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Belmont Snack Shop - Great Old School Breakfast Diner

Belmont Snack Shop - Great Old School Breakfast Diner
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  • Belmont Snack Shop - Great Old School Breakfast Diner

    Post #1 - December 13th, 2017, 4:04 pm
    Post #1 - December 13th, 2017, 4:04 pm Post #1 - December 13th, 2017, 4:04 pm
    I am always on the hunt for a great old school breakfast diner and am happy to get any and all suggestions. I found one I am really happy with - the Belmont Snack Shop, a tiny place just west of Kimball on Belmont. No boothes - just counter. Exactly what I am looking for in a diner -- hash browns, biscuits and gravy, basted eggs (dont do poached), corned beef hash, french toast, a breakfast and lunch menu with breakfast served all day, open 24/7. Good, friendly, fast service. Clean. Inexpensive. They have newspapers set out for patrons to read. Everything I have had there has been very good. Its my new go-to when I just want a great old school breakfast at a diner.

    Belmont Snack Shop
    3407 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
    (773) 293-6100
  • Post #2 - December 14th, 2017, 4:58 am
    Post #2 - December 14th, 2017, 4:58 am Post #2 - December 14th, 2017, 4:58 am
    Ambivalent 'yea.' First visit here about six months ago, I was charmed by the ambiance, which is as you describe, and a perfectly assembled turkey club. Second trip I was dismayed to watch the grill man toss the turkey for the selfsame club on the flat top and brown it before putting the sandwich together. Heated deli turkey is never my idea of a good time. Third visit I thought I had things figured out -- just specify sandwich temperature -- until I walked in the door and encountered what I can only describe as a stench somewhere between raw sewage and rotting vegetables. I ordered to-go and haven't been back.

    That said, when the food was good, it was very good for a place as unprepossessing as this. The interior reminded me a bit of Ramova Grill (RIP) in Bridgeport, and I think both had nonironic reproductions of Nighthawks hanging on the wall. I would dissent a bit from calling Snack Shop clean. I'd say it's down and dirty, but in a respectable way. And service always exceedingly friendly.

    Lately my go-to diner in the area has been Alp's, a mile north via Kimball and Elston. BLT club (green leaf!), no fries sub hash browns (sliced, not grated!), and two eggs on the side if I haven't eaten in 24 hours+. Decor the exact opposite of Snack Shop, for better or worse.

    Alp's
    3637 W Irving Park Road
    (773) 267-5112
    closes at 3pm
  • Post #3 - December 14th, 2017, 1:20 pm
    Post #3 - December 14th, 2017, 1:20 pm Post #3 - December 14th, 2017, 1:20 pm
    Lately my go-to diner in the area has been Alp's, a mile north via Kimball and Elston. BLT club (green leaf!), no fries sub hash browns (sliced, not grated!), and two eggs on the side if I haven't eaten in 24 hours+. Decor the exact opposite of Snack Shop, for better or worse.

    Alp's
    3637 W Irving Park Road
    (773) 267-5112
    closes at 3pm


    thanks for the heads up on alp's. i drive by regularly but haven't bothered to check it out. (BTW, i love your lth handle)
  • Post #4 - December 14th, 2017, 1:43 pm
    Post #4 - December 14th, 2017, 1:43 pm Post #4 - December 14th, 2017, 1:43 pm
    Hi,

    My Mom went to an all-girls Catholic high school located near Alps. If any student was seen at Alps, there were consequences.

    To this day, my Mom still has a forbidden fruit attitude about going to Alps. I think I need to push her a bit more to give it a go.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - December 14th, 2017, 2:24 pm
    Post #5 - December 14th, 2017, 2:24 pm Post #5 - December 14th, 2017, 2:24 pm
    I find Alps to be pretty average, at best; but a good representation of it's genre. That is to say, you can get a decent "Greek diner" style meal (breakfast is usually a safe bet), but nothing will have you making a special trip to return, unless you're in the neighborhood.

    Pro Tip:
    Keep going south on Elston to the Cornerstone Cafe, located where Elston, Western & Diversey converge. It's a bit smaller than Alps, but the food prep is several levels higher, for roughly the same price.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #6 - December 14th, 2017, 2:37 pm
    Post #6 - December 14th, 2017, 2:37 pm Post #6 - December 14th, 2017, 2:37 pm
    stevez wrote:I find Alps to be pretty average, at best; but a good representation of it's genre. That is to say, you can get a decent "Greek diner" style meal (breakfast is usually a safe bet), but nothing will have you making a special trip to return, unless you're in the neighborhood.

