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Breakfast in Chicago

Here are my breakfast picks as posted on my Show Me Chicago post for Chicago Now--I had put a link to it earlier but found out that is a no-no. I will be continuing explore Breakfast spots in Chicago including some ethnic spots and will try to put together another list by December. In the meantime--here are my current 10 choices along with my criteria. Thanks for all the suggestions--I will be trying them out. Also let me know what you think of my choices.
I take my breakfast seriously, so trying to determine Chicago's 10 Best Go To breakfast spots has been both joyful and painful. First, I asked myself--what makes a great breakfast spot? Is it the tender corned beef cooked on the premises, the frothy hollandaise sauce, the mimosas, the French toast, the fig-infused vodka topping on the pancakes, the coffee, the service, the ambiance, the crowd, the buzz, the clientele, the atmosphere? I considered all of these but mostly I was trying to find the quintessential ingredient that says, I'm am Chicago!

1. Bongo Room.
If quality and attention to detail is what you are looking for go directly to the Bongo Room. Start with their house brand coffee, Inteligentsia, then add an order of banana bacon pancakes topped with a warm praline sauce and a mimosa with fresh squeezed orange juice. Expect to wait a while in line--I have heard of 2 hours waits--especially on weekends. Two locations: Wicker Park, 1470 N. Milwaukee Ave. 773 489 0690 and South Loop, 1152 S. Wabash, 312 291 0100. Weekdays 8a.m. to 2:30p.m.; Weekends 9a.m. to 2p.m.

2. M. Henry.
What is it about this Andersonville hangout that keeps breakfast aficionados coming back for more. It's clean, it's comfortable, there are healthy choices, the house coffee is organic, there are vegan choices and exceptional service--but it is so much more than that. Try the blackberry bliss cakes and you won't be sorry. If you want a kick with your meal just remember M. Henry is BYO. 5705 N. Clark (second location in the works). 773 561 1600. Short wait on weekends usually less than 30 minutes. Tuesday through Friday, 7a.m. to 3p.m., Weekends, 8a.m. to 3p.m.

3. Jam.
New kid on the block, Jam (2009), offers an urban vibe with silver walls, clear plastic chairs and a sculpture filled "backyard" garden space. The emphasis is on a great menu with chef Jerry Mauro (formerlyTrotter's and North Pond) pulling out all the stops by elevating breakfast to a gourmet delight. Look for pork cheeks, pork bellies, innovative infused toppings, pickled plums, beautiful benedicts and each entree accompanied by an amuse-bouche prelude. 937 N. Damen Ave. 773 489 0302. 8a.m. to 9p.m. daily (closed Tuesdays). BYO. Cash only.

4.White Palace Grill.
The White Palace Grill screams Chicago. You'll think you've walked into an
Edward Hopper painting as you step into this 24-hour Chicago diner. The place has been here forever--or at least since 1939. Call it an urban oasis, the stereotype Chicago diner that has survived while many of its neighbors have gone away. Rub shoulders with city workers, policemen, fireman, college students and politicians. If you've had it up to here with the infused sauces, pickled plums and malted custard french toast--run, don't walk to the White Palace Grill and a fried eggs sandwiches squished between two pieces of soft white bread (probably Wonder bread) or try the 2 pork chops, 2 eggs combo--you won't be sorry. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Extensive menu, reasonable prices. 1159 S. Canal, 312 939 7167.

5. Pauline's.
Some may disagree with this choice, but it I felt Pauline's needed to be on the list if for nothing else its charming painted red-brick exterior and its out of the way location--a residential corner in Andersonville. To me, Pauline's says quintessential Chicago. Inside the atmosphere is bright and cheerful, the service can be spotty. Expect typical American breakfast fare, large portions and reasonable prices. 1754 W. Balmoral (corner of Ravenswood and Balmoral). 773 561 8573. 7a.m. to 3p.m., Open 365 days a year.

Also Valois, Ann Sather’s,Magnolia Café, Lou Mitchell’s and Feast.

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White Palace Grill
1159 S Canal St, Chicago, IL 60607

Bongo Room
1152 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

North Pond
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614

Lou Mitchell's Restaurant
565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661

Palace Grill
1408 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607

Sep 08, 2010
showmechicago in Chicago Area

Breakfast in Chicago

Bongo Room is probably my favorite--and M. Henry is on my probable list. Haven't gotten to Lula yet because the wait time has been longer than I had on my two attempts to eat there. Will definitely have to make the time to go back and wait to be served. I wii check out the French Toast article and your brunch post. For better or worst, I have promised to post my list tomorrow. Thanks for your help and suggestions.

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Bongo Room
1152 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Sep 07, 2010
showmechicago in Chicago Area

Breakfast in Chicago

Tweet is another good one--it is really hard to just pick ten.

Sep 07, 2010
showmechicago in Chicago Area

Breakfast in Chicago

I have been considering The Breakfast Club--but probably not the Original Pancake House as it is part of a chain but I too have had some decent meals there. Thanks for your input.

Sep 07, 2010
showmechicago in Chicago Area

Breakfast in Chicago

Thanks--I've never heard of Victory's Banner but will check it out. I kind of feel the same way you do about Ina's but did like Feast--and also like Hot Chocolate--maybe should consider it for my top ten. Very helpful.

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Victory's Banner Restaurant
2100 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618

Sep 07, 2010
showmechicago in Chicago Area

Breakfast in Chicago

Tomorrow I will be doing a post on my Show Me Chicago blog for the best breakfast spots in Chicago. I am trying to narrow my list to ten. I am also trying to define my criteria for choices. I am looking more at breakfast spots than brunch. I am also limiting my list to inside the city limits. When checking the spots on the net a lot of the same names such as Lou Mitchell's and Ann Sathers come up--also--a lot of the one name spots like: Yolk, Jam, Taste, Orange, Toast, Feast, etc. I have tried many--and do have some favorites but don't want to miss any that should be there.

If anyone has a favorite that you think must be on the list would love to know.

Thanks,
Carole

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Lou Mitchell's Restaurant
565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661

Sep 07, 2010
showmechicago in Chicago Area