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May 16, 2008 02:50 PM

Suggestions please!

Any suggestions would be appreciated! I've read some of the other posts here, but it gets a little confusing since I don't live in Chicago and know my way around.

I need to find a nice place for breakfast at 7:30/8 AM on a weekday for around 25 people on S. Michigan Ave or nearby. I'm not sure what's on Michigan. Are there any breakfast places in or near Millenium/Grant Park? Seems it would be nice to go to the park in the AM and eat outside somewhere. Since we are a pretty big group, I'd like to find a place that takes reservations. I've read about Yolk and the Bogo Room but they don't take reservations and I'm on a tight schedule. Are those 2 places usually packed on a weekday morning? Any other suggestions nearby? If not, we'll just have to eat in the hotel restaurant which is just boring. Thanks in advance!

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  1. Have you called Yolk or the Bongo Room to see if they would reserve for 25 people? That is a very large group. Regardless of what their formal policy is on reservations, for a group that size, I would think they might make an exception.

    Also, you might consider the Park Grill, which is in Millennium Park. Although they are not generally open for breakfast, their website specifically refers to "Business Breakfasts" under the link for "Private Dining." It sounds like this is precisely what you have in mind. (I don't know how to insert links in Chowhound -- I'll learn one day -- but the URL for that webpage is:

    3 Replies
    1. re: masha

      Yolk and Bongo Room are not packed on weekday mornings (although they're not empty, either). As masha mentions, you should call the restaurant to find out whether and how they can handle your group.

      Also note that both are at Roosevelt Road, which is 1200 South. They're a little over a mile from the Art Institute, for example. This may or may not be further south than you're looking for. If you need someplace a bit closer to the Loop, Orange on Harrison is another option, about 500 South but a couple of blocks west of Michigan Avenue.

      1. re: nsxtasy

        I like Atwood Cafe at State/Washington. It's small but they might reserve the space for your group.

        1. re: aviva1

          I like Atwood Cafe, too. They have a private room they can use for groups. You can read more about it on their website at

          Many hotel restaurants and catering departments (that includes Atwood, which is in the Hotel Burnham) can provide a private room for a meal, so you might check with your own hotel as well.

    2. You might also want to give Eleven City Diner a call. Altho not as interesting as Bongo Room or Atwood, you can get a pretty reasonable breakfast there, and they might be willing to reserve a table.

      Eleven City Diner
      1112 S. Wabash St.
      Chicago, IL 60605 312-212-1112

      2 Replies
      1. re: jbw

        From a Jewish kid that lived in NYC with a Brooklyn-born mom and grandmother, this is not a great deli. It will suffice for eggs and toast, but I find it no better than a greasy spoon and the service is spotty at best. I actually once observed the owner save two prime tables right in the front for friends on a Sunday morning when there was a 45 minute wait. The so-called friends of the owner kept the tables empty for over 30 miuntes and were still sitting there when we left.
        The other recomendations, such as Bongo or Yolk will be much better received. Have you tried calling to arrange the large party you have--during the week I would hope they could accomodate you.

        1. re: jbontario

          From a Jewish kid who lived in Philly with a Roumanian-born bubba, I would also agree this is not a great deli, altho I've noticed improvement since it's opening (whether many great iconic delis still exist anywhere -- RIP Rascal House, etc. etc. -- is another issue). But I find their breakfasts to be dependable (including their lox platter), and for the location worth the price. Granted, it's not as interesting as Bongo Room (I have mixed reactions about Yolk, based on an earlier experience), but ECD seems to better fit the large-group needs of the OP. As far as service is concerned, I've never had a problem, and its decor and atmosphere/menu is far from a "greasy spoon." More like upscale diner.

      2. Thanks everyone for your good suggestions. I'll check them all out to see what works best!

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. After reading this thread we had breakfast at Atwood Cafe this morning. Mascarpone French toast is excellent, eggs benedict are pretty good; the place is pretty expensive ($47 for breakfast for two adults and a kid) but the room is charming. We'll probably go back tomorrow. No wait on Saturday morning at 8:15am.