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Arlington Heights Inexpensive Caterers

Browse these inexpensive caterers with great ratings from Thumbtack customers in Arlington Heights.

Top Pro
  • 4 years in business
  • 319 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Claudia O.
Verified review

Very tasty food! On time service.

North Island Catering
4.8
from 145 reviews
  • 32 years in business
  • 263 hires on Thumbtack
Marquita Y.
Verified review

Great food! would have given 5 stars but I ordered a special plate for my friend who has food allergies and is gluten free we never got the order that we paid for. I was also charged additional fees that were never agreed upon in the original contract.

Chic Chef Catering
4.8
from 128 reviews
  • 3 years in business
  • 197 hires on Thumbtack
Laura S.
Verified review

Trying to plan a banquet from a thousand miles away, in a problematic downtown Chicago location, is not an easy task. Luckily for me, I found Ravi at Chic Chef Catering here on Thumbtack. Ravi took care of everything, handling all the location's inherent difficulties competently and professionally. He stayed with his staff for the entire event, and made sure all of our 80+ guests were happy and well-fed. More importantly, I didn't need to worry about the caterers and the food and all the rest of it, because it was all in his capable hands. I could instead focus on our guests. We chose a Mediterranean menu--with a vegetarian option to meet some of our guests' needs. Everything was delicious and there was plenty of it! Many thanks and much appreciation to Ravi and his crew! We would absolutely use Chic Chef Catering again!

Inglenook Catering
4.9
from 102 reviews
  • 50 years in business
  • 133 hires on Thumbtack
Joann D.
Verified review

I happened to find Inglenook Catering and Joe on a quick search for local caterers. I wanted to try a different caterer with a different menu. My daughter picked the menu, and it was pretty traditional....Italian beef, Italian sausage, fried chicken, mostacolli, green beans almandine, and scalloped potatoes. Truly, I wanted to explore other items on the menu, but since I offered and it was her choice, that's what I went with. The Italian beef and sausage were homemade and definitely amazing! Great flavor and seasonings! The fried chicken was delicious as well! Everything was warmed and ready to serve. Would definitely order from Joe again! Thank you so very much for the prompt communication and coming to assist with the drop off. My guests throughly enjoyed your catering Joe, and I will definitely recommend you to my friends! Would love to try other entrees next time!!

Top Pro
Cater~2~U Catering LLC
5.0
from 49 reviews
  • 10 years in business
  • 68 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Kevin B.
Verified review

We have had many private chefs and caterers. We have found our “go to” chef service. Food was amazing. Mike and Matt were fun. They entertained the kids at the bar as they cooked, served.. and cleaned up. If you have never had a personal chef, try them. If you have before, uplevel to them. And by the way.. the cost was a bargain. Dinner for 8 with wine and beer pairing Less than $100 per person Insanely goid!

Top Pro
Just a Bite
4.9
from 49 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 74 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Janet B.
Verified review

I've used Just a Bite several times to cater parties. The owner is extremely easy to work with and made great menu suggestions. My events had themes and the food was perfectly matched to the theme. The food was beautifully presented and tasted great. I know things are made from scratch with quality ingredients and you can taste the difference. Nothing makes a hostess feel better than having guests say positive things about the food, and that happens every time I use this caterer. Most importantly, the owner delivered beyond my expectations and stayed within my budget. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this caterer to friends and family.

  • 29 years in business
  • 62 hires on Thumbtack
Adam S.
Verified review

Professional caterer with great menu and quality food. Excellent service.

Top Pro
Food with Flair
5.0
from 22 reviews
  • 5 years in business
  • 24 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Lynn O.
Verified review

This was my first time hiring a caterer, and I was not disappointed. This was also my first time using Thumbtack. Had never even heard of it before googling “caterers near me”. Carol of Food with Flair did a wonderful job catering a family outdoor BBQ at my home for my dad’s 90th birthday. We had 25 people in attendance, and many commented on how good the food was. She was very responsive from the moment she and I were matched through Thumbtack, all the way through my event. She helped plan the meal, making suggestions on food items that were popular at other BBQs she had catered; arrived promptly the day of the event with much of the food prep completed and the remainder completed once she arrived; provided the warming trays, serving dishes, and serving utensils; grilled the meat (hamburgers and chicken) on my Weber grill; set up the serving table; had the meal ready in a timely fashion; put away leftovers for me; and left my kitchen clean. She also was able to work with dietary restrictions. She offered to provide paper goods and make arrangements for other supplies (e.g. canopy), which I declined. She brought two pineapple upside down cakes (my Dad’s favorite), and because we had neglected to discuss which of us would provide the candles, she decided to play it safe and brought a “9” & a “0” candle for one of the cakes. For the other cake she had a friend create a diecut that read “Happy 90th Birthday” in colors that coordinated with the cake. It was a nice, thoughtful surprise. While I had thought about asking whether she offered tastings, I didn’t due to the small size of my party; the short time frame between booking the party and the event itself; and her experience as an executive chef. I trusted that the food would be good, and it was. But I can’t share whether she offers tastings or not. My husband and I were very pleased with the service Carol provided and would definitely use her again.

