The traditional mission of a Best Of is—let’s be frank—largely to suggest places to spend your money. But if you’re among those of us who didn’t just get a million-dollar bonus from your government-bailed-out employer, you’ll find plenty of ways to spend less of it in our 2009 Best of Chicago. Sink your teeth into a real burger (with organic greens!) for just a buck. Stretch the time between beers with free Ping-Pong. Feast on Peking duck and steamed buns for under $10. Find great vintage duds, buy used books, collect art from tomorrow’s stars today. And take pleasure in the simple things—like a smoke on the stoop, a cocktail that tastes like spring, or a heavenly cardamom-scented latte. Oh—and don’t you need something to read while you sip?