clock menu more-arrow no yes
Henry's Swing Club
Henry's Swing Club
Marc Much

Where to Find Cheap Eats in River North

You don't need to spend all your dough on cover charges and vodka sodas.

View as Map
Henry's Swing Club
| Marc Much

Tourists, suburbanites and some city-dwellers flock to River North for a night out, but if you're going there you don't need to empty your bank account on a fancy dinner when you may already be shelling out cash for cover charges, shots, and vodka sodas. Here are 15 spots for affordable food to provide a base, fill your belly after hitting the dancefloor, and even places where you can eat cheaply in the same establishment you're reveling in. Listed in alphabetical order.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. BIG & little's

Copy Link
860 N Orleans St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 943-0000
Visit Website
The little well-known spot for burgers and fish tacos is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, perfect for a base for a night out. The samurai taco, which is made with fried whitefish jalapeños, lettuce, special sauce, "samurai sauce," lime juice and sesame seeds, comes in at $4.75. Menu items also include a pork belly po' boy for $8. [Photo: Facebook]

2. Celeste

Copy Link
111 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 828-9000
Visit Website
The swanky multi-level sophisticated spot is known for its cocktails, yet Celeste's standout bar bites, small plates and late night menu include a red lentil falafel for $8 and chicken liver pate for $7. The turn-of-the-century-themed bar is open late: Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 5 a.m., and food is available on the rooftop until 11. [Photo courtesy of Celeste]

3. Citizen Bar Chicago

Copy Link
364 W Erie St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 640-1156
Visit Website
Check out the large outdoor area at the bro-tastic Citizen Bar for mac 'n cheese bites ($9) or ceviche ($9). There's also a "frostee" and fries, made with Nutella and vanilla ice cream, for $7. [Photo: Facebook]

4. Da Lobsta

Copy Link
416 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
Serving lobster rolls for $12.95 and other casual seafood, Da Lobsta is BYOB and open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The location just north of the Hubbard Street strip makes it a good pre-partying eating option. [Photo: Facebook]

5. Eataly

Copy Link
43 E Ohio St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 521-8700
Visit Website
The Nutella bar at the massive Italian marketplace serves a variety of filled crepes from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, some for just $4.80. There are also Nutella with bread options available, or pane con Nutella. [Photo: Marc Much]

6. Green Door Tavern

Copy Link
678 N Orleans St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 664-5496
Visit Website
One of Chicago's oldest bars has a good late-night menu, serving affordable items including fried calamari ($10) and the "Uptown Loaded Fries" for $9. Open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday, its a good option before or after a night out. [Photo: Yelp]

7. Henry's Swing Club

Copy Link
18 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 955-8018
Visit Website
One of the most casual and fun bars in River North, the DMK spot dishes out a treasure trove of sliders beginning at $2 and other cheap food items including the "Big Tamale" and "Big Pretzel" for $6 each. And with the dance hall-esque Rec Room opening downstairs, Henry's is a one-stop shop for a night out in the neighborhood. [Photo: Marc Much]

8. M Burger

Copy Link
5 W Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 428-3548
Visit Website
Need something fast or on-the-go? Try M Burger. The single M Burger at Lettuce Entertain You's fast-food burger chain is under $5, and its open until 9 p.m. on weeknights and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. [Photo: Facebook]

9. Portillo's Hot Dogs

Copy Link
100 W Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 587-8910
Visit Website
The large food hall-esque River North location of the iconic Chicago-style chain is open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. Menu items include a hot dog for $2.75 and Italian beef for $5.69. There are also char-broiled burgers and chicken sandwiches, all under $10. Finish your Portillo's experience with a chocolate cake shake for $3.25. [Photo: Yelp]

10. Tallboy Taco

Copy Link
325 W Huron St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 664-2727
Visit Website
Serving eight kinds of tacos on house-made tortillas for less than $5, the expansion of Nacional 27 won't empty your wallet: the beer-battered crispy fish taco is $3.50 or try the cowboy 12hr smoked brisket taco for $4. Open until midnight on Friday and Saturday and 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. [Photo: Facebook]

11. The Doughnut Vault

Copy Link
401 1/2 N Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 285-2830
Visit Website
Brendan Sodikoff's acclaimed doughnut chain serves daily specials and opens at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Look for a variety of doughnut types including glazed (chestnut/vanilla/chocolate) and buttermilk old fashioned. Be sure to get there before they sell out. [Photo: Facebook]

12. The Franklin Room

Copy Link
675 N Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 445-4686
Visit Website
The swanky tavern's menu focuses on turn-of-the-century items items including including duck liver pate for $9 and chicken drumettes for $7. The duck noodle soup is $19, but big enough to share. Also, check out their $1 oysters, available from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It's open all day and has a massive whiskey selection, so you may not want to go out after you settle in. [Photo: Facebook]

13. The Pizza Window

Copy Link
418 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 527-1411
It's no secret that pizza makes for a delicious late night snack. Connected to the longtime neighborhood spot Boss Bar, the pickup window here is open till 4 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Pick from slices of cheese or pepperoni. [Photo: Yelp]

14. Theory

Copy Link
9 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 644-0004
Visit Website
The bro-tastic sports lounge is open till 2 a.m. most nights and has daily specials that range from $7 burgers on Mondays to $6 grilled cheese and tomato soup on Fridays. You can even get $2 tacos on Tuesdays. [Photo: Yelp]

