Craving: Deals — our monthlong search for Chicago's best dining and drinking values
When it comes to resolutions, “save money” or “spend less” top many people’s list. In that vein, for the month of January, the Chicago Tribune Food & Dining team is scouring the city for food deals — from happy hour or lunch specials to high-quality values, like three-courses for a steal — to help you spend smarter. Who doesn’t love a good bargain?
Sushi and sashimi express lunch at Sushi-San
When you want omakase sushi but don’t want to spend the time and money to do a full omakase experience, head to Sushi-San for the Oh-My-Kaze. But the express lunch is an even more stripped-down and affordable experience, though still executed with the same precision and care. You’ll get three iterations of three proteins: salmon, shrimp and tuna each as a maki roll, nigiri and sashimi. This allows you to appreciate each of the flavors on its own — the buttery salmon, sweet shrimp and hearty tuna — before eating it in combination with rice or sauces. To complete the lunch, there’s a warm and salty miso soup and a fresh and crunchy salad. $22. 63 W. Grand Ave., 312-828-0575, sushisanrestaurant.com
It’s not rare to find dollar oyster specials around Chicago, so why spend your time at Shaw’s? After all, its happy hour special (4-6 p.m. every day in the Oyster Bar) of a half-dozen for $11 breaks down to roughly $1.83 a piece. Well, it is technically a good deal if you consider that normally those same oysters would be $21 a half dozen. Plus, if I’m craving oysters, I want to go to the people who know them best. Each oyster here is expertly shucked — no need to worry about grit or busted shells when slurping. Because the shop goes through so many, you can also be assured that the options are fresh. 21 E. Hubbard St., 312-527-2722, shawscrabhouse.com