After exploring cheap eats in Pilsen and Chinatown, it's time to head up to the North Side. It's no secret that the neighborhoods of Lincoln Square and Ravenswood (more on why I paired the two together below) 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.
Once again I set the cheap eat limit at $10 a dish, though I felt it necessary to make one exception (hopefully you'll forgive me). Even with the self-imposed limit, I was able to track down an incredible number of options, even if I did have a frustrating time figuring out what was in the neighborhood and what wasn't.
Why combine Lincoln Square and Ravenswood?
I'd always assumed Lincoln Square was large neighborhood, but take a look at the boundaries Google Maps draws:
So small! If that's the case, then most of what I've always referred to as Lincoln Square, namely the Lincoln Ave. south of W. Lawrence, isn't actually part of the neighborhood. Google Maps calls that Ravenswood, as do a few other sources. To make matter more confusing, both neighborhoods are apart of the official community area known as... Lincoln Square. Blah. Instead of worrying too much, I just gave up and decided to use both names. Hopefully that's not too confusing.
Check them all out by clicking on the slideshow, or take a look at the whole list below.
- Chicken Tortilla Soup at Garcia's Restaurant
- Chubby Dog at Chubby Wieners
- Kai Tod at Rainbow Cuisine
- Fried Wide Rice Noodles with Chicken and Eggs at Rosded
- Naem Khao Thawt at Spoon Thai
- Nhu Lan Special at Nhu Lan
- Curry Chips at Red Lion
- Liverbest Sandwich at Gene's Sausage Shop
- Grafton Burger at The Grafton
- Large Pizza Slice at Jimmy's Pizza Café
- Tandoori Chicken from Essence of India
- Seolleongtang at Han Bat
- Authentic Philly Cheesesteak Wit at Monti's
- The Country Bird at Pecking Order
- Carne Asada Taco at Taqueria El Asadero
- Chicken Wings at Budacki's
- Pad Thai at Aroy Thai
- Meatloaf Sandwich Dream at Glenn's Diner
- Tacos Ensenada at Mixteco Grill
- Croque Madame at Troquet
- Sticky Toffee Pudding at Fork
- Limoncello and Bailey's Gelato at Paciugo Gelato
More Cheap Eats Guides!
- 15 Cheap Eats We Love in Chicago's Chinatown
- 21 Cheap Eats We Love in Pilsen
- 19 Cheap Eats We Love in Bridgeport
- 14 Cheap Eats We Love in Chicago's Bucktown
- Cheap Eats We Love in Chicago's Wicker Park
- 32 Cheap Eats We Love in Lakeview
- 20 Cheap Eats We Love in Lincoln Park
- 21 Cheap Eats We Love in Chicago's River North
- 26 Cheap Eats We Love in The Loop
All products linked here have been independently selected by our editors. We may earn a commission on purchases, as described in our affiliate policy.