Cheap eats in Lincoln Park

There's no need to put a hole in your wallet for crave-worthy noms when you're in the high-end neighborhood
Photo: Jason Little Sultan's

Don't let Lincoln Park's trendy reputation keep you from dining out. With DePaul University in the neighborhood, Lincoln Park has no shortage of cheap eats for students. But you don't have to be a college kid on a budget to stop by these deliciously discounted dining destinations. Whether you want a perfect slice of thin crust pizza, a late-night Chicago-style hot dog with a side of sass or breakfast at a coffee shop, here's where to go.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete guide to the Lincoln Park neighborhood

Cheap restaurants in Lincoln Park

Restaurants, Pizza


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This is where thick-crust theorists and thin-crust connoisseurs come together. At Bricks, the bubbly exterior is the perfect compromise with an ideal fluff-to-crunch ratio. Whether piled high with feta and spinach (like the garlicky Popeye) or house-made meatballs and mozz (the Sole Mio), you can't go wrong with any of the menu items here.

Butcher and the Burger
Photograph: Martha Williams
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Butcher & the Burger

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Al Sternweiler’s adorable burger joint doubles as a butcher shop for a unique cheap eats experience. It’s a DIY affair: Customers pick their meat, bun, spice rub and toppings before the burger is constructed behind the scenes. Grab a scoop of the housemade custard on your way out for a full cheat-day experience.

Restaurants, Korean

Del Seoul

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This counter-service Korean BBQ joint has made a name for itself in Chicago's budget-friendly dining arena. The tacos are pretty tasty: soft corn tortillas piled with soy-marinated beef short rib, grilled pork carrying the earthy flavors of gochujang or plump shrimp rolled in panko and fried. But the authentic bibimbap is a vibrant value, and the kimchi fries are truly charting new territory.

Restaurants, Hot dogs

Devil Dawgs

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For "dawg-gone good food" head over to this small shack on Sheffield Avenue for a Devil Dawg smothered in relish and sport peppers. If you're not up for a dog, get the equally amazing steakburger. Pro tip: Avoid the cheese—the super-salty nacho goo wreaks havoc on the fresh-cut, crispy fries. Then again, if it’s 2am, we’ll let it slide.

Restaurants, Coffee shops

Elaine's Coffee Call

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Boka Restaurant Group's coffee shop inside Hotel Lincoln offers La Colombe beans served alongside fresh sweet and savory pastries. You'll find hotel guests and locals in the lobby on frantic weekday mornings and low-key weekend afternoons.

Restaurants, Latin American

Lito’s Empanadas

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The small storefront offers about eight stuffed pastries a day, including a “Hawaiian” version with mozzarella, ham and pineapple and the oh-so savory shredded chicken and rice. One makes a snack; two or three make a meal—all for a steal at under $3 each.

Restaurants, Colombian

Rapidito Colombian Gourmet Bites

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This Colombian street food spot is only open four days a week, but the BYOB policy and bite-sized specialties are worth a little planning. Menu highlights include tasty empanadas, Colombian fruit salad and tender meat skewers, but the house favorite is the Rapidito Dog, which is topped with cheese, pulled chicken, crushed potato chips, ketchup, mustard, honey, pineapple sauce and hard-boiled quail eggs.

Photo: Jason Little
Restaurants, Mediterranean

Sultan’s Market

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The family behind Wicker Park’s ultrapopular, ultracasual Middle Eastern stalwart Sultan’s Market connects to the Lincoln Park crowd with this location. The stellar salad bar, crave-worthy falafel, hearty soups, addictive stuffed pies and imported packaged foods are a near carbon-copy of the original’s—which is to say: very, very good. Dine in or take your pita to go, but prepare for a shock when the cashier rings up your piled-high plate for under $10.

Restaurants, Hot dogs

The Wieners Circle

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Stop by this roadside shack for a classic Chicago dog served with a side of sass from the staff behind the counter. It's certainly an experience, but you'll walk away with a decent dog and thick-cut fries—perfect late-night delights. Feeling adventurous? Ask for the chocolate shake (hint: It's not a drink). 

Restaurants, Venezuelan

Venezuelan Bowl Grill Chicago

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For authentic Venezuelan food under $10, head to this café filled with colorful decor and comforting scents of fresh arepas, churrasco steaks and arroz con pollo. For a hearty and flavorful meal, the Pabellón Bowl is our recommendation.

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