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Favorite quick and cheap lunch spots in the Loop

Favorite quick and cheap lunch spots in the Loop
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  • Post #31 - January 19th, 2012, 11:46 pm
    Post #31 - January 19th, 2012, 11:46 pm Post #31 - January 19th, 2012, 11:46 pm
    mackellys for salads and their hot bar.
    a carnitas huarache at the chase tower cafeteria
  • Post #32 - January 25th, 2012, 1:03 pm
    Post #32 - January 25th, 2012, 1:03 pm Post #32 - January 25th, 2012, 1:03 pm
    toria wrote:great stuff at the cellars cafe in the basement of the board of trade building. favorites are the soup esp. bean and chicken tortilla, cream of chicken, the eggplant parm, the meatloaf, mashed potato, mixed veggies. good pork tenderloin and fried chicken. Upstairs is sit down service at ceres restaurant. good salads, similar foods. legendary fish sandwiches.

    good burger at cavenaughs which is sit down.

    there is also a decent cafeteria in the old continental bank building which is bank of america
    now on clark and jackson. chicken planet on jackson...looks suspcious but is good.


    Cellars Market also has a very good chicken pot pie on Thursdays.
    The cafeteria you reference in the old BofA (nee Continental) building (231 S LaSalle) has been closed for some time now.

    All things considered Cafecito, at 26 E Congress, offers some terrific food at affordable prices. Seating can be a challenge if you want to eat in but everything I've ever had there has been very good.
    Cafecito
    26 East Congress Parkway Chicago, IL 60605
    (312) 922-2233
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #33 - January 25th, 2012, 1:39 pm
    Post #33 - January 25th, 2012, 1:39 pm Post #33 - January 25th, 2012, 1:39 pm
    I'd go for either Cafecito or maybe Oasis, for a change. Only just discovered that the quiet little Chinese place in the Mallers bldg. has been gone for about 8 mos. (I don't lunch in the loop that often.)

    While it stretches the meaning of both "cheap" and "quick", I have to mention the orig. Heaven on Seven in the Garland bldg. because I was just there after quite a long absence. It was Tues. about 11:40 and while I was expecting a line, I walked right in and got a counter seat (although I could have had a table). I had one of the specials (chicken/chorizo etoufee), which, at $13 probably isn't anyone's idea of a cheap lunch. But boy, it hit the comfort lunch spot on a cold wet day. (And as it came with a cup of lentil/andouille soup, and was both substantial and delicious, I'd say the value was there, even if it wasn't "cheap.")
    Service was friendly and quick and the general cheerful bustle between waiters, customers, bussers, and line cooks shoving plates of great food onto the pick-up shelf made me feel good all over.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #34 - January 25th, 2012, 2:45 pm
    Post #34 - January 25th, 2012, 2:45 pm Post #34 - January 25th, 2012, 2:45 pm
    Al Pastor Tacos at La Cocina on Wells. They are I think $1.50 each and very tasty. So you can get 3 of them with cilantro and onion and red and green sauce in less than 10 minutes for about $5.00.

    They have other locations downtown but I have not been to them.
  • Post #35 - January 26th, 2012, 1:59 pm
    Post #35 - January 26th, 2012, 1:59 pm Post #35 - January 26th, 2012, 1:59 pm
    I so miss my lunch rotation from my previous job, where from it's W. Lincoln Park location I could hit Honey1, Smoque, La Pasadita, Taqueria Moran, 90 Miles Cafe, Rosa de Lima, Las Asadas...

    Now, I work near Ogilvie and the lunch options are dominated by chains... the best of what's nearby:

    French Market:
    Freitkoten - recently added burgers to their fry menu, and these burgers are really good! Way better than I'd expected...
    Saigon Sisters - bahn mi
    Bowl Square - Korean/Asian
    Fumare - Montreal Style brisket
    Pastoral - sandwiches

    Hannah's Bretzel
    Epic Burger
    Cafe Baci

    I also try to hit the Brown Bag Lunch Truck and Lillie's Q truck when they're in the area
  • Post #36 - January 27th, 2012, 8:14 am
    Post #36 - January 27th, 2012, 8:14 am Post #36 - January 27th, 2012, 8:14 am
    toria wrote:great stuff at the cellars cafe in the basement of the board of trade building. favorites are the soup esp. bean and chicken tortilla, cream of chicken, the eggplant parm, the meatloaf, mashed potato, mixed veggies. good pork tenderloin and fried chicken. Upstairs is sit down service at ceres restaurant. good salads, similar foods. legendary fish sandwiches.

    good burger at cavenaughs which is sit down.

    there is also a decent cafeteria in the old continental bank building which is bank of america
    now on clark and jackson. chicken planet on jackson...looks suspcious but is good.

