon appear as well, though the latter are shaved, so their sweetness plays a bigger role than their crunchiness." Read more here >>

Bánh Mì & Co., 3141 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-754-5545; banhmiandco.com‎

[Photograph: Lindsey Becker]

Jumbo Dog at Byron's Hot Dog Haus ($3.89)
Jumbo Dog at Byron's Hot Dog Haus ($3.89)
"Without a doubt, the Jumbo dog is messy and out of control, but it's also kind of impossible to hate. Though skinless, the Jumbo brings along an extra beefy profile, standing up admirably to the cool mix of ingredients. Sure, the bun will collapse halfway through, but that's a small price to pay for a hot dog that balances the cool and crunchy with the savory so well." Read more here >>

Byron's Hot Dog Haus, 1017 West Irving Park Road, Chicago, IL 60613 (map); 773-281-7474; byronshd.com

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Calamari
Calamari "Federal Hill" Style from Fish Bar ($6.00)
"The Calamari at Fish Bar in Lakeview are exemplary. The dish is prepared 'Federal Hill,' Rhode Island-style, which apparently means breaded, deep fried, and tossed after the fact with picked banana pepper rings, jalapeño slices, and sliced garlic, with a light grating of Parmesan cheese and some chopped parsley sprinkled on top. The pickled components add a kick alongside the richness of the nicely seasoned breading and brininess of the squid, while also lending a welcome textural contrast to the squid's as-to-be-expected chewiness." Read more here >>

Fish Bar, 2956 N Sheffield Avenue Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-687-8177; fishbarchicago.com

[Photograph: Joe Roy]

Saigon Classic Special at Bun Mi Express ($4.85)
Saigon Classic Special at Bun Mi Express ($4.85)
"Like all great versions of the Vietnamese sandwich, the Saigon Classic Special ($4.85) is carefully proportioned. The bread is crackly and airy, so that it holds the ingredients without getting in the way. There's a great balance of pickled vegetables to meat, so the pleasing funk of the headcheese gets cut by the acidic carrots." Read more here >>

Bun Mi Express, 3409 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-661-2228; bunmiexpress.com‎

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Red Hot at Murphy's Red Hots
Red Hot at Murphy's Red Hots
"Most of the time I'm after one thing and one thing only: a red hot($3.49). Here that entails a natural casing hot dog from Vienna Beef, either steamed or charred, stuffed into a fluffy poppy-seed bun, and loaded with all the Chicago-style essentials (click here if you need the run down). Besides the presence of the thick-cut cucumber slices that you can easily flick off, this is a flawless Chicago Dog, made all the more wonderful by an extra pillowy bun." Read more here >>

Murphy's Red Hots, 1211 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-935-2882; murphysredhots.com

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Seoul Sassy at Crisp ($8.95, half)
Seoul Sassy at Crisp ($8.95, half)
"Seoul Sassy is a seemingly mild soy, ginger, and garlic based sauce, until you get a few bites in and the heat and sweetness that have been lingering in the back move to the forefront. However, these competing tastes never completely overpower the subtly spiced chicken, a balancing act that most similar sauces fail to accomplish." Read more here >>

Crisp, 2940 N Broadway Street Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-697-7610; crisponline.com

[Photograph: Joe Roy]

Tod Mun Pla at Tac Quick ($6.50)
Tod Mun Pla at Tac Quick ($6.50)
"It's hard to believe that one of the best Thai restaurants in all of Chicago resides on a quiet street less than a half a mile north of Wrigley Field. Not that I'm complaining. Sure, Tod Mun Pla ($6.50), a fried ground fish and chili paste mixture, may not be your traditional game day snack, but it translates surprisingly well. The crisp hunks come with a killer dipping sauce, which manages to be tart, funky, and spicy. Chicken tenders never looked so tame. Of course, just about every other dish on the 'secret menu'—make sure to ask for it—is worth ordering." Read more here >>

