City living can be expensive. Chicago rents and property taxes are some of the country’s highest, surge pricing has now spread from Uber and Lyft to parking rates, and gas prices and CTA fares don't help. For when you need to give your wallet a rest, check out these 10 ways to get a bang for your single buck in the city (taxes not included, sorry).
What $1 can get you in Chicago
Especially since happy hours became legal again in Illinois starting in 2015, there are dollar beer specials to be found all around if you know the right times to look. A few options: Get $1 American cans at Delilah’s Punk Rock Mondays; $1 cans of PBR at Longman & Eagle every weekday from 3 to 5pm; $1 Kirin, Sapporo or Asahi with a signature ramen purchase at Kizuki during happy hour (Mon–Thu 5–7pm, Fri–Sun 3–5pm). You can even get $1 craft drafts like Lagunitas Pils or Revolution’s Eugene Porter with lunch at the Franklin Room (11:30am–2pm Mon–Fri, with a minimum $12 lunch purchase).
As its name suggests, Pilsen’s Xocoatl Churro Factory specializes in the cinnamon-sweet fried pastries, and most varieties (plain or with flavored fillings) are just a buck a piece. Add a coffee for just $1.14 more.
Lincoln Park tapas staple Café Ba-Ba-Reeba! offers $1 pintxos—bite-sized appetizers like deviled eggs with crispy jamón or olives stuffed with anchovy and pepper—during happy hour at the bar, 4–6pm daily.