Chowin’ down a budget: where to eat in Chicago without breaking the bank

Chicago has a long history of excellent cuisine, but where can college students find inexpensive food? Although many Chicagoans can afford fine dining establishments, there are also places where college students can find high-quality food on a budget.

Unless you really know what you are looking for or decide to give it a try, you might miss these underrated Chicago restaurants. Here are some worth seeking out restaurants near the DePaul campuses.


Allende Restaurant

2408 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago

Lincoln Park’s own Mexican restaurant, which opens for breakfast and closes well after midnight. A quick stop for delicious comfort food, including a variety of tacos and the cheesiest nachos. At this DePaul late-night hangout, prices range from $2 to $8.

Chicago’s Dog House

816 W Fullerton Ave, Chicago

Hot dog stands are a staple in Chicago, especially Lincoln Park. A small restaurant with a heart named Chicago’s Dog House, sells many specialty hot dogs from “Snoop Dog” to “Alligator sausage, aka Chance the Snapper.” Plenty of meat-free options are available at the restaurant. There is a lunch special and a “Blue Demon Dog” for DePaul students, with prices ranging from $5 to $10.

Lotus Banh Mi

166 W Washington St, Chicago

Looking for tasty Vietnamese food like banh mi sandwiches and pho? If you ever find yourself in the loop campus, Lotus Banh Mi is the place to go. This restaurant serves dishes like house pork salads, curry chicken, and banh mi sandwiches, with prices ranging from $9 to $12.

Pasta Palazzo

1966 N. Halsted, Chicago

Fresh pasta, sandwiches, salads, and specials? A college student’s dream. Pasta Palazzo serves authentic Italian cuisine that is both “innovative and traditional.”  With a variety of pasta options and even some healthy alternatives. The prices range from $5 to $12.

Yummy Yummy Asian Cuisine

2901 N Broadway, Chicago

A large menu with many vegetarian options, as well as many smoothies and boba. A small restaurant ideal for a dinner for two or a quick bite on the go. Menu prices range from $6 to $14 and include tasty rice, noodles and soups. 

Connect with Vanessa Lopez: @v_lopez__ | [email protected]