    I like the fried fish sandwich at cellars. Lots of fish, not soggy.

    Chicken Planet is now at Van Buren and Wells, still cheap and decent. John Marshall took over the building on Jackson where CP used to be.

    There is a 65 Asian Kitchen behind the BOT building also. They have some noodle soup offerings that aren't too bad.

    There's a cafeteria on the 2nd floor of the federal courthouse (Dirksen Building) that posts their menu online. Again, not bad, but it's by the pound.

    Hot Woks / Cool Sushi does a pretty brisk lunch business on Adams between Wacker and Franklin, and it's sit-down service. The bento boxes I think are a bit overpriced but pretty good.

    I second the Cafecito recommendation. You can even sign up for SMS coupons from them, which come out every other day or so.
  • Post #37 - January 30th, 2012, 2:59 pm
    Post #37 - January 30th, 2012, 2:59 pm Post #37 - January 30th, 2012, 2:59 pm
    Fresh bok choi kimchee and sesame tofu at my favorite buffet, Delmonico Gourmet Foods at 111 West Washington. I eat this just about every day!
    ~Ruth Reichl wannabe
  • Post #38 - January 30th, 2012, 4:09 pm
    Post #38 - January 30th, 2012, 4:09 pm Post #38 - January 30th, 2012, 4:09 pm
    Just got back from first trip to UB Dogs on Franklin Ave. Extremely impressed. A great Merkt cheddar char-grilled burger and perfect Chicago dog rendition. Very good service.

    I'm sure it has been talked about but this little strip of Franklin now has a pretty impressive lineup of choices. Goodwin's next door, Taza Bakery and La Cocina across the street.
  • Post #39 - January 30th, 2012, 7:07 pm
    Post #39 - January 30th, 2012, 7:07 pm Post #39 - January 30th, 2012, 7:07 pm
    I'm sure it has been talked about but this little strip of Franklin now has a pretty impressive lineup of choices. Goodwin's next door, Taza Bakery and La Cocina across the street.


    Good lord, man! Don't forget Perry's Deli! :shock:
  • Post #40 - February 22nd, 2012, 10:50 am
    Post #40 - February 22nd, 2012, 10:50 am Post #40 - February 22nd, 2012, 10:50 am
    I'm a little more north/east than the rest of youse, but here's my list:

    Olive Mediterranean Kitchen, Clark/Lake food court - pretty much everything is good. They've raised their prices a little, but you still get a good sandwich or plate for $7-8.

    The Works, Clark/Lake food court - decent hot dog, gyros (chicken or beef/lamb) place. I'm not a fan of the Italian beef there, kind of a weird mix. Always have many sandwich/fry/drink specials.

    Politos Grill, 39 N. Wells - Rotisserie chicken (1/2) with sides for about $8. Wraps, soups, also on the menu, but I've haven't had any of those - I stick to the chicken.

    Macy's "Downstairs" - build-your-own salad and comfort food style cafeteria (roast chicken, mac and cheese, meatloaf). They also have a grill station, pre-made sushi, but I can't vouch for them. Cheaper and less crowded than 7 on State upstairs but not so gourmet either.
    "You should eat!"
  • Post #41 - February 22nd, 2012, 12:01 pm
    Post #41 - February 22nd, 2012, 12:01 pm Post #41 - February 22nd, 2012, 12:01 pm
    I have eaten at both the 65 Chinese behind the BOT and the one on Madison, between Wells and Franklin. I find that the food at the one on Madison is better. Even though my office is two blocks from the Board of Trade, I find myself making the hike to the other restaurant when I need a serving of chicken and eggplant.

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa

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