Going to Penny's Noodle Shop for authentic Asian food would be like going to Olive Garden for a bona fide Italian meal: authentic, it is not. But hey, authenticity comes with a price, and sometimes you just want go somewhere where the portions are large, the environment is chill and the prices are rock bottom. If that's the case, the ever-popular Penny's Noodle Shop in Lakeview is the place for you.
Squeezed onto the corner of Sheffield and Roscoe, Penny's is as warm and inviting as it is energetic and busy. The kitchen is pushed into the back of this small space, creating an atmosphere that is alive with a young crowd and a staff that seems chaotically busy waiting on customers, taking orders, sending out deliveries, answering phone calls and frying-up food...all in the same room. Despite the hustle and bustle, the tables are intimate enough for good conversation, so you can bring a friend or take a seat at the bar and enjoy your dinner solo.
This warm and busy environment may distract you from the fact that the food is the most generic of Asian cuisine: pad Thai, udon noodles, wonton soup, etc. They won't be the tastiest dishes you've ever tried, but they are pan-fried practically in front of you, so you can't beat the freshness or the quick service. You also can't beat the prices: all entrees fall under the $6 mark. So come for the atmosphere, stay for the food and leave with your budget firmly intact. BYOB.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Ashley Hamilton