Tac Quick, 3930 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, Illinois 60613 (map); 773-327-5253; tacquick.net‎

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Italian beef at Hot Diggity Dogs ($5.25)
Italian beef at Hot Diggity Dogs ($5.25)
"Though counted as one of Chicago's iconic sandwiches, the Italian beef doesn't get much love around town, with most places holding the beef in the gravy for hours on end, resulting in dry and stringy meat. But here the thinly sliced roast beef isn't introduced to the gravy until after the order is placed, resulting in shards that still pack an impressive beefy punch. With a fresh Turano roll and crunchy giardiniera, only the thin gravy keeps this from being a serious contender for one of the best beefs in town." Read more here >>

Hot Diggity Dogs, 947 West Wellington Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-472-5446

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Pate and Pork Bánh Mì at Nhu Lan's Saigon Subs ($3.95)
Pate and Pork Bánh Mì at Nhu Lan's Saigon Subs ($3.95)
"The menu at Saigon Subs is essentially the same as at the original, but they've tweaked my standard order, the pâté and pork roll ($3.95), just a bit; now the sandwich includes slices of pork roll that are a little bit thicker and fried, which makes it feel more substantial. The meat is tucked into a freshly baked baguette that's soft inside with a crunchy crust, and topped with pickled daikon and carrots, cucumber spears, jalapeño coins, a couple sprigs of cilantro, and a slather of mayonnaise. The combination is simple but nicely balanced between the acidic pickles, spicy peppers, and salty pâté." Read more here >>

Nhu Lan's Saigon Subs, 604 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-857-6868; nhulansbakery.com

[Photograph: Amy Cavanaugh]

Ziggy's Ham Sandwich at Dinkel's Cafe ($7.50)
Ziggy's Ham Sandwich at Dinkel's Cafe ($7.50)
"Using quality ingredients is just one part of a great sandwich experience, but if the sandwich in question also happens to be well made and proportioned, those quality ingredients start to work some real magic. Pardon me as I sing the praises of this ham. Oh, the ham! I'm having a hard time remembering ham I've loved this much. It's thickly cut, salty, and still juicy—miles away from the thin and slimy cold cuts I'm used to. All it needs is a smear of some potent mustard, and it's good to go." Read more here >>

Dinkel's Bakery, 3329 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-281-7300; dinkels.com‎

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Gino's Special at Panino's ($7.95)
Gino's Special at Panino's ($7.95)
"I have tried a few of the twenty odd options on the menu, but the one that sticks out is Gino's Special. Between two thick pieces of focaccia bread baked with sun dried tomatoes lies layers of fresh mozzarella, thin-sliced prosciutto, basil, and, what every Italian dish needs, extra virgin olive oil. When you order this sandwich, you have the choice of them transforming it into a panini or a tostino; go for the latter. They don't put it in a panini press, but they toast it slightly on the grill so there's a light crust on the focaccia, while it still has a soft and chewy interior." Read more here >>

Panino's, 3702 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60613 (map); 773 472 6200; paninospizzeria.com

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

Turkey and Cheese from Lucky's Sandwich Co. ($7.50)
Turkey and Cheese from Lucky's Sandwich Co. ($7.50)
"The whole fries-in-the-sandwich thing has been done before, but I became more interested in the other elements. The turkey and cheese were thinly sliced and flavorful, while a pile of acidic coleslaw helped cut through the fat. It was all housed in some remarkable thick cut bread, which stood up to the weight of the fillings without buckling. About those fries: Though the creamy texture of the fresh fries made for an interesting few bites, I eventually pulled them all off. I am glad I did. This is a serious sandwich that deserves a little more attention—no eating challenge required." Read more here >>

Lucky's Sandwich Co‎, 3472 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-549-0665; luckysandwich.com‎

