Jun 9, 2024 - Food and Drink

Eat your way through Chicago for under $10

Photo of food on a plate

Chickpeas and paratha tray ($4.99), mango lassi ($2.50), frontier chicken and spinach with paneer ($6.99) from Ghareeb Nawaz. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

The James Beard Awards on Monday will celebrate dozens of high-end restaurants nationwide and right here in Chicago.

  • We have some of the best, but they are expensive.
  • So today we're giving some love to deliciousness on the lower end of the spending spectrum, too.

Dig in: Check out our picks for great meals under $10.

🥙 Carrie's pick (pictured above): You never leave hungry from Ghareeb Nawaz, which has three locations in the city and one in Lombard. I'm going with the veggie thali ($7.99) and a side of garlic naan ($1.99).

Photo of a polish sausage with onions and mustard on it
Polish sausage with mustard and caramelized onions from Jim's Original. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

🌭 Monica's pick: There may be no faster, more affordable or more reliably delicious Chicago meal than a hot, juicy Polish served with golden fries from Jim's Original ($6.50).

  • Whether you're ordering at the stand on Union or at the Elston location in Avondale, you're usually guaranteed food-in-hand less than two minutes after ordering.
  • Get it with sweet caramelized onions, a smear of yellow mustard and fiery pickled serranos to complete the flavor journey.
Photo of a slice of pizza
A slice from Paulie Gee's. Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

🍕Justin's pick: Easy. The Home Depot hot dog. But since Monica did a Polish, I'll switch it up and pick Paulie Gee's in Wicker Park for a slice. Great pizza (under $5), so you could get two for just under $10.

  • Or maybe just do one and get a pop.
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