Top Pro
Gracious
5.0
from 21 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 35 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Jennifer M.
Verified review

Gracious and her crew came in and took over. They really allowed me to enjoy my party and looked for ways to help out, above and beyond what was expected!

  • 8 years in business
  • 26 hires on Thumbtack
Jacq U.
Verified review

Diana was called to cater a Retirement workplace event. She was more than willing to let a group of us sample her dishes before she was booked. Diana was more than willing to work with pricing & made suggestions to please even the pickiest crowd, which was greatly appreciated. Her presentation was very impressive. Food was delicious. Diana & her helper arrived right on time! The cake was both super cute & very yummy! Thank you again for helping us with this very special event & making everything go so smoothly!

Baileys Catering
5.0
from 13 reviews
  • 2 years in business
  • 2 hires on Thumbtack
Rev Morgan D.
Verified review

Chef Bailey and Bailey's Catering always does a great job with food for our church. Very professional and reasonable with rates. Savory tasting dishes and enjoyable flavor profiles!

Ari's Amazing Creations
4.8
from 12 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 12 hires on Thumbtack
Jadon W.
Verified review

Her food is creative, tasty, and she gives a beautiful presentation. She will work with your ideas to give you an experience you will never forget!

Top Pro
BellaRu Catering
5.0
from 11 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 9 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
John D.
Verified review

The overall experience was exceptional and working with Maya was truly an amazing experience! The staff was professional and the food was delicious! Everything about the service provided was memorable and would recommend them to anyone needing a quality caterer. They took the stress off and allowed us to focus on the wedding. I can’t express how much I appreciate their service and how we were able to enjoy the wedding. Again, a big thank you to BellaRu Catering!

PhylClay's Catering
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 12 years in business
  • 1 hire on Thumbtack
Preston M.
Verified review

I have used catering companies before, but PhylClay's Catering is the best so far. They are attentive, professional, punctual and have high quality food to serve. I have used them for family gatherings and birthdays. They always make high quality meals that are enjoyed by all.

Madre Catering
5.0
from 10 reviews
  • 11 years in business
Arnold G.
Verified review

Me and my wife used this caterer for our sons 18th birthday party. The tacos were the best, idk how they did it but we had a little over 70 guest but had only ordered for 50. Our appreciation for there extra accommodation of service is 100 percent floored with amazement. 😄

Top Pro
Frato's Culinary Kitchen
5.0
from 8 reviews
  • 40 years in business
  • 8 hires on Thumbtack
  • Top Pro on Thumbtack
Nick B.
Verified review

Highly personable ordering and customer service. Delivery drivers even have high tech software on their phones making everything really smooth as it updated us when the driver left Fratto's to come here...so cool! We found our new corporate caterer. Amazing work and stress free!

J's Catering
5.0
from 6 reviews
  • 1 year in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Mrs M.
Verified review

I hired J’s catering for a first birthday party at an outdoor park this past weekend. Urbano was very easy to work with. His pricing was fair and he was very professional and knowledgeable during our meeting. The party went smoothly and everyone loved the fresh food and fruit. It was so nice not to worry about food during the party! Urbano showed up early and had hot food ready to go for the first arrivals. I would definitely use him again and recommend him to others.

Fyusion Dining
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 14 years in business
  • 5 hires on Thumbtack
Lisa O.
Verified review

Chef Yu and his sous chef were amazing. They were prompt, reliable, organized, helpful, polite, and made sure that my guests were happy. The food was delicious and the presentation was gorgeous. I was so grateful for their helpfulness during prep time, so I could get myself and my kids ready. While I was helping my kids finish their homework before our party, Chef Yu was arranging flowers and setting the table without me even asking. It was kind of like having my mom in the kitchen with me, because like her, Chef Yu just looked around to see what needed to be done and he did it. Effortless! I highly recommend Fyusion dining for their professionalism, as well as their unique and interesting menu options!

