Denny's serves American-style cuisine in the middle of Mokena's Mokena district.
Little ones are free to make a mess at this restaurant, where the whole family is invited to dine.
Wifi access is totally free at Denny's, perfect for catching up on the news, hopping on social media, or even working.
Gather up your group of friends and head to Denny's, a local restaurant that has room for large groups.
You'll want to time your arrival to Denny's just right since reservations are not accepted.
Keep it casual at Denny's, and save that little black dress for a different occasion.
Denny's will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
The parking lot next to the restaurant offers quick and free parking, allowing drivers to park with ease.
Take a break from buyer's remorse at Denny's, where each and every bite won't cost you much (but will taste like a million bucks).
Whether you're in the mood for AM eggs, a midday salad, or an evening entree, Denny's provides service throughout the day.
Night owls and early risers alike will appreciate that the restaurant is open 24 hours a day.
When you have a hunger craving, head over to Denny's and treat yourself to an American classic.
So enjoy a casual dining experience at Denny's and load up on some classic American dishes.
You deserve an excellent meal, so head on over to Denny's and enjoy some of the highly-rated American fare.
Score your next slice at Aurelio's Pizza — this joint has pizza-lovers dishing out cream of the crop reviews.
Both the young and the young-at-heart will dig the family-oriented menu and ambience at this pizzeria.
Access the Internet free of charge via Aurelio's Pizza's complimentary wifi.
Gather up your friends, coworkers or family members and head to Aurelio's Pizza for a group meal.
Avoid playing the waiting game and call ahead for a table.
At Aurelio's Pizza, business casual is the norm, so save your suit and tie for another day.
Choose wisely. Wait at home for delivery or come into this pizzeria for carryout.
For the tastes of Aurelio's Pizza from the comfort of your next party, the pizzeria also offers catering services.
Aurelio's Pizza is a local eatery that serves up free parking.
The average check at Aurelio's Pizza will stay below $30 per person, so it's a relatively affordable option.
Everyone's talking about Aurelio's Pizza. Find out why when you treat yourself to a delicious pizza pie.
So bring your appetite to Aurelio's Pizza. This no-muss, no-fuss pizza joint comes with rave reviews.
So grab a group of friends and head to Aurelio's Pizza, where you can relax in a casual setting while enjoying a delicious, handmade pizza.
Before ordering just a generic box of pizza, re-think that decision and go with a pie above the rest from Aurelio's Pizza.
Come hungry and leave happy! Stoney Point Grill in Mokena aims to please even the pickiest eater.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Little guys and gals will also love dining at this restaurant, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu).
Large groups will appreciate Stoney Point Grill for its ability to seat them quickly.
Dine out in the open during Stoney Point Grill's summer season when patio tables are available for use.
Complimentary wifi is available as well.
Be prepared to raise your voice, though — the restaurant can get noisy.
Take advantage of the restaurant's reservation system, and book a table for your party.
Keep it casual at Stoney Point Grill — the restaurant is laid-back and patrons dress accordingly.
The restaurant also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Stoney Point Grill to your next party or event.
This restaurant offers carryout for your convenience.
Stoney Point Grill is located near endless free parking options.
Make use of the safe and efficient bike parking at Stoney Point Grill.
You can take it easy on your wallet at Stoney Point Grill — prices are generally less than $30 per person.
Stoney Point Grill accepts all major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Visit Double Yolk Pancake House Inc for some true American comfort food smack dab in the middle of Mokena's Mokena.
At Double Yolk Pancake House Inc, you can enjoy healthy and gluten-free eats.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this restaurant with its kid-approved food and ambience.
Find yourself the best seat in the house by calling ahead to reserve a table.
Perfect for an after-work outing, Double Yolk Pancake House Inc won't require you to change outfits before dining as the dress here is super casual.
Ordering food? You can pick it up yourself!
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Double Yolk Pancake House Inc also offers catering.
Parking can often cost 25% of your own meal and tab. With us, it'll be 0% every time. We provide free parking to our patrons.
Looking for tasty and cheap eats? Look no further than Double Yolk Pancake House Inc, a local restaurant with affordable prices.
The breakfast menu receives the most rave reviews from patrons, but you can also stop in for lunch and dinner later in the day.
For lunch or dinner, make plans to try Double Yolk Pancake House Inc.
If you're looking for classic American fare, try Double Yolk Pancake House Inc for your next meal.
Hot cheesy goodness awaits your appetite at Nancy's Pizzeria — this pizza joint is the place to go for a serious five-star slice.
Whether rocking a gluten-free lifestyle or looking for something low-fat, this place will serve you just what you need.
Take it nice and easy at Nancy's Pizzeria, where casual dress is the rule of the day.
This pizzeria also offers delivery and take-out options for those who want to make it a night in.
