NYC Hound Returning to Chicago: Questions about Topolobampo, Wildberry, and Lula Cafe vs Longman & Eagle vs Jam
Hello Chicago hounds!
I am find myself in the midst of planning an unexpected mid-March trip to Chicago and I have a few questions. We'll be in town March 21-23 (Weds-Fri).
On previous trips, we've enjoyed Xoco, Publican, Violet Hour, Alinea, Hot Doug's, Jam, Big Star, Next Restaurant, Sable, Purple Pig, Julius Meinl, Sepia, Heaven on Seven, Girl & the Goat, GT Fish & Oyster, and Bleeding Heart Bakery.
1. What's a good place to have a late lunch in River North on a weekday? We've done Purple Pig, GT Fish & Oyster, Sable, Xoco already, some multiple times.
I'm thinking Topolobampo (have done Frontera but not Topo).
I was looking into Slurping Turtle, too, but was worried it may be too similar to the plethora of Japanese ramen/yakitori/izakaya options in NYC (Ippudo, Totto, etc).
I'd prefer non-pizza/non-burger options since we'll probably be eating that w/ our nephews that weekend.
2. Has anybody tried Wildberry Cafe's newest location in the Loop?
Seems that their Libertyville and Schaumberg locations are very popular and highly rated for breakfast/brunch.
3. Can anybody confirm that Lula Cafe does NOT do any daily specials on weekdays?
Their brunch specials menu looks great but we will only be in Chicago from Weds-Fri and probably miss out.
I'm thinking either Longman & Eagle or Jam for a weekday brunch if so. Haven't done Longman & Eagle, have only done Jam in their old space. We'll probably be doing Southport Grocery the following day.
We'd like to have brunch, and walk around the neighborhood at bit, go into some antique stores, second hand stores, clothing boutiques, etc., and both Logan Square & Lakeview seemed like good options to do that (done Wicker Park area too many times now).
Our tentative schedule:
Lunch at Topolobampo
Dinner at Publican w/ friends
Brunch at Longman & Eagle or Jam?
Dinner at Next
Brunch at Southport Grocery? Or maybe Wildberry?
Change in travel plans means we're arriving later than anticipated, so no Topolobampo lunch for us this time around, sadly.
The new itinerary is now:
Arrive Chicago: 4:29 pm
Drinks at The Aviary
Dinner at Publican w/ friends
Brunch at Southport Grocery
Next vs El Bulli
Brunch at Longman & Eagle
Depart Chicago: 5:08 pm
As always, the to do list is longer than our time available in Chicago, but we'll be back in July.
Wildberry is fine for breakfast, brunch, or lunch---closes early. I don't find it all that different from Yolk or similar places but it's welcome in town as God knows we needed more downtown out-to-breakfast options. If you go to Wildberry's you might get a kick out of checking out our fancy new supermarket that's one block east of it, Mariano's (which BTW has a huge tavola calda service and salad bar and a big area of tables). See Mariano's website for the little map as it's not right on Randolph---cut in to the left when you get to Chase Bank and it's in there on a plaza.
I had a very disappointing meal at L&E and a really good lunch at Naha (admittedly requested in advance some dishes from the dinner menu.)
Topo should not be missed and yes, Lula only does their brunch specials on weekends.
Would strongly recommend Southport Bakery & Cafe as a breakfast.
RE Lula's, they offer dinner specials every night in addition to their standard cafe menu. They also offer a prix fixe on Monday nights - maybe that's what you're thinking of? But no, they don't have any specials during in the morning/afternoons (as far as I'm aware). Worth mentioning, too, that Lula's now accepts reservations.
I had an early lunch at Lula on Friday and there were a few brunchy specials on the menu. The ones I can remember are uovo in purgatorio, coconut pancakes, and a veal-cheek and rapini sandwich topped with a poached egg, but I know that there were a couple more. (I had the sandwich, which was delicious.)
I also had a really boring and disappointing meal at the Slurping Turtle the week before last -- wouldn't recommend it.