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David Lissner
for restaurants

Five free feeds in Chicagoland

Gibsons' filet sliders.

Gibsons’ filet sliders.


UPDATE: Chens has canceled its free bao offer; the buns will be free at Koi only.

Cheap eats? How about free?

  1. Free appetizers. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse in Rosemont passes platters of free appetizers from 4 to 6 p.m. every Monday through Friday. Chef Marco DiBenedetto’s rotating menu of complimentary munchables includes Gibsons filet sliders, barbecued shrimp, house-made pigs in a blanket, pizza and more.

  2. Free duck buns. Koi in Evanston and Chens Chinese and Sushi in Wrigleyville introduce new Peking duck bao with a free sample to every diner through June 15. A full order of the soft, steamed buns filled with traditional roasted duck, green onion, and cucumber in su mei plum sauce sells for $11.95.

  3. Free beer and appetizers. Cityscape Bar in River North hosts a free “Brew with a View” beer sampling from 6 to 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month. The Thursday, June 9, event, hosted by The Boston Beer Company, offers several beers served with small bites such as hot wings and grilled fresh veggies with aged balsamic vinegar. Participants also get a free coupon for a buy-one-get-one-half-off dinner in the adjoining ItaliAsia restaurant after the tasting or on a future night. Reservations are required at

  4. Free buffet. Howl at the Moon in River North hosts “Howlin’ Happy Hour” from 5 to 7 p.m. Fridays with a free buffet. The dueling piano show starts at 6 p.m. with a $10 cover charge.

  5. Free buffet. Big Chicks in Uptown hosts a cookout buffet at 4 p.m. every Sunday, featuring burgers, sausages and more, free with drinks purchase.