You can also have Nancy's Pizzeria cater your next event.
Free parking is offered every day of the week at the lot near Nancy's Pizzeria.
It's not the cheapest, it's not the most expensive, but it is the most delicious. Come to Nancy's Pizzeria for a great bite.
Eat your way through the day at Nancy's Pizzeria — diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.
When melted cheese and quality crust is all you can think about, it may be time for a hot slice or two. Experience pizza at its best when you order a pie from top-rated Nancy's Pizzeria.
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Nancy's Pizzeria and enjoy a slice of yummy pizza pie.
At Eggcetera Cafe, feel free to swing by solo for a cup of coffee or meet some friends for a light lunch
this charming cafe welcomes all visitors.
Score low-fat and gluten-free eats at Eggcetera Cafe.
Tap into the free wireless Internet at Eggcetera Cafe.
Eggcetera Cafe caters to all party sizes, both large and small.
Perfect for an after-work outing, Eggcetera Cafe won't require you to change outfits before dining as the dress here is super casual.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
Eggcetera Cafe can also cater your next party; call today for details.
Whether you're heading to Eggcetera Cafe for lunch or dinner, parking is always free in the adjacent lot.
Cyclists are in luck. Eggcetera Cafe provides bike parking.
The breakfast menu receives the most rave reviews from patrons, but you can also stop in for lunch and dinner later in the day.
You'll definitely want to head down to Eggcetera Cafe for a seat at one of the best American cafes in town.
Cindy Espinosa has cooked almost every dish on the menu at Nellie’s (2458 W. Division St.), the Humboldt Park luncheonette she co-owns with her husband, Pablo. Yet she’s never attempted mofongo, a dish of mashed fried plantains that’s a Puerto Rican tradition.
“I see it being made,” she said. “I know how it’s made, but I’ve never tried it.”
It’s easy to see why. The cooking process, which I watched unfold in Nellie’s kitchen, is pretty involved, with a lot of hand-mashing and frying. “It’s more of a Friday-night dinner type of thing,” Pablo said. “You might eat it once a month at home.”
Yet the final result—a dome of fried plantain that diners can moisten with a dip into housemade chicken broth—is worth the work. Here’s how Cindy and Pablo’s cook, Carmen, makes it.
Carmen first peels and chops green plantains, the same fruits used in the restaurant’s jibaritos and tostones. According to Pablo, the restaurant goes through a crate of about 50 green plantains every week.
Then Carmen tosses them into a deep-fryer with some chopped tocino, or pork lard. When the lard has cooked down to a salty, crispy crunch, she dumps it and the plantains into a type of mortar and pestle called a pilon. “Every Puerto Rican household should have one,” Cindy said. The pilon’s concave bottom is what gives a serving of mofongo its distinctive dome-like shape.
In Puerto Rico, you see “all types of sizes” of pilon, Pablo said. That includes some as large as a butter churn, which sit on the floor. Nellie’s is a tabletop model, about 6 inches tall, wooden, and covered in carvings. It makes only one portion of mofongo at a time, which can make things hectic for Carmen on a busy weekend day. (All that mashing “takes an arm,” Cindy said.)
Making mofongo to order gives the staff flexibility to tailor each serving. For instance, Carmen can leave out the tocino to make a vegetarian version of the dish. (Both Espinozas have been vegetarian for a year and a half.) Other versions on the menu include iterations with shrimp in place of tocino or with a mound of chicken, shrimp, or steak nestled inside the dome. Mofongo can also be a side order to fried chicken (chicharron de pollo) or fried pork.
I get to sample the classic, main-course version.
The mofongo dome appears next to a small silver tureen filled with housemade chicken broth for dipping. There is still a big chunk of meat and bone floating in it, as well as a big, soft carrot that I devour, savoring its umami flavors. Moistened with a little broth, the green plantains lose their fibrous dryness to become melt-in-your-mouth comfort food; the bits of tocino provide an occasional kick of salt.
I send a mental thank-you to Carmen’s arm for providing this food. I hope it was worth the work.
Photo credit: Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
To many Chicagoans, the neighborhoods south of Roosevelt Road seem to be a culinary wasteland. To Jimalita Tillman, Chicago native and executive director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center and Performing Arts Theatre (4701 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.), fine-dining opportunities definitely exist on the South Side—if you give them a chance.
Because many of these restaurants depend on word of mouth, Tillman said, the advertising budgets of their more northern competitors often trump their oral marketing, and so she often spends “all day” giving South Side restaurant recommendations to area visitors and theater-goers.
“There are many great places [to eat] throughout these areas,” she said. “It really depends on what you’re in the mood for.”