  • 18 years in business
Pam D.
Verified review

We had a great experience working with Veneisha. The food for our party was amazing, flavorful and delicious. I highly recommend her service's.

Heavenly Helpings llc
5.0
from 3 reviews
  • 2 years in business
Willey M.
Verified review

Heavenly helpings catered our wedding and it was awesome! They also catered our grandsons pool party with a gorgeous Sesame Street theme! I highly recommend them for all of your catering needs!

Cooking by Chef Mike
5.0
from 1 review
    Mary D.
    Verified review

    Look no further for the utmost professionalism and the best quality food/catering! I cannot rave enough about Michael! I hosted my baby shower at my townhouse in Lincoln Park. Most of my family is on the east coast, so the guest list was only about 20 people. I knew I didn't want myself or another guest to have to worry about cooking and a few of my guests have specific dietary restrictions so I wasn't comfortable ordering from a restaurant. One of my friends works at the law firm where Michael is the chef and passed along his information, letting me know he also caters these types of private events. Plus, she kept RAVING about how awesome his food is. Michael was so refreshing to work with from start to finish. He was responsive, detail oriented, and extremely professional (not to mention so friendly!) We had an initial phone meeting to discuss menu ideas, dietary restrictions, and theming. He got back to me with a preliminary menu (including a full ingredient list) and questions regarding what my kitchen was capable of (how big my oven is, how many burners I have, etc.) As I said, very detail oriented. He also came up with thoughtful, creative ideas for my friend's dietary restrictions so they could enjoy the "fun" treats, too! One of my favorite gluten free treats were his dark chocolate coconut tarts- totally delicious. The day of the shower he arrived right on time with everything we discussed for the final menu. He was professional and completely unobtrusive. He ensured all of the food was the correct temperature when served. He even came prepared with ingredient cards to put out with the food. Everything was DELICIOUS. But I think the best part of hiring Michael was that he left my kitchen SPOTLESS! I swear it was cleaner than when he started. Seriously, look no further for in-home catering. I already know who will do Baby Rose's first birthday party. I swear, Michael is Chicago's best kept secret.

    Q & A

    Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

    How much does it cost to hire a caterer?

    Catering prices depend mainly on how fancy you want the food and service to be and how many guests you’ll have. When you’re first looking to hire a caterer for your event, consider how many guests you’ll have and your total food and drink budget. The national average for event catering is $340, but catering prices can range into the thousands depending on your menu, guest count, and service.

    Event catering is a broad term that covers everything from fully prepared, ready-to-eat food that the hosts plate and serve themselves to full-service, multicourse meals, including rental of linens, glassware and other items, with service staff organized by the catering company. Usually a caterer will determine cost based on the type of event you’re having, how many guests will attend, the level of service you desire, and what type of menu you’d like to have. For example, if you have a set catering budget, say $1,500, and you plan to have 50 people attend, that means you have $30 per person for food. If you have the same budget with 100 people, you have $15 per person for food. In this way, the number of people you want to attend your event and the level of food you want to serve them determines how much catering will cost.

    How much should catering cost per person?

    Catering prices can range from about $10 per guest on the low end to $150 or more per person on the high end. Catering costs represent the quality of food, presentation, variety, ingredients and service. But catering prices are more than the cost to cook the food that will be at your party; they also include the cost for the company to do business. Here is a simple breakdown of catering prices:

    • Menu: The food you serve your guests will directly affect the price per person. Organic ingredients, complex recipes, elaborate presentations, or high-ticket items like lobster or filet mignon all add to the cost.
    • Service: Buffet, family style, plated dinners — how you serve the food affects the cost per person. For example, a true plated meal can cost about twice the price of a staff-assisted buffet because of staffing costs. Hiring waiters, bartenders and cleanup crew will all be calculated into the per-person catering price.
    • Drinks: Providing beverages and alcoholic drinks for guests greatly increases your catering budget. Hosting an open bar can cost as much per person as the meal.
    • Rentals: Seating, plates, glassware, etc., will all have an effect on the cost per person for catering. For example, a plastic conference table that seats 10 costs about $6 to rent on average, while a wooden farmhouse table is about $80 to rent on average.
    • Business costs: Any catering cost will also include the cost for the company to do business such as insurance, employee wages, commercial kitchen space and more.
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