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Scofflaw
Scofflaw
Marc Much

Cheap Date: 8 Great Places to Feed 2 for $30

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Scofflaw
| Marc Much

Does the thought of going on a date make you clench your wallet and want to cry? You know, because the fancy, "romantic" restaurants can cost a small fortune but your date recommended it? Next time, surprise them with one of the restaurants below. Your date, wallet, and stomach will thank you.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Pleasant House Bakery

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964 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60608
(773) 523-7437
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In Bridgeport, get some royal pies at Pleasant House Bakery, which is also BYOB. Get the classic steak and ale ($7.95) with buttery mash ($1.99), mushroom and kale pie ($7.95) with mint buttered peas ($1.99), and a seasonal green salad from their farm, dressed in herb vinaigrette ($8.00) to split. Total for two without drinks and before tip: $27.88. [Photo: Nik Bronder]

2. Irazu

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1865 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-5687
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Named after the Irazú volcano in Costa Rica, this cash-only Bucktown cantina dishes up tasty traditional Costa Rican, offers plenty of vegetarian options, and is, yes, BYOB. When your drink orders are taken (split an oatmeal shake for $4 if you’re in the mood) make sure you get the chifrijo ($9.00) - an authentic appetizer of fried pork, black beans, pico de gallo, rice, avocado and smooth and spicy, sweet Lizano sauce. Then split the casado ($14) and three tacos ($2 each, $6 for three). Total for two without drinks and before tip: $29.00. [Photo: Facebook]

3. Antique Taco

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1360 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 687-8697
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Order your food at the eclectic Wicker Park taco spot before you grab a table, and head for the patio if there’s room. For two, split the pork carnitas tacos ($7), crispy fish tacos ($7) and guac and chips ($7). To finish off the meal, get the tequila key lime pie ($5). Total for two without drinks and before tip: $21.00. [Photo: Facebook]

4. Quartino

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626 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 698-5000
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Head to Quartino for a startlingly cheap yet tasty Italian meal on date night. House-made pastas, Neapolitan pizzas, and a selection of cheeses and salami makes it an ideal place to split a variety of small plates, as all the pastas and pizzas can be ordered by the half. Start with the caprese salad ($9.75), then order half of the manzo pizza and half of the campania ($14). Finish with a half order of gnocchi ($5.38). Total for two without drinks and before tip: $29.13. [Photo courtesy of Quartino]

5. Rootstock

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954 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 292-1616
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Casual with upscale food, the atmosphere at Rootstock is relaxed enough for an intimate date but not so quiet that you feel you can’t laugh without getting strange looks. Split the bucatini carbonara ($12) and the popular dry-aged burger with bacon aioli and house pickles ($14) for a meal that can stand up to whatever amount of adult beverages you choose to consume afterwards. Total for two without drinks and tip: $26. [Photo: Facebook]

6. Furious Spoon

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1571 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 687-8445
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Whether your date goes well or not, both parties should enjoy slurping the savory, rich ramen broths with tender house-made noodles topped by the likes of poached eggs and spicy apple chili ‘fury sauce’ at Furious Spoon. Get the shoyu ramen with recommended toppings ($13), the furious ramen ($12.25) and two harumaki (Japanese vegetable spring rolls, $1.75 each). Total for two without drinks and before tip: $28.75. [Photo: Marc Much]

7. Scofflaw

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3201 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-9700
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Scofflaw is known for its tantalizing gin cocktails, but they also have an impressive menu that changes every quarter and is perfectly priced for a cheap date night. Tuck into one of many nooks or corner tables and order the fried chickpeas ($3), crab cake with bone marrow butter ($12) and house smoked-garlic sausage ($10). Add a simple green salad ($5) tossed in vinaigrette. Total for two without drinks and before tip: $30.00 [Photo: Marc Much]

8. Belly Shack

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1912 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 252-1414
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Bill Kim's fusion at Belly Shack is also BYOB, plating Asian-Latin street food in Bucktown. Split the belly dog ($9) and pork belly bahn mi ($9) at the communal table and get friendly with the other Belly Shack-ers. Add the tostones ($5) and soy, balsamic Brussels sprouts ($5) for sides that round out this cross-cultural meal. Total for two without drinks and before tip: $28.00. [Photo: Barry Brecheisen]

