The best places to eat when you don’t want to spend a ton of money. 

Lincoln Park is home to Alinea and a lot of fancy houses. But this neighborhood also has a number of spots where you can have a very good, affordable sit-down dinner (we’ve defined “dinner” here as an entree with either an appetizer or a drink). Whether you want pizza, tapas, or seafood, this guide has a good under-$30 option – so you can save up some extra money for a townhouse, or a meal involving edible balloons.


Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!

The menu at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba gives you the chance to have a $30 meal with a lot of variety. The tapas and pintxos here range from around $5 to $15 each, and the paellas start at around $13 per serving (minimum of two, so that’s better for sharing). Order a selection of stuffed dates, vegetables dishes, and meats – it’s like all the best parts of eating at a buffet, without having to wait behind other people or have your food sit out for a questionable amount of time. If it’s warm outside, definitely get a table on the patio, where you can sit out for as long as you want.

Oyster Bah

Unsurprisingly, Oyster Bah has oysters. They are fresh and very good, and you should order them whenever you’re here. But beyond that, the menu has other great, reasonably-priced seafood dishes. You’ll find fish and chips, mussels, and fish tacos, and the casual space is perfect for meeting friends after work, but still nice enough for a low-key date night.