    Pro Tip:
    Keep going south on Elston to the Cornerstone Cafe, located where Elston, Western & Diversey converge. It's a bit smaller than Alps, but the food prep is several levels higher, for roughly the same price.

    i've never been impressed with cornerstone cafe, so i stopped going years ago.....
  • Post #7 - December 14th, 2017, 3:41 pm
    Post #7 - December 14th, 2017, 3:41 pm Post #7 - December 14th, 2017, 3:41 pm
    justjoan wrote:thanks for the heads up on alp's. i drive by regularly but haven't bothered to check it out. (BTW, i love your lth handle)


    My pleasure and thanks. All credit to whoever programs the labels at Cermak Produce, where I saw it slapped on a pack of baby bok choy.

    I agree Alp's is not really worth a special trip. But if you're in the area and need someone to prepare your bacon and eggs, they're up to it. And for the genre of old school diner, which often emphasizes the greasy half of greasy spoon, it's downright hygienic -- maybe owing to the limited hours.

    Another cool-ish spot I thought of, if you're willing to venture west to Pulaski, is City Cafe. Small dining room with some character, and what looked like a claustrophobia inducing semi-open kitchen visible when you walk in the door. I can only vouch for the breakfast staples, which were as expected. (Their Yelp has photos of some pasta and seafood entrees displaying a bit of elan, none of which I've tried.) FWIW I went on a weekend morning when google maps warned "as busy as it gets" and it wasn't busy.

    Last spot I can add to this collection: Brother's Restaurant on Belmont. I'd walked past and thought it looked like my kind of place, but I wasn't in any hurry to eat there. Then it was the subject of a Mike Sula blog post and it got moved to the top of the list. A couple of perfectly serviceable but non-memorable visits later, I can't say I'm seeing what Sula saw, including with the chilaquiles and skirt steak, but I'm no chilaquile expert. I will say he got a great looking photo.

    City Cafe
    3234 N Pulaski
    773-736-5646
    closes at 3

    Brother's Restaurant
    3000 W Belmont
    773-463-3310
    closes early on weekends
  • Post #8 - December 14th, 2017, 4:21 pm
    Post #8 - December 14th, 2017, 4:21 pm Post #8 - December 14th, 2017, 4:21 pm
    justjoan wrote:i've never been impressed with cornerstone cafe, so i stopped going years ago.....


    Hmmm. Surprised to hear you say that, knowing your palate. Different strokes, I guess.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - December 14th, 2017, 4:59 pm
    Post #9 - December 14th, 2017, 4:59 pm Post #9 - December 14th, 2017, 4:59 pm
    stevez wrote:
    justjoan wrote:i've never been impressed with cornerstone cafe, so i stopped going years ago.....


    Hmmm. Surprised to hear you say that, knowing your palate. Different strokes, I guess.

    yep, different strokes. atmosphere, for me, has alot to do with whether i'm comfortable someplace and cornerstone never made me happy. i'm not knocking the place- i haven't been in many years- it's just me. i was a regular at the busy bee in wicker park and at the original wishbone on grand avenue for years- 2 places that just felt right to me... i'm eager to try alp's and i was just checking out yellow rose cafe online (supposedly great corned beef hash), so i'm planning breakfast trips to both soon.
  • Post #10 - December 14th, 2017, 6:30 pm
    Post #10 - December 14th, 2017, 6:30 pm Post #10 - December 14th, 2017, 6:30 pm
    Always makes me slightly nervous to recommend a place where I haven't eaten for a while, but I am a huge fan of Yellow Rose Cafe's corned beef hash. I actually prefer it to Edgebrook Diner's; Edgebrook uses better meat, but Yellow Rose's is more diner-y.

    Great all-round breakfast diner. They make stuff from scratch you wouldn't expect, like the refried beans they offer as a side with the chorizo omelette. I need to get back there soon.

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #11 - December 14th, 2017, 10:54 pm
    Post #11 - December 14th, 2017, 10:54 pm Post #11 - December 14th, 2017, 10:54 pm
    I too did not have a great experience at the Cornerstone Cafe. Nothing bad, just meh. I think this all illustrates my point that its hard to find a great old school diner in Chicago -- how crazy is that? You'd think Chicago would have a great diner in every neighborhood.
  • Post #12 - December 14th, 2017, 11:08 pm
    Post #12 - December 14th, 2017, 11:08 pm Post #12 - December 14th, 2017, 11:08 pm
    Giovanna wrote:Always makes me slightly nervous to recommend a place where I haven't eaten for a while, but I am a huge fan of Yellow Rose Cafe's corned beef hash. I actually prefer it to Edgebrook Diner's; Edgebrook uses better meat, but Yellow Rose's is more diner-y.

