The following list is a select number of what we think are some of the best deals in Chicago. They are not special one off deals or deals you have to sign up for or pay for. They are just opportunities to save money at Chicago's attractions and at some of its best restaurants.
Gyu-Kaku Chicago: A Japanese BBQ where you cook your own food on a grill in the middle of the table. It is a fun place and they a good variety of beef, seafood and vegetables. They offer reduced prices, much of their menu is half priced, everyday from 11:30-3:00 and from 4:30-6:00. They also have daily drink specials.
Emilio's tapas: A classic American tapas place. The tapas are tasty but it is the large outdoor space that makes it worth going. The have a list of about 20 wines that are offered for half price everyday.
Shaw's Oyster Bar: A lively lounge with fresh seafood. It is separate from the main dinning room. They have half priced oysters, they usually have a choice of about 10 different oysters and you can mix and match, from 4:00-6:00 everyday. Otherwise it is a fairly expensive place to go.
Wildfire: A Chicago steakhouse that has great fare and is and less stuffy than most of the other steakhouses. On Mondays they offer all of their wines at half price. Dinner will still be fairly expensive, but it will knock $20-$40 off of your bill. They also have half priced appetizers in the bar on Monday from 5:00-7:00.
Havana: A small and lively latin food restaurant with tasty offerings and even better drinks. They do not have meal deals but they have great drink specials. Monday-Wednesday is half price pitchers of sangria, Thursday pitchers of their tasty margaritas are half price and Friday you can get the cities best mojitos for half price. Ask for the skinny mojitos, they use Splenda instead of sugar. They say you need to buy two entrees to get the cheap drinks but we have never had a problem. On of the best places to go in Chicago for a fun time at dinner.
Trattoria Roma: An intimate Italian restaurant in the Old Town section of Chicago. They have authentic Italian salads and appetizers, good pastas and small pizzas. They offer all of their wines for half price on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Petterinos: A classic Chicago steakhouse. Monday-Thursday after 7:00 you can get an appetizer, entree and desert for $19.95. They offer 7 different choices for all 3 courses. The list does change and sometimes does not include a steak. It is located close to many of the Loop's sights and attractions.
Bistros Margot: An Old Town bistros with tasty, reasonable priced offerings. There is an atmospheric inside space and they have an outdoor space good for people watching. On Monday-Thursday from 4:00-6:00 they have offer 3 courses for $19.95. There are 3 tasty choices for each course. Mondays are half priced bottles of wine. Wednesday brings one of the city's best deals, $26.95 for any appetizer, main course and dessert. You can order a $25 main course and still pay only $26.95 for your whole meal.
Fleming's: Their 5 for $6 til 7 deal, in the bar only, is a great way to get a drink and an appetizer for only $12. They offer 5 cocktails, wines by the glass and appetizers for only $6. The food is all good, especially the capriccio, and is in large portions.
Free Museum days:
Unfortunately most of these free days have been changed to Illinois residents only. Hopefully it will change back soon.
The Art Institute of Chicago: Admission is free on the first and second Wednesday of the month to this world class attraction. Weekdays will be free from Jan 7- Feb 13. One of Chicago's best free things to do.
The Field Museum: They have free basic admission, you get into the main galleries but not the special exhibits, on January 7, 8, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 28, 30. It is a great chance to see Sue and many of the other fascinating attractions for free.
Shedd Aquarium: There are many chances to go to one of the world's best aquariums for free. Free admission to the aquarium but not to the wales or dolphins is on January: 7, 8, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 28, 29 February: 4, 5, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 25, 26 March: 4, 5,11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 June: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18 September: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 October: 7, 14, 21, 28 November: 4, 11, 18, 25 December: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.
The Museum of Science and Industry: A fun, family friendly, museum that is a great attraction. It has a long list of free general admission days. Jan 7-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-31. Feb.6, 13, 20, 27 Mar 4.
The Chicago History Museum: This surprisingly fun museum is free on, January 2, February 4–28, March 4
Adler Planetarium: Free on January: 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 28, 29, 30, 31. It is worth going just for the great skyline views.
Lincoln Park Zoo: A great zoo that is always free. The main attractions are the bears, lions, tigers and the gorilla house.
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: Free on Thursdays.
Museum of Contemporary Art: Free on Tuesdays. In the summer it corresponded with a great farmers market in front of the museum.