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German/Austrian Cafe in Chicago?

Hi Chi-Hounds,
I know this is a long-shot, but I'm searching for a little German/Austrian cafe/store/bakery in Chicago. I was last there about 20 years ago. My wife and I cabbed over from our hotel on Michigan Avenue, so I don't recall where it's located. I do remember that the cafe was downstairs and food was very good and home-style. I'll be in Chicago in the fall and would like to eat there again if its still in business. Can anyone help? Thanks!

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  1. I bet it was, "The Bergoff", downtown in the Financial District. It's been around for over 100 years and packed with tons of German sweets and homestyle food. Unfortunately, the main restaurant closed 1-2 years ago (apparently the only way to rid itself of the costly union scale workers...my theory) and then re-opened on a smaller scale as, "Bergoff Cafe". Haven't been to the cafe.

    If you crave German Food, our great city has quite a few options.

    Here are a few standouts;
    Resi's Bier Stube on the Northside on Irving Park Road. Authentic German Food & Beer Garden.
    Chicago Brauhaus is likely the most popular German Restaurant in the City located on Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Sqaure (Lots of 2nd and 3rd generation Germans in this neighborhood...fantastic area) is quite lively with live German music and great eats. You must stop at the Huettenbar accross the street in the Square for a Stien of BBK.
    Cafe Selmarie is a great French Cafe open for Breakfast, lunch, and dinner also located in Lincoln Square.
    Mirabel for great German eats, atmosphere, and great local crowd. Located on the Northside on Addison Avenue a couple blocks east of the Kennedy Expressway.

    Austrian Cafe: Julius Meinl at Addison Avenue and Southport. Never been but people seem to rave about it. Lot's of pastries, teas, entrees.
    Enjoy. Please report back. Alex. afinance@rcn.com

    1. I'm not sure if it would be the Berghoff; I say that just because the Berghoff was so huge and didn't have anything one would describe as a bakery. Binyon's, which closed some years ago, is another possibility, with a downstairs dining room and smaller, but they didn't have a bakery either.

      I'm betting the place you're thinking of is another place, also now closed, called Kenessey's, which was in the Belmont Hotel at Belmont and Sheridan, right off Lake Shore Drive and an easy cab ride from Michigan Avenue. They were a much smaller place and they did indeed have a bakery at the entrance.

      1. I remember Ivan Kenessey's place being more Continental with an Hungarian emphasis rather than Austrian or German, but that still may have been the place described. It was popular in the late 70's-early 80's.

        He also opened another Kenessey's in Hinsdale around that time. That restaurant closed some years ago also, and was converted into a Wild Oats store.

        1. Albert's Cafe, on Elm? If so, it's closed.

          1. I agree that it was probably Kennessey's. Alternately it could have been Cafe Lutz

            1 Reply
            1. If I'm not mistaken, The Bergoff had a basement dining room.

              1 Reply
              1. I agree with Kennesey's description. Austrian-Hungarian. loved it. been out of buisiness for a long time.
                Idea: not a cafe but a pub with great food:
                Laschet’s approx 2100 w irving park

                1. It was Bergoff's which is still in business and still downstairs. I have had lunch there a number of times since they "closed". In actuality, most of the mainstay items are on the menu and served via a cafeteria style line. My favorite has always been the wienerschnitzel with red cabbage. Great root beer as well. Go for it!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dlpens

                    Berghoff Cafe is still in business, as noted by amoncada, but the place described by the OP is most definitely NOT Berghoff's. There was never a bakery there (at least, not since the first time I went there, which was over thirty years ago), and - aside from its new reincarnation, which I haven't seen - I doubt that anyone would describe it as "little".

                  2. There's a really sweet Austrian bakery on Clark, just above Fullerton. I don't imagine it's the place you're looking for, but it's worth a visit. They don't have a lot of authentic German/Austrain dishes (but there is a delicious, and from what I can remember from my childhood in Germany, authentic) Fritatten Soup.They also have goulash, lots of salads and sandwiches ... and wonderful pastries, strudels and breads.

                    1. Thanks for the information and suggestions. I know it was not Berghoff. Based on the description, I think it was Kennesey's (doesn't sound Hungarian and I'm a "Hunky" -- they must have Anglicized the name). A friend actually made the reservations, called the cab and picked up the check. I don't recall it being in a hotel, but I was celebrating our anniversary with my lovely wife and didn't notice anything but her that evening.Thanks again.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: John Fugel

                        Kennessey's had an outside entrance on Belmont, so you would never know that the building it was in was a hotel unless you were specifically looking for it.