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Breakfast All Day--Where Are The Diners In The Loop+?

Breakfast All Day--Where Are The Diners In The Loop+?
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  • Breakfast All Day--Where Are The Diners In The Loop+?

    Post #1 - August 13th, 2019, 9:25 am
    Post #1 - August 13th, 2019, 9:25 am Post #1 - August 13th, 2019, 9:25 am
    I miss the ability to have diner breakfast. When I started working in the Loop (the 2nd time) it was about 17 years ago and this time I was on the north end at Randolph and Dearborn.

    Diner breakfast doesn’t end at 10:30 am or some such nonsense and back then West Egg was open inside of the Daley Center.

    The Marquette Inn was kitty-corner of Federal court at Adams and Dearborn. It's now a non-diner called the Marq. “chef Petros” was open at Randolph and LaSalle but they are now closed. Last week I was at 555 W. Harrison(west of Canal) and met a colleague at Lou Mitchell’s. While I waited for her I did a google search and looks like there are very few places left in the Loop with this style of food readily available.

    And with that realization I recognized that these places had shuttered even north of the Loop in Old Town and the Gold Coast. Nookies, Tempo, and to a lesser degree The Original Pancake House are still going. I went to Tempo for the first time I suspect in well over 10 years and I was surprised at how much I missed walking in and seeing a display case with cheesecake, pie, and/or cake on offer. I even lucked into a vegan burger and fries to be finished with a pancake and syrup for dessert. It won’t be so long before I go back to Tempo or Lou Mitchell’s.

    I know south of the Loop there’s White Palace Grill. And West Loop has Little Goat and Wishbone for fancier versions of diner offerings but what else is there close in the Loop( I have not eaten at Pittsfield Cafe ever) or “Loop-adjacent”?

    FWIW I have been watching the current collection of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

    Mods if I missed a better place for this please re-locate it.
    Last edited by pairs4life on August 13th, 2019, 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #2 - August 13th, 2019, 10:02 am
    Post #2 - August 13th, 2019, 10:02 am Post #2 - August 13th, 2019, 10:02 am
    Lou Mitchell's is exactly what you're looking for, and of course you're already aware of it.

    Our breakfast specialty restaurants are not exactly the same thing, but they're pretty darn close. They're generally open till 3 pm, which may or may not be sufficient for you. Yolk has locations surrounding the Loop in South Loop, River North, Streeterville, West Loop, and Marina City, and so does Meli Cafe in Greek Town, River North, and Printers Row. Wildberry Cafe is in Prudential Plaza and Water Tower Place. All of these offer lunch items (burgers, sandwiches, salads) in addition to the typical breakfast assortment.
    Last edited by nsxtasy on August 13th, 2019, 10:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #3 - August 13th, 2019, 10:06 am
    Post #3 - August 13th, 2019, 10:06 am Post #3 - August 13th, 2019, 10:06 am
    Yolk, in the Ogilvie Center (and on South Michigan near Roosevelt) is open until 3, so not quite all day. Eleven City Diner (11th/Wabash) is open all day and serves breakfast in addition to deli fare.
  • Post #4 - August 13th, 2019, 10:28 am
    Post #4 - August 13th, 2019, 10:28 am Post #4 - August 13th, 2019, 10:28 am
    Along the lines of the places mentioned above, there is an Eggy's on Benton Place. If you are looking for a current version of the Marquette Inn or other diners which used to be ubiquitous in the loop, the Pittsfield, which you mentioned, is as close as I've been able to find and I have been on the same quest.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #5 - August 13th, 2019, 11:36 am
    Post #5 - August 13th, 2019, 11:36 am Post #5 - August 13th, 2019, 11:36 am
    Off The Tracks Grill at 190 N. Wells I believe still has "breakfast all day" printed on their menus.

