Every morning at City Limits Diner and Pancake House begins the same way: the staff unlocks the doors at 6 a.m. and regulars eventually file into their partitioned booths for steaming coffee and homestyle diner classics. Alternating between breakfast and lunch like a picnic on the International Date Line, the cooks fill their griddles with eggs and regular or multigrain pancakes before stirring pots of homemade soups and chili. The extensive menu embraces comfort foods from around the world, placing gyros and crepes alongside American classics such as freshly grilled hamburgers and biscuits with sausage gravy.
Chili Jack’s Original Chili Mac’ wasn't the first to serve chili mac, but they are certainly one of the best. The eatery has earned recognition from the The Blade food critic for resurrecting the long-lost dish. Although chili mac is the star of the show, classically prepared hot dogs and sausages make up a full menu. Dog recipes draw influences from around the world, with recipes such as German bratwurst with sauerkraut and all-beef Chicago dogs with authentic fixin's: yellow mustard, green relish, and sport peppers grown in the end zone of Soldier Field.
Back in 1957 when Marie and Joseph "Jo-Jo" Hashim founded Jo Jo's Original Pizza, they decided to concoct original recipes for their breads, crusts, and housemade sauce. Fifty years later, most of these savory instructions are still in use, guiding chefs as they craft traditional pies as well as Jo Jo's specialty hawaiian and taco pizzas. Run today by Marie and Joseph's descendants, Jo Jo's rounds out its menu with other classic Italian fare, including housemade lasagna, pastas, and subs.
Dragonfly Artisan Tea Cottage’s tearoom wouldn’t be out of place in a Victorian dollhouse: delicate fine china teapots, fresh flowers, and doilies dot lace-covered pink tablecloths. Vines creep up mint-green walls and heavy wooden columns, and sunlight pours through picture windows. This ultra-dainty tearoom is ideal for afternoons spent sipping black, green, and herbal teas and nibbling freshly baked scones and finger sandwiches. It also serves up heartier housemade dishes that often feature organic, local ingredients, including vegetarian black-bean burgers and gluten-free fig, spinach, and gorgonzola pizzas.
In addition to hosting daily tea parties, Dragonfly Artisan Tea Cottage serves as a welcoming community hub where acoustic musicians gather to serenade patrons. Local artists display jewelry and paintings in the front room and, on some evenings, even attract craftsters and lost kittens by teaching knitting classes on the front porch.
In the age of convenience, Pitasub Express sets itself apart by inviting diners to completely customize build-your-own meals, made from fresh ingredients and slow-cooked, authentic meats. Beginning with the foundation of either a pita or a bowl, cooks pile gyro, falafel, kafta, or beef shawarma beneath toppings such as grilled veggies, brown rice, and tomatoes. Next, creations are drizzled with or dropped like a cannonball into special garlic sauce or cucumber sauce. A variety of sides are also available, such as tangy grape leaves, creamy hummus, and fresh greek salads.