    Great all-round breakfast diner. They make stuff from scratch you wouldn't expect, like the refried beans they offer as a side with the chorizo omelette. I need to get back there soon.

    Giovanna


    Yellow Rose is still great. Corned beef hash is excellent. Atmosphere wise, it's the closest thing I've found to Patty's R.I.P.

    Yellow Rose is definitely in the Old School Greasy Spoon diner category in the best of ways. I also prefer this type of place to Cornerstone, but if you're comparing Greek coffee shop type diners, I'd take Cornerstone over Alp's any day of the week.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #13 - December 14th, 2017, 11:29 pm
    Post #13 - December 14th, 2017, 11:29 pm Post #13 - December 14th, 2017, 11:29 pm
    stevez wrote:Yellow Rose is definitely in the Old School Greasy Spoon diner category in the best of ways.

    I like both Conerstone and Danny's Egghead Diner but really dig Yellow Rose's old school vibe. Yellow Rose has scratch made pretty much everything from CBH to soup to a surprisingly potent house made hot sauce.

    YellowRose4.jpg Yellow Rose Corned Beef Hash w/two over easy and hash browns.
    YellowRose2.jpg Yellow Rose Cafe Tuna Melt

    Yellow Rose Cafe, Count me a Fan!

    Keeping this (somewhat) on track, Belmont Snack Shop is on my Try-Soon list, thanks cleanplateclub.

    Yellow Rose Cafe  
    5640 N Elston Ave
    Chicago, IL 60646
    773-631-2297
    M - F 5:30AM–2:30PM
    Saturday 6AM–1PM
    Sunday Closed
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - December 15th, 2017, 8:44 am
    Post #14 - December 15th, 2017, 8:44 am Post #14 - December 15th, 2017, 8:44 am
    Really surprised you like Danny's. I work right by there, I've been twice in 2.5 years. How hard is it to screw up a grilled cheese sandwich? They did it. It seemed like they used 1 Kraft single in the one I had.

    Pauline's at 1754 W Balmoral seems pretty popular when I walk by to go to breakfast in Andersonville.
  • Post #15 - December 15th, 2017, 11:17 am
    Post #15 - December 15th, 2017, 11:17 am Post #15 - December 15th, 2017, 11:17 am
    knitgirl wrote:Really surprised you like Danny's.

    I've only had breakfast items at Danny's, pancakes, eggs, sausage, chilaquiles and been pleased. Clean, friendly, reasonably priced easy street parking, slight tilt to Mexican and comfortable seating. Seems like the type of place that would nail a grilled cheese sandwich but, then again, one never knows.

    As an aside, really looking forward to the 24-hour Diner, home of the Slinger, to open again on Irving just west of Ashland.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #16 - December 16th, 2017, 9:16 am
    Post #16 - December 16th, 2017, 9:16 am Post #16 - December 16th, 2017, 9:16 am
    Regarding Belmont Snack Shop, am I imagining that, perhaps under a previous owner, there was a clock in the front window surrounded by neon that said "Time to Eat"? I don't have any personal experience with the food there, but I do remember loving that sign.
  • Post #17 - December 16th, 2017, 9:30 am
    Post #17 - December 16th, 2017, 9:30 am Post #17 - December 16th, 2017, 9:30 am
    It's been about three decades, but Jerry's Grill on north Western, south of Montrose was always a go-to. Breakfast was cheap, plentiful and good, and we never got sick from eating it. Usually a great sideshow with the other diners eating there as well, ha-ha. I understand it's still in business and still decent- with the same sort of sideshow.

    Sadly 40 miles away from me now.....
  • Post #18 - December 16th, 2017, 10:21 am
    Post #18 - December 16th, 2017, 10:21 am Post #18 - December 16th, 2017, 10:21 am
    adipocere wrote:It's been about three decades, but Jerry's Grill on north Western, south of Montrose was always a go-to. Breakfast was cheap, plentiful and good, and we never got sick from eating it. Usually a great sideshow with the other diners eating there as well, ha-ha. I understand it's still in business and still decent- with the same sort of sideshow.