    Although on an extremely technical nature, it is outside the "loop" because it is on the west side of Wells and not the east, I figured you were going with the more traditional definition which has the north and west boundaries of the river versus the el tracks

    :lol:



    Off the Tracks Grill
    190 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60606 ·
    (312) 236-3776

    Open until 3 PM
    Bill-Plainfield
  • Post #6 - August 13th, 2019, 11:41 am
    Post #6 - August 13th, 2019, 11:41 am Post #6 - August 13th, 2019, 11:41 am
    Likewise, the Pittsfield is on the east side of Wabash - so just outside the loop.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #7 - August 13th, 2019, 12:11 pm
    Post #7 - August 13th, 2019, 12:11 pm Post #7 - August 13th, 2019, 12:11 pm
    It sounds like Pittsfield Cafe is almost precisely what you describe (even though it's maybe 100 feet outside the Loop proper). Greek skillets, tuna melts, francheesies, rice pudding. Your choice of counter seating with stools that spin or naughahyde booths. There's also seating in the impressive Pittsfield Building atrium. Alas, I don't think they have a pie case, but for sweets you'll probably want to wander over to Toni Patisserie (same building) if you decide against the rice pudding. I think Tempo or Lou Mitchell's might be better foodwise for classic Greek diner fare, but Pittsfield checks a lot of boxes.

    How about Ceres Cafe (Board of Trade)? I don't think they serve breakfast all day, and even though it's changed a lot, at its heart it's a Chicago-Greek diner. I haven't eaten there early, but I bet they do a good breakfast.

    If you're after the old-school naughahyde vibe, don't forget the venerable Eppel's (554 W Roosevelt). This place is overshadowed by Manny's around the corner, but they do good classic diner breakfasts.

    Also Palace Grill (1408 W Madison), an ancient Greek diner near the United Center is worth considering. It's been spiffed up so much it seems fake, and you need a high tolerance for Blackhawks memorabilia, but they maintain their core diner traditions.

    Finally, it's pretty far from the loop, but absolutely don't forget Moon's (16 S Western). They serve more than corned beef sandwiches.

    Those five have been around so long (the youngest is at least 30 years old, I think) it's easy to take them for granted. You sort of assume they'll be around forever, but they could disappear with little warning.
  • Post #8 - August 13th, 2019, 12:16 pm
    Post #8 - August 13th, 2019, 12:16 pm Post #8 - August 13th, 2019, 12:16 pm
    South Loop:
    Eleven City Diner
    1112 S Wabash Ave
    Chicago, IL 60605
    https://www.elevencitydiner.com/home
  • Post #9 - August 13th, 2019, 9:24 pm
    Post #9 - August 13th, 2019, 9:24 pm Post #9 - August 13th, 2019, 9:24 pm
    Hmm, using our purist's, literal definition, I believe the Loop ends at Van Buren to the south.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #10 - August 13th, 2019, 9:48 pm
    Post #10 - August 13th, 2019, 9:48 pm Post #10 - August 13th, 2019, 9:48 pm
    Chicago has 77 official community areas, whose boundaries were defined in the 1920s. One of these is the Loop, officially bounded by the Chicago River on the north and west, Lake Michigan on the east, and Roosevelt Road on the south, and named after the elevated rail tracks popularly known by that name.

    By way of contrast, unlike the 77 community areas, neighborhood names and boundaries vary over time and are not formalized. So, for example, the Near North Side community area includes neighborhoods commonly known as River North, River West, Streeterville, Old Town, etc.
  • Post #11 - August 27th, 2019, 6:10 pm
    Post #11 - August 27th, 2019, 6:10 pm Post #11 - August 27th, 2019, 6:10 pm
    pairs4life wrote:I miss the ability to have diner breakfast. When I started working in the Loop (the 2nd time) it was about 17 years ago and this time I was on the north end at Randolph and Dearborn.

    Too bad it wasn't a few years before that, you would have been one of my dad's customers. His diner, the Garrick, was where the Corner Bakery and Do-Rite now sit, 1962-1997.

    Having grown up in the business - I worked summers in the kitchen from 12-20 years old and managed evenings through graduate school - I miss the general demise of the genre. I worked in the Loop from 2002 through a few months ago, and am still at our offices there a couple of times a month, and I miss the fact that I can't go in early and hang out with detectives, judges, and panhandlers and get some coffee and raisin toast.

