Chicago local

Five Budget-Friendly Date Ideas in Chicago


Thrifty Dating in the Windy City

Fountainhead gastropub in Chicago.

Fountainhead gastropub in Chicago.

Comments  (5)

Jun 15, 2012 —  Compared to the wallet-crushing insanity in New York or San Francisco, Chicago is a downright bargain when it comes to the cost of living, but that doesn’t mean the average date won’t set you back a paycheck or three if you aren’t careful.

After all, lava is “downright brisk” compared to the sun. And our Aunt Samantha is “downright skinny” in a parallel universe where 300lb women are considered dangerously thin.

Our point is that everything is relative…or involves relatives…

There’s also the fact that restaurants in Chicago seem to keep trending higher end, as some of the most expensive eateries in the whole country set up shop with their mad scientist approach to splitting atoms inside a pork loin and converting it into a macrobiotic meat martini or whatever they’re doing these days.

But if you’ve got a date in the works, let us suggest a few budget-friendly options that should be fun enough to get you a second date – and still leave you with enough money to pay for it!

  • 1

    Paddy Long's

    Bar / Irish Pub

    Delirium Tremens tap at Paddy Long's
    Lincoln Park

    1028 West Diversey Parkway
    Chicago, IL 60657


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  • 2

    Simon's Tavern

    Historic Bar / Pub

    Simon's Tavern - Historic Bar | Pub in Chicago.
    Andersonville / Edgewater

    5210 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60640


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  • 3

    Quenchers Saloon

    Live Music Venue / Pub / Restaurant

    Quenchers Saloon - Live Music Venue | Pub | Restaurant in Chicago.
    Logan Square

    2401 North Western Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60647


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  • 4

    Randolph Street Market

    Market / Outdoor Activity / Shopping Area

    Randolph Street Market - Market | Outdoor Activity | Shopping Area in Chicago.
    West Loop

    1350 West Randolph Street
    Chicago, IL 60607


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  • 5

    The Barrelhouse Flat

    Cocktail Bar / Lounge

    The Barrelhouse Flat - Cocktail Bar | Lounge in Chicago.
    Lincoln Park

    2624 North Lincoln Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60614


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User Comments

Chris M. Aug 1, 2012
Just ride around the loop on the El and see the city that way.
Alex K. Jul 31, 2012
Anything involving a park or a lake is always a solid choice in Chicago. That is, if there's good weather.
Chris M. Jul 31, 2012
Get your bikes and ride up and down the lake. Stop at Montrose, North Ave or Oak Street beach or any part of Lincoln Park. Also the Lincoln Park zoo is a free option. There is also a Butterfly Sanctuary just north of the zoo. I took a date there once and she loved it, you get to walk around a greenhouse with hundreds of butterflies flitting around.
Anonymous Jul 27, 2012
I think just cruising up and down the river is a solid day date option. Then stop at the Billy Goat Tavern for an amazing cheeseburger.
Anonymous Jul 27, 2012
A picnic at Oak Street Beach is also always fun, especially a little later in September when the beach itself isn't as crowded. Bring a flask!
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