Brunch, Brinner, and Everything else In Between

Osaka’s fruit smoothies are the perfect treat for a college student on budget.

Osaka’s fruit smoothies are the perfect treat for a college student on budget. Photo by Megan Schuller

By Rachel Popa

Sometimes cafeteria food just doesn’t cut it. Luckily, Chicago is home to over 7,300 restaurants, according to the city’s website. Having that many options can be a bit daunting, especially since not all restaurants have student-friendly prices. Here are some restaurants around town that serve food that is not only delicious, but won’t break the bank of the average cash-strapped college student:

Stax Cafe is your breakfast spot located in the heart of Little Italy,within walking distance of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Consequently, they have a menu item dubbed “The Starving Student” which is two eggs, two slices of bacon and toast all for $8.50. Stax is solely a breakfast and brunch restaurant, and closes at 3 p.m., so make sure to get there early for a truly authentic breakfast experience. Stax pride themselves on perfecting the classic American breakfast experience, offering fresh squeezed juices; and their own unique, perfected recipes of classic breakfast dishes. Most menu items are under $10, but prices can increase depending on what you want. Roosevelt University junior Jenny Summers is a fan of Stax Cafe. “Stax is so good,” she said. “I really recommend the omelettes.”

Osaka Sushi Express & Fresh Fruit Smoothies: Sushi and smoothies might not seem like they would meld well together, but both the sushi and smoothies here are fantastic. The sushi rolls are no more than $5, and there are many choices ranging from California rolls to Nigiri. Osaka delivers, although just around the corner on Van Buren Street. If sushi is not your style try other items, such as miso soup or seafood salads. Osaka serves dinner combinations which include sushi rolls and assorted menu items like Nigiri and Inari with miso soup. They even have a combination named after Roosevelt University! The smoothies served at Osaka come in a variety of unique flavor combinations such as coconut, mango, lychee, papaya, avocado, cantaloupe and more.

Pizano’s is a good choice if you are looking for great deep-dish pizza. They offer free pizza for college students on Tuesdays from nine until closing with the purchase of a drink. Pizano’s also delivers until 3 a.m., making it a perfect choice for late-night snacking. Pizano’s has several locations, including one on Madison Street in the Loop. If you cannot make the Tuesday night trip, deep dish and thin crust pizzas can run $13 and up, but they are extremely filling so it’s worth the price considering there’s a good chance of taking the pizza home as leftovers.
Consider saving flex dollars by visiting one of the restaurants mentioned above. After all, tuition and textbooks may be expensive, but great food doesn’t have to be.

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