    Sadly 40 miles away from me now.....

    Jeri's Grill is still there and doing pretty much the same as it always has. I think I went there for about 5 years before I finally realized the name was Jeri's Grill, not Ham On The Bone. :lol:

    =R=

    4357 N Western Ave
    Chicago, IL 60618
    (773) 604-8775
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #19 - December 23rd, 2017, 9:43 pm
    Post #19 - December 23rd, 2017, 9:43 pm Post #19 - December 23rd, 2017, 9:43 pm
    cleanplateclub wrote: I am always on the hunt for a great old school breakfast diner and am happy to get any and all suggestions. I found one I am really happy with - the Belmont Snack Shop, a tiny place just west of Kimball on Belmont. No boothes - just counter. Exactly what I am looking for in a diner -- hash browns, biscuits and gravy, basted eggs (don't do poached), corned beef hash, french toast, a breakfast and lunch menu with breakfast served all day, open 24/7. Good, friendly, fast service. Clean. Inexpensive. They have newspapers set out for patrons to read. Everything I have had there has been very good. Its my new go-to when I just want a great old school breakfast at a diner.
    Belmont Snack Shop
    3407 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
    (773) 293-6100
    Oh great; another venue I've glimpsed for years {usually when bunching to exit an eastbound route #77 Belmont transit bus @ Kimball} but have never entered. :|
    All right, all right, all right; here's a place I need to hit. I ponder if its prime time may be in the late evening; when I (or you) would need some sustenance before hitting either of the 4:00 am bars further west on Belmont. 8)
    Valuable links for survival, without the monetization attempt: http://74.115.231.53/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #20 - December 24th, 2017, 10:53 am
    Post #20 - December 24th, 2017, 10:53 am Post #20 - December 24th, 2017, 10:53 am
    pudgym29 wrote: I ponder if its prime time may be in the late evening; when I (or you) would need some sustenance before hitting either of the 4:00 am bars further west on Belmont.


    I have wondered that too. I’ll bet there is a wild swing in service and clientele over the course of twenty hours. I think it would make a great times lapse photography project.

    Another contender: Johnnies Snack Shop at 160 N. Halsted. A really decent breakfast with good service. They do a good job on standard breakfast fare - eggs, bacon, hash browns, coffee. Nothing life-changing but when you want a good American breakfast, this will do the job. My one complaint was that they do that thing where they serve poached eggs in a bowl and don’t drain the water so when you cut into the egg, the yolk gets watery. Almost a disqualifier in my book.

    Johnnie's Snack Shop
    160 N Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60661
    Phone: 312.226.7769
    http://johnniessnackshop.com
  • Post #21 - December 24th, 2017, 5:22 pm
    Post #21 - December 24th, 2017, 5:22 pm Post #21 - December 24th, 2017, 5:22 pm
    cleanplateclub wrote:
    pudgym29 wrote: I ponder if its prime time may be in the late evening; when I (or you) would need some sustenance before hitting either of the 4:00 am bars further west on Belmont.


    I have wondered that too. I’ll bet there is a wild swing in service and clientele over the course of twenty hours. I think it would make a great times lapse photography project.

    Another contender: Johnnies Snack Shop at 160 N. Halsted. A really decent breakfast with good service. They do a good job on standard breakfast fare - eggs, bacon, hash browns, coffee. Nothing life-changing but when you want a good American breakfast, this will do the job. My one complaint was that they do that thing where they serve poached eggs in a bowl and don’t drain the water so when you cut into the egg, the yolk gets watery. Almost a disqualifier in my book.

    Johnnie's Snack Shop
    160 N Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60661
    Phone: 312.226.7769
    http://johnniessnackshop.com


    you're too easy going. water in my poached eggs is NOT ok.....
  • Post #22 - October 9th, 2020, 5:23 am
    Post #22 - October 9th, 2020, 5:23 am Post #22 - October 9th, 2020, 5:23 am
    Fire Breaks Out in Avondale at Building Housing Belmont Snack Shop
    https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/f ... p/2351423/
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #23 - October 23rd, 2020, 8:02 am
    Post #23 - October 23rd, 2020, 8:02 am Post #23 - October 23rd, 2020, 8:02 am
    The Belmont Snack Shop will close permanently after a fire destroyed the Avondale restaurant earlier this month, owner Nelson Rodriguez announced in an emotional Facebook post Thursday afternoon.

    https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/2020/ ... osing-fire
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

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