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Adana Sandwich at Cafe Orchid ($6.95)
Adana Sandwich at Cafe Orchid ($6.95)
"Sharing the name of Turkey's fourth-largest city (thank you, Mr. Interweb), the Adana sandwich ($6.95 with fries) features a ground lamb kebab slightly charred on the grill wrapped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, love, and homemade lavash bread—but mostly love. The meat is tender, bursting with garlic, salt, and paprika—slightly reminiscent of cevapi or Romanian mititei. Red pepper flakes give it a kick, but there's homemade cacik (like Turkish tzatziki) to cool it down. Word to the wise, though, it's served wrapped in foil for a reason. Resist the very messy urge to disrobe it." Read more here >>

Cafe Orchid, 1746 W. Addison Ave, Chicago, IL 60613 (map); (773)327-3808; cafeorchid.com

[Photograph: Josh Conely]

Burger at DMK ($9)
Burger at DMK ($9)
"There are nine beef burgers to choose from at DMK, ranging in complexity from a basic cheeseburger to ones like the roasted hatch green chile, fried egg, bacon and Sonoma Jack cheeseburger pictured above. The patties are five ounces apiece and are griddled to medium well. Thin burgers made from grass fed beef cooked that long are obviously not going to be dripping with juice, but these things come with a very nice crust and are loaded with flavor." Read more here >>

DMK Burger Bar, 2954 N Sheffield Avenue Chicago, IL 60614 (map); 773-360-8686; dmkburgerbar.com

[Photograph: Daniel Zemans]

Sweet Potato Tempura Roll at New Tokyo ($4.50)
Sweet Potato Tempura Roll at New Tokyo ($4.50)
"The sweet potato tempura roll ($4.50) was easily my favorite of the bunch. Tempura-frying seems to bring the best out of this vegetable, leaving the center soft, starchy, and brown-sugar sweet, while also encasing it in a satisfyingly crunchy armor. A dab of soy sauce added a nice savory contrast." Read more here >>

New Tokyo, 3139 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 60626 (map); 773-248-1193; chicagonewtokyo.com

[Photograph: Roger Kamholz]

Kao Soy at Andy's Thai Kitchen ($8.50)
Kao Soy at Andy's Thai Kitchen ($8.50)
"This is a mesmerizing Thai curry with egg noodles, chicken, onion, sour mustard, crushed peanuts, and lime. Perched atop the curry is a nest of crispy egg noodles... I would drink this broth on my walk to work every morning this winter if I could, with its fortifying and invigorating balance of heat, coconut sweetness, and underlying nuttiness. I loved the fresh punch of the red onion and the tenderness of the curry-laced chicken." Read more here >>

Andy's Thai Kitchen, 946 West Wellington Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-549-7821
andysthaikitchen.com

[Photograph: Roger Kamholz]

Slice at Art of Pizza ($3.42)
Slice at Art of Pizza ($3.42)
A whole stuffed pie at Art of Pizza will set you back more than $10, but the restaurant also offers pizza by the slice. Unlike New York slices, which make for good snacks, one of these bad boys will likely fill you up, especially if you get some sausage on it. Though you should also know that slices occasionally sit out too long, so be careful. Read more here >>

Art of Pizza, 3033 N Ashland, Chicago IL 60657 (map); 773-327-5600

[Photograph: Daniel Zemans]

Fafafel Bowl at Falafill ($7.95)
Fafafel Bowl at Falafill ($7.95)
When Sarah Grueneberg put together her list of favorite restaurants in her neighborhood of Lakeview, she made sure to include Falafill: "I usually get the falafel bowl, and you can add toppings to it from the bar." Read more here >>

Falafill, 3202 North Broadway Street Chicago, IL 60657 (map); (773) 525-0052; eatfalafill.com

[Photograph: Amy Cavanaugh]

