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Chicago Breakfast Dive?


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Heading to Chicago this weekend and we'll be arriving at Midway around 8:00 am, heading right to the Ikea in Bolingbrook to do some college dorm shopping before move-in day at University of Chicago. Are there any breakfast institutions around that won't be too far out of our way? Not looking for chain restaurants or chi-chi places, just a good, honest breakfast place where everything doesn't taste like grease from the grill and the servers keep your coffee cup filled. Diners or counter-space-only places would be just fine.

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Why don't you just eat at IKEA?  I've never had them, but their cinnamon rolls smell delicious!

Having been to Ikea very recently, I thought the cinnamon rolls were somewhat pre-fabby and a bit of a disappointment. They do smell great, but seeing the employees cutting open plastic capsules of pre-made icing and drizzling it over the rolls was a big turn off. Nonetheless, I ordered one and thought that it was very ordinary tasting. That said, I did enjoy the Swedish meatballs and the yellow pea soup, even though they aren't typically considered to be breakfast items.

I wish I could come up with a suggestion of my own but that's just not an area with which I'm very familiar. I'll keep thinking and maybe something will come to mind.


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Ok, one place comes to mind. It's not exactly right near U of C (it's in the Bridgeport neighborhood) but it's relatively close:

Healthy Food Lithuanian Restaurant

3236 S. Halsted Ave., Chicago

(312) 326-2724

Also, here's a link to a thread about some other places in Bridgeport:

Chicago trip with family - Bridgeport neighborhood, Need recs around Bridgeport & south side


"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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About a mile north of the Ikea store is a place called Sandpiper. It should have exactly what you're looking for. To get there from Midway, take the 75th St exit off I-355 (you'll pass the Ikea store exit at 87th St), turn left onto 75th St, and Sandpiper will be on the right just past the second stoplight (Janes). To get to Ikea, go south on Janes for about a mile...it will be on the left.

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About a mile north of the Ikea store is a place called Sandpiper. It should have exactly what you're looking for. To get there from Midway, take the 75th St exit off I-355 (you'll pass the Ikea store exit at 87th St), turn left onto 75th St, and Sandpiper will be on the right just past the second stoplight (Janes). To get to Ikea, go south on Janes for about a mile...it will be on the left.

Thanks! this sounds perfect, and the timing will be right. Ikea opens at 10:00. The cafe opens 1/2 hr earlier, but my daughter hates cinnamon rolls

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Try Salonika at 57th and Blackstone.  Very much a Greek coffee-shop atmosphere.

Also, see if Medici or any of the other joints on 57th are open for breakfast.

Welcome to the U of C (I'm class of '90).

Thanks for the recs. On Saturday morning we hope to start moving her in to Blackstone at around 8:30, then we'll take a breakfast break in the neighborhood.

She's so excited about going to Chicago. Did her first year at Colgate and didn't like the environment, so she took this past year off to work, do some volunteering in Tanzania, and work on her transfer applications. U of C was far and away her top choice. She just got back from a 1-week Outward Bound canoe trip, for incoming students, in the Boundary Waters Area, and really liked all seven of her trip mates.

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...my daughter hates cinnamon rolls

The Medici had a small take-out bakery just inside the entrance with excellent cinnamon rolls (for you) and chocolate croissants (for her?). My info is a few years out of date, but I suspect it's still there. I've also enjoyed the breakfast at Valois Cafeteria (motto: "See your food") on 53rd. Maybe some current Hyde Parkers could tell me if it's still around.

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Recently left Hyde Park for snowy Rochester :unsure: but the Med now operates an excellent full-service bakery. I miss it already, right next door to their restaurant, the baked goods are excellent althought the coffee is only OK.

I'm not sure of any good breakfast places out by Midway, I think it's too early for Bobak's all-you-can-eat Polish buffet, which is what I often like to visit when I would return to town. Maybe next time I'll try the Sandpiper!

Seconding the votes of others, in Hyde Park, Valois (pronounced Val - oise) on 53rd Street provides an excellent greasy breakfast, and Salonika's on 57th also does quite well (their coffee always really hits the spot, for some inexplicable reason).

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Can any of you Hyde Park folks comment on La Petite Folie? I'm having a lawyer buddy guest lecture in my course at U of C and I want to treat him to a nice lunch. The metromix reviews are tepid. Any other suggestions?


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I've always been very happy at La Petite Folie, I don't have time to check the Metromix reviews, but I'd be interested in what others don't like. I've actually only eaten there for dinner once, and probably about 6 times for lunch, but I think it delivers exactly what's expected. It's not cutting-edge, but it's quite good, and nicely presented.

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