Dining Tidbits

Budget Beat

You don’t have to be a frugal tourist or a college student to appreciate Cafecito, a chipper new Cuban coffeehouse next door to a hostel and a quick hop from several Loop campuses. You could be a culture vulture looking for a bite before a performance at the Auditorium or Symphony Center (it’s open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) or, frankly, just grateful for a cheap, interesting meal in a spendy neighborhood. Substantial and satisfying pressed sandwiches are the main event: The cubano ($4.99) is piled with marinated roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and sweet pickles; jardin ($5.49) is full of roasted vegetables and mushrooms, mozzarella, fresh arugula, and jalapeño hummus. We also like the choripan ($5.49), with its bold Spanish chorizo, grilled onions, and chimichurri, and the excellent atun ($5.49), tuna and olive salad. Sides ($2.35 for a generous “small”) include hearts of palm with artichokes, roasted red peppers, and eggplant salad. Finally, there’s robust, slightly sweetened Cuban coffee, American coffee and teas, and hot chocolate, any of which goes down easy with a sweet from the pastry case. 26 E. Congress Pkwy.; 312-922-2233. –Joanne Trestrail

Original publication: 
Chicago Mag