"John Daley, an Irish ironworker who came to Chicago to work on building the elevated line, saw a need for a restaurant to feed all the men constructing the University of Chicago, The World's Columbian Exposition and the Rapid Transit Line. More than 100 years later, hungry diners are delighting the "famous" club breakfast ordered by the number. The Number 1 is an egg with your choice of meat (including sausage, bacon, salt pork, chopped steak, hot links, smoked ham or a well-seasoned salmon patty) plus toast or biscuits."
"Nestled in the heart of the South Side, Daley’s has been serving residents homestyle fare since 1892. Generations upon generations of Chicagoans have grown up on its skillets, waffles, chicken wings, and patty melts. If that doesn’t whet the appetite, daily specials like boiled turkey necks, chicken and dumplings, and braised oxtail stew rise above the diner norm."
Woodlawn. Depending on how you look at it, Daley’s restaurant has been around since 1892 or 1937 (the first, the original opening date; the second, the current incarnation). Either way, it’s one of the oldest restaurants in the city."
4.5 (1565 ratings)
A counter-service smorgasbord of American comfort food served in a casual, muraled space. Cash only.
"The gimmick at this Hyde Park landmark is allowing customers to “see your food.” But for loyalists, Valois is no novelty the cafeteria-style restaurant has been an essential part of the community since 1921. This all-day restaurant switches out items depending on the time of day. Church groups assemble for breakfast and politicians make sure to be photographed here during election season."
"It's counter-service only but Hyde Park’s beloved institution has all the makings of a greasy spoon. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served cafeteria-style and customers should look forward to reliable omelets, a mean plate of steak and eggs, and daily specials like lamb shank spaghetti. Need more convincing?"
"This event space and community center—home to a tech incubator, podcast studio, art gallery, and more—now welcomes visitors to its new rooftop patio. Brothers’ on the Wall has taken up residence in the kitchen to whip up platters of rib tips, jerk chicken, catfish steaks and more. Share an order of fries with your friends and do a show-and-tell of what you’ve brought to drink at this BYOB-friendly spot."
"Enjoy a fresh selection of traditional and modern dishes at this South Side gem. The Woodlawn is a modern and upbeat Internet cafe with a patio and rooftop for a unique outdoor dining experience. They offer coffee from a local South Side roaster by day and a pop-up experience by night."
"Enjoy rooftop dining in your own enclosed igloo at The Woodlawn. The clear domes seat up to five people for two hours and includes a customized three course meal with beer or wine. Make the evening extra special with romantic add-ons like roses or a live musician."
4.5 (1202 ratings)
Family-run Mexican joint offering comfort food made with goat meat in a cozy, counter-serve setup.
"A family-owned Mexican spot in Archer Heights that's the G.O.A.T. when it comes to goat meat. Why we love it: Thick handmade tortillas, salsas made to order, bright-pink agua fresca—you can get all of that to go. Their only purpose, however, is to accompany the restaurant’s signature platters of chopped goat meat."
"Head to the Southwest Side near Midway International Airport for goat that isn’t labeled as the latest food trend. There’s a simple menu packed with deep flavors here. The handmade tortillas and accouterments represents a signature Chicago meal at this family-run restaurant."
"This restaurant has spent more than 25 years serving Middle Eastern cuisine rooted in generation-spanning traditions. Fill your table with starters like stuffed grapevine leaves and baked spinach pie, then pass around entrees of chicken shawarma, beef shish kebab, and lamb kifta. For dessert, try the ma’amoul — sweet semolina cookies filled with nuts or figs."
"The lines haven’t subsided in Chatham where Oooh Wee It Is opened in late February. A reluctant restaurant owner has turned to tasty soul food items like shrimp and grits and pot roast cupcakes. This is a fun space filled with cereal boxes and decorated with Marvel Comics props."
Pattis Sunrise Café
4.5 (402 ratings)
Casual daytime eatery serving American breakfast fare & sandwiches in a warm, contemporary space.
"The Beverly Arts Center is a multifaceted space that hosts regular programs on dance, film, theater and music. There is also a gallery space here that presents a rotating and diverse program of visual arts. Past exhibits have included works by local Chicago cartoonists, printmakers, photographers and painters, as well as programs focused on the LGBTQ community."
"A focus on mid-career artists sets this gallery apart from the pack. It features contemporary American and European works that range from abstracts to landscapes. Open afternoons Wednesday through Sunday and by appointment."
The Renaissance Society
4.3 (33 ratings)
Gallery showcasing contemporary & avant-garde art from international artists since 1915.
"Although the Blue Island Beer Company taproom is located in the Historical District of Blue Island, you can find their classically-influenced beer on menus throughout Chicago, including at South Side Social Neighborhood Kitchen & Tap. At South Side Social, Blue Island Beer is paired with dishes that accentuate everything you love about beer, like brisket nachos with beer cheese. Blue Island Beer Company’s taproom menu features a variety of styles, including IPA, sour ale, imperial stout and more."
4.3 (816 ratings)
Bright cafe with a seasonal patio cooking up American & Mexican fare for breakfast, lunch & dinner.
"All airy and light, with exposed brick and local art, nana is a locally sourced, feel-good brunch spot in the heart of White Sox country. The family-owned restaurant works closely with area farmers to develop its organic, Latin-influenced menu full of overstuffed empanadas, po'boys, and, the stand out, baked chilaquiles topped with poblano cream and two eggs, any style."
"The team behind Nana strives for perfection by maintaining a sustainable, local and organic menu. What they serve is high-quality and delicious food. While not a completely vegetarian restaurant, the avocado fries and tofu scramble have us commending the commitment to perfection."
"You can find fried dough here 24 hours a day, and when you try these pillowy pastries, you’ll find a good reason to come back at all hours of the day and night. If it’s your first time, go for a box of the original glazed yeast donuts, which basically melt in your mouth."
"Dat Donut is next on our list of the best desserts in Chicago. Dat Donut is one of the most famous donut places in Chicago, and it’s a city institution!. They have a huge range of flavors, and the donuts are absolutely delicious."
"For nearly half a century, Buritt Bulloch, or Mr. B as he is known by customers, has been Chicago’s king of donuts. While times have changed, and social media sites like Instagram trend more-eye catching treats with all the pizzazz and razzle dazzle, Mr. B keeps things simple, deep-fried, and delicious, with glazed doughnuts, apple fritters, doughnut balls, long johns, and giant Texas doughnuts."
"If you think something is the best, someone else is likely to have an objection. This rule does not apply to the apple fritter ($3.19) at Old Fashioned Donuts, though. Anyone who eats this agrees: It’s the best ever."