1. Pleasant House Bakery

964 W 31st St, Chicago, IL 60608
In Bridgeport, get some royal pies at Pleasant House Bakery, which is also BYOB. Get the classic steak and ale ($7.95) with buttery mash ($1.99), mushroom and kale pie ($7.95) with mint buttered peas ($1.99), and a seasonal green salad from their farm, dressed in herb vinaigrette ($8.00) to split. Total for two without drinks and before tip: $27.88. [Photo: Nik Bronder]
964 W 31st St
Chicago, IL 60608

2. Irazu

1865 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Named after the Irazú volcano in Costa Rica, this cash-only Bucktown cantina dishes up tasty traditional Costa Rican, offers plenty of vegetarian options, and is, yes, BYOB. When your drink orders are taken (split an oatmeal shake for $4 if you’re in the mood) make sure you get the chifrijo ($9.00) - an authentic appetizer of fried pork, black beans, pico de gallo, rice, avocado and smooth and spicy, sweet Lizano sauce. Then split the casado ($14) and three tacos ($2 each, $6 for three). Total for two without drinks and before tip: $29.00. [Photo: Facebook]
1865 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

3. Antique Taco

1360 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Order your food at the eclectic Wicker Park taco spot before you grab a table, and head for the patio if there’s room. For two, split the pork carnitas tacos ($7), crispy fish tacos ($7) and guac and chips ($7). To finish off the meal, get the tequila key lime pie ($5). Total for two without drinks and before tip: $21.00. [Photo: Facebook]
1360 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

4. Quartino

626 N State St, Chicago, IL 60654
Head to Quartino for a startlingly cheap yet tasty Italian meal on date night. House-made pastas, Neapolitan pizzas, and a selection of cheeses and salami makes it an ideal place to split a variety of small plates, as all the pastas and pizzas can be ordered by the half. Start with the caprese salad ($9.75), then order half of the manzo pizza and half of the campania ($14). Finish with a half order of gnocchi ($5.38). Total for two without drinks and before tip: $29.13. [Photo courtesy of Quartino]
626 N State St
Chicago, IL 60654

5. Rootstock

954 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Casual with upscale food, the atmosphere at Rootstock is relaxed enough for an intimate date but not so quiet that you feel you can’t laugh without getting strange looks. Split the bucatini carbonara ($12) and the popular dry-aged burger with bacon aioli and house pickles ($14) for a meal that can stand up to whatever amount of adult beverages you choose to consume afterwards. Total for two without drinks and tip: $26. [Photo: Facebook]
954 N California Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

6. Furious Spoon

1571 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Whether your date goes well or not, both parties should enjoy slurping the savory, rich ramen broths with tender house-made noodles topped by the likes of poached eggs and spicy apple chili ‘fury sauce’ at Furious Spoon. Get the shoyu ramen with recommended toppings ($13), the furious ramen ($12.25) and two harumaki (Japanese vegetable spring rolls, $1.75 each). Total for two without drinks and before tip: $28.75. [Photo: Marc Much]
1571 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

7. Scofflaw

3201 W Armitage Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Scofflaw is known for its tantalizing gin cocktails, but they also have an impressive menu that changes every quarter and is perfectly priced for a cheap date night. Tuck into one of many nooks or corner tables and order the fried chickpeas ($3), crab cake with bone marrow butter ($12) and house smoked-garlic sausage ($10). Add a simple green salad ($5) tossed in vinaigrette. Total for two without drinks and before tip: $30.00 [Photo: Marc Much]
3201 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

8. Belly Shack

1912 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Bill Kim's fusion at Belly Shack is also BYOB, plating Asian-Latin street food in Bucktown. Split the belly dog ($9) and pork belly bahn mi ($9) at the communal table and get friendly with the other Belly Shack-ers. Add the tostones ($5) and soy, balsamic Brussels sprouts ($5) for sides that round out this cross-cultural meal. Total for two without drinks and before tip: $28.00. [Photo: Barry Brecheisen]
1912 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647

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