Cheap Loop Lunches

December 13, 2012 2:00 PM

By Lauren Wulf

Eating in the loop isn’t always friendly on the old wallet. Eating out everyday can add up quickly. Here are a few places in the loop to eat lunch for $5-$10.

Venice Cafe

500 W Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60661
Willis Tower
233 S. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606

For a quick, healthy lunch in the loop, Venice Cafe has you covered. The $5 salad combo comes with your choice of 2 salads from their prepared salad bar and a huge, garlic roll. The portion size is well worth the $5! Though salad choices change daily, you can usually find a mix of lettuce based salad and pasta salads to mix. Aside from the great salad deal, there’s also a hot food bar with pastas, sandwiches and soup.



South Water Kitchen

225 N Wabash
Chicago, IL

South Water Kitchen is cooking up some hearty portions for under $10. Served in the tavern at South Water Kitchen, the delicious menu items below are all under $10.

Tavern Menu

· Chicken Salad Sliders (dried cranberries, sage, walnuts) – $9.00
· Pulled Pork Sliders (house made bbq, tangy cole slaw) – $9.00
· Mushroom Flatbread (caramelized onion, spinach, mozzarella) – $10.00
· Pork Belly Flatbread (dried fig jam, ricotta, arugula) – $10.00
· Butternut Squash Flatbread (goat cheese toasted walnuts) – $10.00
· Grilled Cheese (creamy brie, apple slices, whole grain bread) – $10.00

Daily Tavern Specials

· Thursday- House Burger ($1 for each additional topping) – $5.00

I Dream Of Falafel

331 S. Franklin
Chicago, IL 60606

I Dream of Falafel, has created a unique concept of combining fresh, local, healthy ingredients to prepare delicious Mediterranean cuisine at a great price. Meals range from $2-$7. Starting with your choice of roll, rice, salad, hummus, baba ghanoush or veggies you’ll then get to chose your Shawarma of beef, chicken, lamb kabob or falafels. Adding delicious sauces and veggies, top off the meal. Sides of falafel and hummus are only $2.




191 N. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL
525 W. Monroe Street
Chicago, IL

Specialty’s is known for quick, fresh lunch options. Salads and sandwiches average from $5 to $8. Sandwiches, soups and salads are all prepared fresh in large portions. There’s a good bang for your buck here.

Sandwiches under $7

· Big B.L.T.
· Four Cheese
· Peanut Butter & Stuff
· Roast Beef
· BBQ Chiken
· Beef & Blue

Salads Under $8

· Mixed Greens
· Caesar
· Chicken Cobb
· Spinach & Bacon



Elephant & Castle

Find Chicago Locations Here

The Elephant & Castle Pubs bring a little taste of British Pub food to Chicago. Below are a few lunch items all under $10!

· Pub Pretzels jumbo pretzels steaming hot with bass ale mustard sauce – $7.00
· Chicken Wings deep fried and tossed in buffalo hot sauce, blue cheese dip and veggie sticks – $9.50
· Pub Onion Soup sweet onions simmered with english ale, beef broth and herbs; topped with a crostini, swiss and parmesan cheese – $6.00
· Soup & Caesar meal-sized caesar salad with grilled flat bread & today’s soup- $10.00

Lauren Wulf, CBS Chicago

Lauren Wulf writes about living in Chicago on a budget on her website, A Poor Girl’s Guide Chicago.

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