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Aug 19, 2012 05:12 AM

Recs for casual breakfasts

Around mag mile mostly, but willing to venture out. Before 8am preferrably. Was thinking Fox and Obel for one.

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  1. Elly's Pancake House (101 West North) in Old Town is one of my faves. I especially love their Grilled Cheese sandwich, but they have great pancakes, scrambles, etc.

    1. If you want to try an old-school breakfast in a time-warp environment, Ohio House is just a few blocks from mag mile. Its Deuces Wild breakfast is one of the best deals around.

      1. Which end of the Mag Mile?

        Near the north end is the Original Pancake House, on East Bellevue. Great pancakes, great omelets, and they have the huge baked puffed-up cinnamony apple pancake, as well as the German pancake (same batter but without the fruit and cinnamon). Tempo Cafe serves okay diner fare, and is open 24 hours.

        Near the south end, Fox & Obel is an option. Another option is LB Bistro, the coffee house in the Sheraton. You can order a la carte or get the buffet option. Not inexpensive, but very high quality. Xoco, the Rick Bayless place for Mexican street food, is open for breakfast too (Tuesday-Saturday). Yolk is another option; it's an okay breakfast-specialty restaurant. Meli Cafe is on Wells, so it's a few blocks west of the Mag Mile; they have a huge variety, with a dozen different kinds of French toast.

        Several places are just across the river from the south end of the Mag Mile, including South Water Kitchen ( ) and Atwood Cafe ( ). The Wabash location of Heaven on Seven ( ) is across the river and does breakfast starting at 9:00, I think.

        You'll want to check the websites for all these places to verify their hours.

        8 Replies
        1. re: nsxtasy

          Will do; thanks for the post. Hubby is looking for some good eggs benny and I am looking for some great savory crepes (crepes bretons preferrably). You've given me a lot of food for though (pun intended).

          1. re: itryalot

            These recommendations are all in different places--
            --Bongo Room (Downtown)
            --Ann Sathers (multiple locations.. 'very Chicago' in some people's minds)
            --Walker Brothers (Suburban locations)
            --Fox & Obel (as mentioned above)

            1. re: itryalot

              If you want to consider places away from the Mag Mile, some of our most creative breakfast-focused restaurants are some distance away (and reachable by public transit as well as driving). These include Bongo Room (three locations, the two closest are in the South Loop and Wicker Park), Jam (in Logan Square), Southport Grocery (in Lakeview/Wrigleyville), and M. Henry and M. Henrietta (in Andersonville/Edgewater).

              I do love the previously-mentioned Walker Brothers, but... Walker Brothers is an extremely high-quality version of the Original Pancake House franchise, but the non-Walker OPH locations in the city of Chicago also serve at a consistently higher quality than some of their locations elsewhere around the country. So you don't gain a lot by traveling to the 'burbs if you're staying along the Mag Mile, compared with just enjoying the one on East Bellevue. If you're in the 'burbs anyway, by all means go for it!

                1. re: seminole phil

                  Lou Mitchell's is a very ordinary breakfast place serving very ordinary breakfast food, and it's nowhere near the Mag Mile (not walking distance, anyway). It's distinguished primarily because it's been around for so long. The food is nothing special whatsoever; for example, the omelets are about what you'd expect from a crummy diner, nowhere near as good as at the Original Pancake House. If I were taking a morning train from Union Station, I'd go there - in fact, I did exactly that a few weeks ago - but if I were staying along the Mag Mile, it's just not worth the trip.

                  1. re: seminole phil

                    +1 for phil's rec

                    Lou's has a terrific Chicago atmosphere, and the omelets are quite good.

                    1. re: camusman

                      Lou's and Walker Bros. are very different, but both have very good reliable breakfasts and both are Chicago institutions worth the visit. Neither one is really quite on the Mag Mile,

                    2. re: seminole phil

                      For the record, Lou's can be inconsistent, but I've had some terrific feta cheese omelets there; they also serve their fried eggs in the skillet so they are usually pretty fresh. In fact, I would stick to the egg dishes there; there are better places for pancakes. Still, a bit of a distance from Mag Mile.