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Café Spiaggia (Photo: Jeff Kaucki)

On the Blackboard

By Nicole Schnitzler

From the weekday happy hour to the Sunday supper, here are eight of the best wallet-friendly food and drink happenings in Chicago right now.

Sunday Supper at Café Spiaggia
There’s no better way to close out the week than with a visit to this Gold Coast restaurant, the sister to chef Tony Mantuano’s iconic Italian mainstay. Here it’s all about Sundays, when chefs Mantuano and Joe Flamm serve up a family style menu featuring modern riffs on Italian classics for just $40 a person.
Neighborhood: Gold Coast MAP

Throwback menu at Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House
In honor of its twentieth anniversary, this Gold Coast staple is celebrating all things 1997—including the prices. For one week only beginning on February 22, expect to see house specialties at a steal, such as mussels for $6, frog legs for $8, lump crab cake for $12.50, and key lime pie for $4.50.
Neighborhood: Gold Coast MAP


Honey’s

Post-work plates at Honey’s
Head to this West Loop newcomer Monday through Friday from 5 to 7 p.m., when oysters are just a buck a shuck and the happy hour menu features Mediterranean-inspired American small plates priced at $10 and under.
Neighborhood: West Loop MAP

Taco Tuesday at Honey Butter Fried Chicken
We didn’t need another reason to applaud this Avondale favorite, but if we did, the tacos would be it. That’s exactly what’s on tap every Tuesday, when the team offers neighborhood crowds two honey butter–fried chicken tacos, a can of Tecate, and a shot of tequila for just $12.
Neighborhood: Avondale MAP


La Sirena Clandestina

Happy hour specials at La Sirena Clandestina
If you’re looking for a reason to skip work extra-early any day of the week, now you have it: The team at this West Loop hangout spins out South American specials on the daily, from $4 skewers—think chicken with red chimichurri, shrimp with serrano salsa, and haloumi cheese with malagueta salsa— $6 kale salads, and $3 garlic fries.
Neighborhood: Fulton Market/West Loop MAP

The bar tasting menu at Acadia
Surprised to find Acadia, Ryan McCaskey’s two Michelin-starred spot on this list? We were, too. But this just in: A new three-course bar tasting menu runs at just $45 per person and features a glimpse of McCaskey’s culinary prowess through plates like fried head cheese and puffed beef tendon, complete with ramen packet seasoning.
Neighborhood: South Loop MAP


Dusek’s

The Ordinary at Dusek’s
Fedora-donning food lovers of the world congregate at this Pilsen hangout, where upscale gastropub fare and neighboring concerts at Thalia Hall are the draw. Get a taste of it all with the “Ordinary,” a modern twist on the traditional beer and “chef’s special” pairing, with weekly rotating offerings like New York strip steak with thumbelina carrots and charred cauliflower puree ($29), and brisket with beer-braised cabbage and sauerkraut pierogis ($19).
Neighborhood: Pilsen MAP

Toronzo Cannon Live at River Roast
Live music, contemporary American tavern fare, and waterfront views are just a few of the reasons to visit this Chicago River–situated destination. More specifically, there’s also this: At 8 p.m. on Friday, February 24, the restaurant presents Toronzo Cannon, one of the city’s most recognized and popular bluesmen. Tickets are $20.
Neighborhood: River North MAP

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