Bringing a touch of culture to the Clybourn Corridor (unless Pequod's Pizza or the nearby bar fish-and-chip offerings are your idea of the high-life), Thai Wild Ginger offers up stellar and cheap Thai food. Not too greasy (the restaurant cooks its fare in vegetable oil) and served in heaping portions, it's rare to leave Wild Ginger hungry or unsatisfied.
Appetizers include the traditional spring rolls and pot stickers and saucier fare such as the mee krob, crispy vermicelli noodles tossed in a "sweet tart" tomato sauce and topped with tofu. Fast and friendly service, entrees that range from $5.50 to $10, a mean, just-peanutty-enough pad Thai and an ever-present willingness to kick the heat up a notch if you ask make Thai Wild Ginger a pretty safe bet. Other notables include Thai fried rice (with vegetables, chicken and pineapple and more) and Thai custard and coconut ice cream for dessert. The restaurant also has a considerable number of vegetarian options.
Seeing a movie at Webster Place? Hop across the street first for a dinner that will almost certainly run you less than that ticket or popcorn. It's also one of the only area restaurants with a truly stellar lunch special: soup and an entree for just around $5. Thai Wild Ginger also delivers.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Erin Brereton