Hey Chow Hound friends,
I am the owner of a wine bar and a food truck in Calgary. My chef and I are hitting your town for 4 days in May (17 to 20) to eat and research a new upscale diner project we are working on. We would love a little local insight and any recommendations you might have.
We are staying at the Westin River North, but are willing to travel anywhere in Chicago to see and eat at the right places. We hope to eat at at least 12 to 15 breakfast places in our short stay.
We‘re looking for classic, been around forever diners, as well as new concepts that take a twist on the old school and use high end ingredients, chef driven menus, design, etc...
Hipper places that are more evening focused but do a great brunch would also be of interest.
We‘ve done a little research and here is our current list of possible places......
Eleven City Diner
What do you think?
M. Henry (daily but they have more specials on the weekend)
Lula Cafe (same, but the more creative dishes are only on weekends)
Southport Grocery (daily, try the sweet and savory French toast)
Longman & Eagle (daily, try the duck egg hash)
Jam (cash only, closed Tuesdays, try the pink peppercorn French toast, eggs Benedict)
Bleeding Heart Bakery Cafe (daily, try the doughnut breakfast sandwich)
2 Sparrows (daily, see the special homemade pop tart section of the menu)
The Publican (weekend, note that Saturday menu is different from the Sunday)
Big Jones (weekend)
Of the ones I listed only The Publican and Big Jones take reservations.
Lines can get long for a lot of these options on weekends.
I agree with this assessment.
Another to add to your list. American Depot Diner. You'll need a car, but the pot roast sandwich is one of the best sandwiches in Chicago. It's a fairly new spot that specializes in well-done versions of old classics. Call ahead to make sure they're open if/when you decide to go.
Lou Mitchell's (on Jackson) mentioned below is an old classic, and like some old classics they can be very uneven, but if they're on you'll have a memorable breakfast. Be sure to order something with eggs ( their feta omelets can be top-notch.)
It's a stretch to call Au Cheval a diner as it bills itself but it is truly a unique concept. Not open for breakfast and more of a late night/dinner spot. It takes a twist on the old school and uses high end ingredients with a chef driven menu. This place is fantastic by the way.