Old Town is one of Chicago’s most historic neighborhoods, located on the North Side. It’s home to St. Michael’s Church, one of only seven buildings that survived the Great Chicago Fire. In more recent times, the neighborhood has become a popular spot for locals and tourists to enjoy great food, shopping and more. Read on for a full day’s itinerary of budget-friendly eats, fun things to do, and new spots to check out in Chicago's Old Town.




There are many options for easy transportation to Old Town. It’s just a mile or so outside of downtown Chicago. From the Loop, the most direct route is to take the CTA Red Line to the Clark/Division stop. Or, if the weather is nice and you’re wearing comfortable shoes, it’s definitely walkable.




Kanela Breakfast Club serves Greek-inspired fare with local and organic ingredients. The chic setting features exposed brick and chandeliers. Everything on the menu ranges from $5 to $15.

Kanela Breakfast Club  |  1552 N. Wells Street  |  312-255-1206

There are also plenty of cute little coffee shops such as Cocoa + Co., where you can grab a quick bite (and save room for lunch!).

Cocoa + Co.  |  1651 N. Wells Street  |  312-624-8540




Adobo Grill

There’s no shortage of affordable lunch stops in Old Town. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Adobo Grill: For quality Mexican food. (215 W. North Avenue)

  • Eva's Cafe: For great sandwiches. (1447 N. Sedgwick Street)




Greenheart Shop

Another unique place to shop is Greenheart Shop. This is the ultimate destination to find fair trade clothes, home decor, beauty products and gifts for the whole family.

Greenheart Shop  |  1714 N. Wells Street  |  312-264-1625

Foodies come from near and far to shop at The Spice House. This shop sells made-in-house spice mixes, rubs, salts and anything else you might need to make a flavorful home-cooked meal. With good timing, you might be able to snag a Groupon deal for a set of Chicago spice flavors.

The Spice House  |  1512 N. Wells Street  |  312-274-0378




Zanies Comedy

Old Town is home to the famous sketch comedy theater The Second City, but Zanies Comedy Night Club is also a great option, and usually a bit more affordable.

The Second City  |  1616 N. Wells Street |  312-337-3992

Zanies Comedy Night Club  |  1548 N. Wells Street  |  312-337-4027





Twin Anchors

Twin Anchors is a famous BBQ joint that was frequented by Frank Sinatra. Order a half slab of their famous ribs for $16.50 and you'll have enough food for dinner and lunch the next day.

Twin Anchors  |  1655 N. Sedgwick Avenue  |  312-266-1616

SteakBar is a New American steakhouse with a great cocktail list and live DJ. This new restaurant is more upscale, but you can get a fantastic burger for $14 or less.

SteakBar  |  1500 N. Wells Street  |  773-966-0404




The VIG Chicago

There are plenty of spots to get a drink in Old Town, but here are a few with a unique atmosphere and plenty of seating.

  • The VIG Chicago: 1950s-themed sports parlor that came onto the scene just over a year ago. (1527 N. Wells Street)
  • Happy Camper: Enjoy the tire swings! The newer pizza party spot opened right after The VIG on the other end of Wells. (1209 N. Wells Street)


Have you been to Old Town? What’s your favorite spot that can be enjoyed on a budget? Tweet your picks at @choosechicago.