There is no such thing as a free lunch. Well, wait, maybe there is. If you ever happen to be in the windy city and can take advantage of one of the following great specials the only tab you will have to pick up is the one from the bar. (Note that there truly is no such thing as a free lunch. The lunch, although maybe free for you, cost someone something along the way. By the time the food was produced, packaged, shipped, prepared, and served there was a lot of dollars spent to provide you with that free meal.) So, who out there is hungry? This list proves to make you salivate all over your keyboard! Plus, eating at these places gives you more than a free meal, but rather a true experience of what makes Chicago great. The places on this list are iconic restaurants to the city of Chicago and impossible to find elsewhere.
Friday night at the Lion Head Pub
I love chicken wings. Nothing beats a big plate of deep fried BBQ chicken wings. Sometimes I venture out and try the hot sauce, but I like the sweetness that most BBQs offer. (Unless of course you are at Scotty’s Brewhouse and can enjoy their MoFo Mustard. It is sweet and spicy all wrapped into one sauce. Their specialty actually.) So, on Friday night the folks over at the Lion Head Pub throw a nice Caesar salad, some fresh vegetables, and a variety of other bar foods like Sloppy Joes onto a buffet and invite you and all your friends inside for dinner. But of course, don’t forget to the tip your waitress. And have a cold one for me while you are there. They appreciate the traffic from the bar.
Address: 2251 North Lincoln Avenue • Phone: 773-348-5100 • Directions
Saturday night at the Map Room
Just the name Map Room has me interested. I picture walking in to a dark, fresh and modern atmosphere with white leather couches everywhere and sexy blond bartenders wearing all black behind the bar. But, from noon until 3:00 PM you can venture in off the streets and enjoy a free brew with your lunch. Order any number of items from their extensive barbecue inspired menu and your beer comes with the meal. This is from a huge list of beers including bottles, drafts, and even cask ales. This place is truly a beer lover’s dream.
Address: 1949 North Hoyne Avenue • Phone: 773-252-7636 • Directions
Midnight Snack at Sedgwick’s Bar & Grill
If you are walking around the crowded streets on any given Saturday night and manage to stumble across Sedgwick’s Bar & Grill, walk in and enjoy some late night snacks on the house. Here, after midnight, you will find an array of foods thrown together on a buffet for your eating pleasure. You can grab nachos, quesadillas, pastas, and even a variety of cold cuts. But again, remember that it is midnight and chances are you are already drinking. So, make sure to order a few beers and take care of your bartender. This food might be free to you but these have to make a living somehow.
Address: 1935 North Sedgwick Street • Phone: 312-337-7900 • Directions
Spending Sunday at Big Chicks
Are you hungry for some pre-game fried chicken? Perhaps some cheeseburgers or gyros? Maybe you are even in the mood for a meatball submarine sandwich. However you look at it, if you can make it to 4:00 PM then head over to Big Chicks for their incredible buffet packed with all of this and more. This buffet is always changing and there are new items being added nearly every week. So, after a long night out on Saturday, sleep in, grab a candy bar or something to hold you over, and head over to Big Chicks for a late afternoon feast. You won’t be sorry.
Address: 5024 North Sheridan Road • Phone: 773-728-5511 • Directions