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Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

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Missouri
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Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

In three weeks I will be attending a conference at the Marriott downtown Mag Mile. We have a budge of $25 a day for food. We are all teachers. Any CHEAP suggestions for restaurants/café for the three days we will stay there. I like mainly American Style dining (pizza, sandwiches, breakfast fare, pasta, pastry) not a fan of sea food or spicy food. We will not have a car and in most cases fairly limited time for meals. Any and all suggestions greatly appreciated.

Illinois
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1. Re: Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

http://www.cornerbakerycafe.com/Home.aspx - many locations downtown.

Cheap and good - http://www.yelp.com/biz/marys-cafe-chicago - short walk from your hotel.

http://www.portillos.com/ - Ontario St.

http://www.billygoattavern.com/index.php - Michigan Ave - lower level.

Rensselaer, Indiana
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2. Re: Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

And here I thought the $15 budget per person per meal was a difficult one!

You definitely won't be able to go to any restaurant with table service because of the tipping.

Fast food and chain restaurants are plentiful in the 'downtown" areas. But Corner Bakeries are a peg higher, IMHO.

You could consider Soupbox on Chicago Ave.

Downtown Dog's on N. Rush. You might even splurge for a brew at Pippin's next door.

Picnic sandwiches for Millennium Park from Pastoral

There are food courts at Macy's, Water Tower Place and others

Are all of you getting CTA visitor passes? If so, then it wouldn't cost you anything to get away from the "high rent" district where you are staying and into one of the outlying neighborhoods. You'd have more options - not that that $25/day is going to get you very far anywhere in the city.

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

$25 per day is impossible. $25 per meal is possible. There are three grocery stores near your hotel. You may have to patronize them. Perhaps you can limit yourself to 2 meals a day at a fast food joint. Maybe this will help http://www.fastfoodmenuprices.com Downtown Dogs and a brew at Pippin's is a great combo but it will cost you $12.00.

Rensselaer, Indiana
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4. Re: Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

s_s, just to clarify, I meant that "brew" splurge would be outside the budget.

Palm Springs...
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5. Re: Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

Realistically the $25 per day is not the whole budget, it's what they give you in addition to your own personal budget. Surely you don't spend nothing on food when you're at home.

My favorite place (not real cheap but really good) is Pret a Manger. Mostly a lunch place with sandwiches, wraps, and salads (and great coffee) but open until 7pm. It's at 225 N Michigan, about a block south of the river on the east side of Michigan Ave.

pret.com/us/…shop_US0050.shtm

Rensselaer, Indiana
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6. Re: Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

Yes, you are all coming to one of the most exciting dining destinations in the world. If you ever upped the ante, that is the time to do so!

chicago
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7. Re: Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

mburger and portillos

otherwise go to the grocery store, i hope you plan to spend more money than that, you wont be able to go to a single non fast food restaurant on $25 a day

Midwest
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8. Re: Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

If I were you I would go to Fox & Obel grocery (401 E Illinois)...your $25/day will seem like a splurge & you'll find great food.

chicago
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9. Re: Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

you definitely cannot eat at fox and obel for $25 a day

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Dining in downtown Chicago on a very tight budget

I was about to say the same thing. Fox and Obel is great, but cheap it is not.

Maybe try Foodlife in the Water Tower Place mezzanine? Kind of like a food court but tastes better than what you get at your typical mall. Although, honestly, it's still probably pushing your budget. $25 does not leave room for too much beyond fast food if you are eating three meals a day.