Empanadas at 5411 Empanadas ($2.25)
Empanadas at 5411 Empanadas ($2.25)
Used to be if you wanted one of 5411 Empanadas', you had to wait around until its truck decided to roll around. But now with a storefront along Clark, you can stop by for a quick snack any time you'd like. It's hard to pick a favorite, but when we interviewed owner Nicolas Ibarzabel, he was able to pick one: "My favorite is ham and cheese. It sounds very simple, but it's actually very surprising...Here in the United States, we have found that people don't tend to order the ham and cheese. But when they do order it for the first time, they cannot stop. It's actually very unique." Read more here >>

5411 Empanadas, 2850 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 312-972-5411; 5411empanadas.com

[Photographs: Carol Hilker]

The Blue Pig & Fig at Pastoral ($9.57)
The Blue Pig & Fig at Pastoral ($9.57)
"The hearty sandwich features a combination of Jamon Serrano, Ader Kase blue cheese, local fig and black tea preserves, whole grain Dijon mustard, and crisp field greens between a soft, yet crispy baguette. As someone who is not usually a blue cheese fan, I was happily surprised to see how perfectly the salted meats went with the even sweetness of the fig and the black tea preserve, plus the tang of the mustard. The Ader blue cheese sneaks right in there without making your nose wrinkle, bringing the whole flavor together in a truly unexpected way." Read more here >>

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine, 2945 North Broadway Street, Chicago, IL 60657 (map);773-472-4781; pastoralartisan.com‎

[Photograph: Carol Hilker]

The Muenster Mash at Chicago Bagel Authority ($6.75)
The Muenster Mash at Chicago Bagel Authority ($6.75)
"The The Muenster Mash is a seemingly simple combination of muenster cheese, chicken salad, and green pepper on an everything bagel. But this chicken salad is unlike any I've had before. Truly a mash up of cheese, nearly pulverized chicken, and a dill-heavy combination of herbs and garlic, this zesty mop sits on a paper-thin slice of fresh green pepper that adds the necessary crunch missing from a steamed bagel." Read more here >>

Chicago Bagel Authority, 955 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-549-1982; chicagobagelauthority.com

[Photograph: Lindsey Becker]

Booty Call at Baladoché ($5.47)
Booty Call at Baladoché ($5.47)
"Turns out Belgian waffles are downright practical as street food. In fact, the Booty Call ($5.47) comes in a handy carrying case, so you can eat and walk without even having to worry about getting your hands sticky. Crisp on the outside, slightly chewy, but still very tender, the waffles here are unlike any that I've tried before. Though rolled around in a box of cinnamon sugar—I still don't know why this is called a Booty Call—the flavor of the waffle still carries the most weight." Read more here >>

Baladoché, 2905 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-880-5090; baladoche.com

[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Signature Sunset Ice Cream at Bobtail Ice Cream Company ($3.19)
Signature Sunset Ice Cream at Bobtail Ice Cream Company ($3.19)
"One of a handful of always available flavors at this Lakeview ice cream shop, Signature Sunset is a genius combination of Merlot ice cream and dark chocolate chips. Just like the real thing, the Merlot base carries hints of berries and plums that provides a strong backdrop to the shards of premium dark chocolate, making for one variation of red wine that you'll want to devour all summer long." Read more here >>

Bobtail‎, 2951 North Broadway Street, Chicago, IL 60657 (map); 773-880-7372; bobtailicecream.com‎

[Photograph: Lindsey Becker]

Grace's Caramel Bar at Sensational Bites
Grace's Caramel Bar at Sensational Bites
"Grace's Caramel Bar ($3.25) from Sensational Bites provides a hefty vehicle for sugar consumption. Chewy caramel, chocolate chips, and walnuts are sandwiched between layers of chocolate that's a textural mix of cake and brownie. With caramel literally oozing out of cracks in the chocolate, this bar begs to be stickily pulled apart and eaten with a steaming cup of coffee or tea on a chilly fall day." Read more here >>

Sensational Bites, 3751 N Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60613 (map); 773-248-2271; sensationalbites.com/

[Photograph: Lindsey Becker]