Photo: Flicker/Aaron Gustafson
Chicago is a tricky city when it comes to dining on a college budget.
On one hand, most campuses are in areas crowded with cozy brunch bistros, tasty thai joints and delicious dinner establishments. On the other hand, most students are forced to walk right past these tasty eateries and into their college dining halls.
Being on a college budget is not conducive to eating out every night of the week. Though most students came to the city with hopes of expanding their taste palates, most find out quick that prices in the city are far more than whatever ‘burb/small town they came from, which can be disheartening to the average student/wannabe foodie. What’s the point of being in a world-class culinary city when all you can do is peer in the window at fully-employed patrons enjoying the best food human can create?
That all changes during these fantastic ten days in February called Chicago Restaurant Week.
From February 17- 26, over 200 restaurants in the Chicago area cut their prices to a reasonable level. Restaurants offer price-fixed three-course menus, sitting at $22 for lunch and $33 or $44 options for dinner. Though this is still more expensive than your average 5 Guys or Subway, the restaurants on the list are among the best in the world. $22 for a lunch is a steal.
Below are five major Chicago university neighborhoods that are included in the Week, and a few suggestions mapped out for each. There is a link to more suggestions on the Chicago Restaurant Week website for each. Bon appetit!
Northwestern University: Evanston Click each of the knife/fork sets to preview the menus for Bistro Bordeaux, Oceanique and Quince at the Homestead, and click here for the full north/northwest suburbs list of restaurants.
View Chicago Restaurant Week- Northwester/Evanston in a larger map
DePaul University: Lincoln Park Click each of the knife/fork sets to preview the menus for Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, Macku Sushi, Aquitane and Mon Ami Gabi, and click here for the full Lincoln Park list of restaurants.
View Chicago Restaurants Week- DePaul/Lincoln Park in a larger map
Loyola University (Water Tower Campus): Gold Coast/Near North Click each of the knife/fork sets to preview menus for Cafe des Architectes, bistronomic, Cantina 46 and Devon Seafood Grille click here for the full list of Gold Coast restaurants.
View Chicago Restaurant Week- Loyola/Gold Coast+Near North in a larger map
Columbia College: South Loop Click each of the knife/fork sets to preview menus for 720 Bar & Grill, Chicago Curry House and Mercat A La Planxa, and click here for the full South Loop restaurant list.
View Chicago Restaurant Week- Columbia/South Loop in a larger map
University of Illinois-Chicago: Little Italy/University VillageClick each of the knife/fork sets to preview menus for Tuscany on Taylor, Francesca’s on Taylor and Three Aces, and click here for the full list of University Village and Little Italy restaurants.
View Chicago Restaurant Week- UIC/University Village+Little Italy in a larger map
Are you excited to check out Restaurant Week? Are there any other restaurants that should not be missed? Should college dining halls also participate in restaurant week (I’m looking’ at you Rambler Room)? Let us know! Comment below, or talk to us on Facebook or @Chicago_U.