    One of the challenges is that the various families that owned or worked at these places such as ours (two uncles worked at various Marquette incarnations in the 70s/80s, another owned the Super Cup up on the Northwest side), the Marquette/Petros clan again with several brothers, the guys who owned Centennial, Maxim's, etc, and out in the suburbs guys like the three brothers who moved from the Big Top in Cicero to open the Chandelier in Skokie - none of them would let their kids into the business full-time unless they really wanted to do it. Most ended up college and graduate-school educated professionals, far away from the kitchen. So unlike many family businesses, there was never a plan for it to go on from generation to generation. Make your money, put your kids through school, get out (like my dad and most of my uncles) or just coast with staff.

    As a result, the trade was susceptible to being wiped out when the Loop had its troubles in the 90s. A lot of these guys were in their 60s, their night-time business was down to a few broken down horseplayers, and they said to heck with it.
    "Fried chicken should unify us, as opposed to tearing us apart. " - Bomani Jones
  • Post #12 - August 27th, 2019, 8:34 pm
    Post #12 - August 27th, 2019, 8:34 pm Post #12 - August 27th, 2019, 8:34 pm
    Great background. Thanks.
    "I live on good soup, not on fine words." -Moliere
  • Post #13 - August 27th, 2019, 10:36 pm
    Post #13 - August 27th, 2019, 10:36 pm Post #13 - August 27th, 2019, 10:36 pm
    bw77 wrote:Great background. Thanks.



    Yes. That was really quite a lovely memory you shared there threadkiller.

    Thank you!
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #14 - August 28th, 2019, 10:54 am
    Post #14 - August 28th, 2019, 10:54 am Post #14 - August 28th, 2019, 10:54 am
    Hello, does Ronnie's Steak House Qualify? You can get steak and eggs or other breakfast items all day I believe.
  • Post #15 - August 28th, 2019, 12:05 pm
    Post #15 - August 28th, 2019, 12:05 pm Post #15 - August 28th, 2019, 12:05 pm
    eating while walking wrote:Hello, does Ronnie's Steak House Qualify? You can get steak and eggs or other breakfast items all day I believe.


    Ronnie's barely qualifies as food. I always think of Ronnie's as the place where some guy who's been in Stateville since the 1950's goes on his first day of parole with a crisp $20 he got from the warden.
  • Post #16 - August 28th, 2019, 12:33 pm
    Post #16 - August 28th, 2019, 12:33 pm Post #16 - August 28th, 2019, 12:33 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    eating while walking wrote:Hello, does Ronnie's Steak House Qualify? You can get steak and eggs or other breakfast items all day I believe.


    Ronnie's barely qualifies as food. I always think of Ronnie's as the place where some guy who's been in Stateville since the 1950's goes on his first day of parole with a crisp $20 he got from the warden.


    You say that as if it weren't a ringing endorsement?! Sounds like the finest place on earth.
  • Post #17 - August 29th, 2019, 8:08 am
    Post #17 - August 29th, 2019, 8:08 am Post #17 - August 29th, 2019, 8:08 am
    Sounds like a friend of mine from the South Side who says Harold's Chicken just doesn't taste the same if you're not buying it from a guy on the other side of a piece of bulletproof glass.
  • Post #18 - August 29th, 2019, 10:37 am
    Post #18 - August 29th, 2019, 10:37 am Post #18 - August 29th, 2019, 10:37 am
    I would second the above recommendation of...

    Meli Cafe
    500 S Dearborn St

    Very traditional Greek diner.

    I believe they still do counter service although it is set up as a bar.

    Also at 301 S Halsted St
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #19 - September 12th, 2019, 2:07 pm
    Post #19 - September 12th, 2019, 2:07 pm Post #19 - September 12th, 2019, 2:07 pm
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    eating while walking wrote:Hello, does Ronnie's Steak House Qualify? You can get steak and eggs or other breakfast items all day I believe.


    Ronnie's barely qualifies as food. I always think of Ronnie's as the place where some guy who's been in Stateville since the 1950's goes on his first day of parole with a crisp $20 he got from the warden.

    I mean, that's true... but also that's kinda what a diner is for (among other things) :mrgreen:

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