There’s an old saying that goes, “Where there are college students, inexpensive late-night food is never far away.” OK, maybe we made that up. But regardless, CUC’s location in a bustling suburban area means we have no shortage of delicious, cheap eats near campus.

  1. Johnnie’s Beef: A couple blocks north of campus is the world-renowned Johnnie’s Beef. Walk by around lunchtime and you’ll see the billowing smoke from the grills and smell the charred Italian sausage. The (cash-only) menu is limited to pretty much Italian beef, sausage, hot dogs and fries, but every item is made to perfection. – 7500 W. North Ave., Elmwood Park, IL
  2. Boss Burrito: Tucked away on a cobblestone street in downtown Oak Park, this little place serves authentic Mexican food, quick and affordable. Try the tacos, tortas or burritos, with a choice of meat or vegetarian fillings. – 1110 Westgate St., Oak Park, IL
  3. Mickey’s: Not to be confused with the similarly named chain restaurant across the street, this Mickey’s serves ribs, gyros, burgers, hot dogs, fried shrimp, chicken and more. If you’re heading down Harlem Avenue, it’s the one with signs plastered in all the windows featuring their daily specials. – 525 N. Harlem Ave., Oak Park, IL
  4. Submarine Tender: A favorite in the community, some people say this place has the best subs they’ve ever eaten. It’s open until the wee hours, so you can swing by even if you’ve been studying late into the night. Don’t forget to order a side of B.G. fries (that’s butter and garlic). – 200 Des Plaines Ave., Forest Park, IL
  5. Starship: This unique place has a definite sci-fi theme (lots of figurines and memorabilia on display), but you don’t have to be a Trekkie to enjoy their selection of hot and cold sandwiches. You can also stock up on their vast selection of mouth-watering made-from-scratch soups to reheat at home. – 7618 Madison St., Forest Park, IL
  6. All the chains: While we always advocate for patronizing local businesses, most of the familiar restaurants you know from your hometown are also within walking distance or a short drive from campus. Our students say that some of their favs include Chick-fil-A, Raising Cane’s, Chipotle, Panera, Boston Market, and Noodles & Company.