15. Xoco

Copy Link
449 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 661-1434
Visit Website
Check out Rick Bayless' always-busy Xoco for breakfast and pastry items in the morning, including churros for $1.60 each, and an array of affordable tortas and other items the rest of the day and evening. [Photo: Yelp]

1. BIG & little's

860 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60610
The little well-known spot for burgers and fish tacos is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, perfect for a base for a night out. The samurai taco, which is made with fried whitefish jalapeños, lettuce, special sauce, "samurai sauce," lime juice and sesame seeds, comes in at $4.75. Menu items also include a pork belly po' boy for $8. [Photo: Facebook]
860 N Orleans St
Chicago, IL 60610

2. Celeste

111 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
The swanky multi-level sophisticated spot is known for its cocktails, yet Celeste's standout bar bites, small plates and late night menu include a red lentil falafel for $8 and chicken liver pate for $7. The turn-of-the-century-themed bar is open late: Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 5 a.m., and food is available on the rooftop until 11. [Photo courtesy of Celeste]
111 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

3. Citizen Bar Chicago

364 W Erie St, Chicago, IL 60654
Check out the large outdoor area at the bro-tastic Citizen Bar for mac 'n cheese bites ($9) or ceviche ($9). There's also a "frostee" and fries, made with Nutella and vanilla ice cream, for $7. [Photo: Facebook]
364 W Erie St
Chicago, IL 60654

4. Da Lobsta

416 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Serving lobster rolls for $12.95 and other casual seafood, Da Lobsta is BYOB and open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The location just north of the Hubbard Street strip makes it a good pre-partying eating option. [Photo: Facebook]
416 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654

5. Eataly

43 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611
The Nutella bar at the massive Italian marketplace serves a variety of filled crepes from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, some for just $4.80. There are also Nutella with bread options available, or pane con Nutella. [Photo: Marc Much]
43 E Ohio St
Chicago, IL 60611

6. Green Door Tavern

678 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL 60654
One of Chicago's oldest bars has a good late-night menu, serving affordable items including fried calamari ($10) and the "Uptown Loaded Fries" for $9. Open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday, its a good option before or after a night out. [Photo: Yelp]
678 N Orleans St
Chicago, IL 60654

7. Henry's Swing Club

18 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
One of the most casual and fun bars in River North, the DMK spot dishes out a treasure trove of sliders beginning at $2 and other cheap food items including the "Big Tamale" and "Big Pretzel" for $6 each. And with the dance hall-esque Rec Room opening downstairs, Henry's is a one-stop shop for a night out in the neighborhood. [Photo: Marc Much]
18 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

8. M Burger

5 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654
Need something fast or on-the-go? Try M Burger. The single M Burger at Lettuce Entertain You's fast-food burger chain is under $5, and its open until 9 p.m. on weeknights and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. [Photo: Facebook]
5 W Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60654

9. Portillo's Hot Dogs

100 W Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60654
The large food hall-esque River North location of the iconic Chicago-style chain is open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. Menu items include a hot dog for $2.75 and Italian beef for $5.69. There are also char-broiled burgers and chicken sandwiches, all under $10. Finish your Portillo's experience with a chocolate cake shake for $3.25. [Photo: Yelp]
100 W Ontario St
Chicago, IL 60654

10. Tallboy Taco

325 W Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654
Serving eight kinds of tacos on house-made tortillas for less than $5, the expansion of Nacional 27 won't empty your wallet: the beer-battered crispy fish taco is $3.50 or try the cowboy 12hr smoked brisket taco for $4. Open until midnight on Friday and Saturday and 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. [Photo: Facebook]
325 W Huron St
Chicago, IL 60654

11. The Doughnut Vault

401 1/2 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654
Brendan Sodikoff's acclaimed doughnut chain serves daily specials and opens at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Look for a variety of doughnut types including glazed (chestnut/vanilla/chocolate) and buttermilk old fashioned. Be sure to get there before they sell out. [Photo: Facebook]
401 1/2 N Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60654

12. The Franklin Room

675 N Franklin St, Chicago, IL 60654
The swanky tavern's menu focuses on turn-of-the-century items items including including duck liver pate for $9 and chicken drumettes for $7. The duck noodle soup is $19, but big enough to share. Also, check out their $1 oysters, available from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. It's open all day and has a massive whiskey selection, so you may not want to go out after you settle in. [Photo: Facebook]
675 N Franklin St
Chicago, IL 60654

13. The Pizza Window

418 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
It's no secret that pizza makes for a delicious late night snack. Connected to the longtime neighborhood spot Boss Bar, the pickup window here is open till 4 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Pick from slices of cheese or pepperoni. [Photo: Yelp]
418 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654

14. Theory

9 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60654
The bro-tastic sports lounge is open till 2 a.m. most nights and has daily specials that range from $7 burgers on Mondays to $6 grilled cheese and tomato soup on Fridays. You can even get $2 tacos on Tuesdays. [Photo: Yelp]
9 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

15. Xoco

449 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60654
Check out Rick Bayless' always-busy Xoco for breakfast and pastry items in the morning, including churros for $1.60 each, and an array of affordable tortas and other items the rest of the day and evening. [Photo: Yelp]
449 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60654

Related Maps