Where to Get Handheld Bites When You’re On the Go

Sometimes you just don’t have the time to sit down and order a full meal. You need to eat something quick while you’re riding the CTA or walking to work, but finding handheld bites are harder than you think.

Whether you’re roaming around a food festival, jamming at a concert, or just walking the streets of the city, it’s never fun to be handed a flimsy plate full of food and try to juggle that, a fork, and a drink while you eat on the go. It’s just not practical, and you’ll probably end up with some kind of not-so-mystery stain before you’re finished.

Take the smarter route and try some of these handheld bites, perfect for any grab-and-go situation. Chicago’s got some pretty great options and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on any of them, so here are all the best handheld bites in the city.


Cheesie’s Pub & Grub

Photo Credit: Cheesie’s Pub & Grill Facebook

Multiple Locations

Whether you’ve caught their food truck or you’re headed into either their Lakeview or Wicker Park location, Cheesie’s always has something handheld for you to try. Their grilled cheese sandwiches became instant classics when unveiled, and their ideal for carrying around on the go. Might have to leave behind the dipping sauce, though.


Al’s Beef

Al's Italian Beef
Photo Credit: Al’s Italian Beef Facebook

Multiple Locations

You know you’ve caved and grabbed an Al’s Italian Beef sandwich on the go before, but why be ashamed of that? Al’s has easily the best Italian Beef in the city, so it makes sense that their practical sandwiches are handheld and perfect for rushing out the door. With locations in Wrigleyville, Bucktown, the Loop, and Little Italy, you can’t go wrong with an Al’s beef sandwich.



Photo Credit: Naansense Facebook

Multiple Locations

This casual grab-and-go Indian restaurant is both delicious and ideal for a quick meal if you do have time to spare. But if not, their potato samosas are absolutely amazing, and they’re perfect for eating on the go. Grab a few after lunch and feel that happiness take over as you savor every bite.


Protein Bar & Kitchen

Protein Bar
Photo Credit: Protein Bar Facebook

Multiple Locations

My first thought was that the smoothies here are ideal for on-the-go meals, packed full of protein, fruits, and veggies to give you that perfect early-morning energy boost. But upon a little research, Protein Bar & Kitchen also carries plenty of handheld wraps you can also take with you, assuming you’re not a food slob like some people (read: me). Always worth a stop into this quick kitchen.



Photo Credit: Portillo’s Facebook

Multiple Locations

Yeah, we shout them out a lot, but you’d be lying if you told me you don’t love their greasy menu. Whether you’re in the mood for onion rings, french fries, a cake shake, Italian beef, or a burger, Portillo’s has some grand handheld bites for when you’re on the go, and since they have locations all over the city, you can always count on one being close by.


The Doughnut Vault

Doughnut Vault
Photo Credit: Doughnut Vault Facebook

Multiple Locations

You know you love a fried donut in the morning, even if you’ll regret all that sugar later in the day. The Doughnut Vault handcrafts their doughy circles to perfection every day, so you can pick up a freshly baked donut first thing before you hop on the CTA.


Yum Dum Food Truck

Yum Dum Truck
Photo Credit: Yum Dum Truck Facebook


Yum Dum puts their location for the day up on their social channels, so you can easily find the truck when you’re in a hurry. Since they serve all kinds of handheld bites, from their baowiches to their steamed dumplings, so it’s never a bad idea to hit up this food truck when you find it.


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