Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but that doesn't mean it has to be an expensive affair. The following spots deliver tasty and affordable options without breaking the bank. From old school diners to on-the-go offerings, you don't have to go hungry in the mornings just because you're low on dough.Read More
The Best Cheap Breakfasts in Chicago
You don't have to break the bank to eat well in the morning.
Bang Bang Pie Shop
Not content with just making excellent pies, Bang Bang also serves killer breakfast sandwiches in the morning. The made-from-scratch biscuits are the perfect fluffy vessels to house ginger sage sausage, seasonal jelly, gravy and an optional poached egg. McDonald’s, eat your heart out.
Chicago Bagel Authority
Bagel fiends will find no better haven than CBA. Whether it’s a breakfast sandwich packed with eggs, bacon and sausage or something heartier like a Reuben, you'll have all of the options needed for a tasty and balanced on-the-go meal.
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Greasy and dirt cheap, Diner Grill should be experienced by every Chicagoan. The counter service-only diner, built out of an old train car, is popular with the late-night crowds but also hits the spot during the day. The legendary Slinger—a monstrous plate of hash browns topped with two hamburger patties, two eggs, cheese, grilled onions and a boatload of chili—is enough food to last you through morning, lunch AND dinner.
Hot Bar By Baker Miller
Dave and Megan Miller put their creative prowess on display with fun takes on breakfast staples at their newest Ravenswood shop. Doughnots and Stuffles—baked dough and waffles stuffed with a variety of fillings—include rotating selections like Nutella and cinnamon toast while savory breakfast sandwiches are also easy and delicious grab-and-go items to enjoy during the morning commute.
It truly doesn’t get more old school than this Chicago diner that’s been around for almost a century. Guests are still greeted with donut holes and Milk Duds before sitting down to an assortment of fluffy pancakes, cheesy omelets and freshly-squeezed juices. The venerable space itself invokes the spirit of yesteryear but best of all, the prices have remained consistently low as well.
An inexpensive but quality, sit-down breakfast is a wonderful thing so it’s no surprise that crowds pack this popular Ravenswood joint. Just about everything on the menu comes in under $10 and the Southern-tinged Sassy Eggs are always the best seller. The chorizo-red pepper-jalapeno-potato hash is topped with eggs, cheddar, ketchup, sour cream and guac but if you’re looking for something sweet, the banana-spiked French toast is also worth the calories.
The Loop might seem like an unlikely area to find cheap … anything, but this hidden gem inside the Pittsfield Building serves a surprisingly tasty and budget-friendly breakfast. From crispy hash skillets and freshly-cracked omelets to silver dollar pancakes and Sante Fe breakfast burritos, it’s a throwback diner that offers solid fare without long waits.
North Shore residents know and love this tiny, no-frills diner. Its omelets are self-proclaimed the “world’s best” but you can never go wrong with the popular Loretta, a sandwich featuring choice of breakfast meat and veggies on French bread. Add a side of Disaster sausage—housemade Armenian ground beef—and you’ve got a meal that can’t be beat on value or taste.
The Eastman Egg Company
What started as a food truck operation has now expanded to two storefront locations downtown. At Eastman Egg Company, the ingredients are sourced from local purveyors—meats and eggs from Slagel Farms and bread by La Farine Bakery—and the quality shows. The hearty egg sandwiches like the Doc (bacon, white cheddar, ciabatta bread) and New York’s Irving Farm Coffee Roasters provide all of the energy you’ll need to make it through the morning.
White Palace Grill
Whether you’re craving breakfast at 10 a.m. or 10 p.m., White Palace Grill is more than willing to oblige. This greasy spoon has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and is open 24 hours a day, making it a spot where students, businessmen and cops alike can all mingle over a plate of eggs.