Diners in North Side

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Surprisingly, a pair of brothers runs The Cousins; the name, however, represents the restaurant’s future ownership: their sons. Until the orange and green eatery changes hands, the brothers will continue to serve up Mexican-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner inspired by their south-of-the-border roots. WGN’s “Chicago’s Best” segment named it “Chicago’s Best Breakfast” after host Ted Brunson declared the house-specialty cousins skillet “really, really good. It’s not greasy at all. The potatoes are done perfectly, the chicken breast is tender, and, actually … I love the spinach.”

1463 West Leland Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US

When Centerstage writer Karl Klockars stepped into Diner Grill for some fries, the line cook told him he’d have to wait. He wanted to change the oil in the fryer, but offered Klockars some hash browns to hold him over in the meantime. Those hash browns ended up earning their own praise as “crisp, hot, well-made, and full of potato-y goodness.” So goes a typical experience at Diner Grill, whose cooks maintain a keen attention to detail despite the fact that their 24-hour diner rarely, if ever, closes. You don’t have to look far for evidence of their prowess—as counter stools are the only seating option, all guests can look on as their burgers and breakfasts are freshly prepared. The signature dish is the Slinger, a colossal heap of hash browns, grilled onions, cheeseburger patties, eggs, and chili. This ungodly, yet delicious dish even comes with a certificate for anyone who can finish it in one sitting. Most menu items, including the Slinger, are $10 or less. Diners can use the extra change from their tab to queue up songs on the digital jukebox or add a metallic crunch to their fried eggs.

1635 West Irving Park Road
Chicago,
IL
US