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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.
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Pleasant House Bakery

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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]

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]

Antique Taco

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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]

Quartino

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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]

Rootstock

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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]

Furious Spoon

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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]

Scofflaw

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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]

Belly Shack

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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]

Pleasant House Bakery

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]

Irazu

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]

Antique Taco

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]

Quartino

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]

Rootstock

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]

Furious Spoon

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]

Scofflaw

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]

Belly Shack

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]

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