And if you're in the mood for a little musical and cultural Chicago history to pair with your meal, you don't have to travel far from the landmark arts center. The Harold Washington Cultural Center, in the former location of the historical Regal Theater where the likes of Ella Fitzgerald once performed, is right in the heart of the Black Metropolis—a region marked by the culture and Southern-inspired music scene that developed during the Great Migration. Today, Bronzeville is still flavored with leftovers from its swinging past.
To savor alongside your meal, we paired each of Tillman’s restaurant recommendations with a few musical, historical, and cultural tidbits.
4655 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Chicago, IL 60653
It’s the quick and personable service that makes this gourmet hot-dog eatery a standout, Tillman said. Of course, Chef Cliff Rome serves the usual Chicago-style hot dog, but it’s the varied wiener and burger options he creates that color H-Dogs’ menu with the fine-dining flair he perfected while studying in Paris. The Healthy Hound—a grilled veggie dog with sprouts, roasted peppers, red onions, and cucumbers—sits alongside salmon burgers, turducken sausages, and portobello-mushroom sandwiches without the least bit of tattletaling or fighting over who had the mustard first. Sweet-potato or truffle fries complete the gourmet-on-the-go experience.
Bite of History: The gourmet hot-dog diner sits in a historical building that was once known as 47th Street Marketplace. Before a 2010 fire destroyed the building, it was considered a symbol of the revitalization of Bronzeville and housed Tillman’s Spoken Word Cafe—one of the original hosts of HBO’s Def Poetry series hosted by hip-hop artist and actor Mos Def.
2. Pearl’s Place
3901 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653
“I’m a breakfast head,” said Tillman—as are many in the crowd of diners waiting to get inside for brunch on any given Sunday. The kitchen cooks up a mix of Southern and soul food—yes, there’s a difference—but Pearl’s Place sprinkles it with the right amount of creole flavor. After sampling Pearl’s juicy yet crispy fried chicken, sautéed salmon croquettes, or all-day breakfasts of vegetable omelets or homestyle pancakes, it seems only right to finish with a bite or two of peach cobbler or sweet-potato pie.
Bite of History: The interior decor, with album jackets and vinyl records lining the walls, features a photo story of the neighborhood’s jazz and blues history with jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Lena Horne—all of whom graced the stage at the Regal Theater during Bronzeville’s musical heyday.
3. Norman’s Bistro
1001 E. 43rd St., Chicago, IL, 60653
The bistro’s entrees—including vegetable confetti ravioli, smoked cranberry salmon, and the Great Duck burger—offer an upscale taste-bud experience at “South Side prices,” Tillman said. From the food to the decor, presentation is an art in this sleek and classy spot featuring creole-inspired American food with a Brazilian flair. In the exposed-brick, art-filled wine bar, sommeliers pour from an extensive list of wines. Separate from the dining room, the intimate setting of the bar creates an ideal spot for the happy-hour crowd.
Bite of Culture: On Sundays at 9 p.m., the bistro hosts a live jazz jam session. Or make an appointment and walk over to Gallery Guichard—housed in a turn-of-the-20th-century Italiante row house—to peruse its African-diaspora art and blown glass, sculptures, and photography by local as well as international artists.
Photography by Andrew Nawrocki.
Clockwise from top: Birria in action—rich, briny consommé and tender goat meat, stewed for hours with bay leaves, cinnamon, and other spices. // Ceramic bowls absorb the birria's heat, keeping the broth warm throughout meals. // When Rick Bayless recommended Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan to "Esquire" magazine, he described the eatery’s birria as "full of flavor, incredibly homey and satisfying."
In Ocotlán in Jalisco, Mexico, the temperature rarely dips below 40 degrees. That's mild by Chicago standards; however, when the Reyes family immigrated 2,000 miles from Ocotlán to Chicago, they brought with them a recipe that would prove thoroughly compatible with the colder weather. That recipe is birria—a savory stew made by simmering goat meat for hours with herbs and spices. On a cold day in mid-March, I made a trek across town to the family's Pilsen restaurant, Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan, to taste it myself.
As soon as I entered the eatery, I smelled the warm, rich aroma of simmering goat meat. Goats were also present in the decor: miniature replicas decorated shelves and cupboards, and a mounted goat head kept watch over the booths, a toothpick dangling humorously from its lips.
After I ordered birria at the counter, a server presented me with three dishes. The smallest held pickled onions and lime wedges, which are traditional birria condiments, and an oblong basket cradled warm, fresh tortillas. The largest bowl brimmed with rich, briny consommé, chopped onions and cilantro, and hunks of tender goat meat.
The first spoonful of broth tasted bright and smoky with hints of ancho peppers and cinnamon. I separated a piece of goat meat with light pressure from my spoon. Leaner than beef, the meat still had pieces of bone inside, which infused the meat with the flavor of their marrow. The crisp onions and fragrant cilantro stood out against the birria's savory elements to create a harmony of flavors that was especially comforting on a cold day.