The history of this Woodlawn restaurant predates even the World's Columbian Exposition (or the Chicago World's Fair for you "Devil in the White City" fans). Owned by the same family since 1918, Daley's has been serving up some of the South Side's most affordable soul food since then. It was a popular destination for entertainers during the Golden Age of Bronzeville, and legendary politicians like the late Mayor Harold Washington were regular customers. Those customers are noted on an informal "wall of fame" in the restaurant.
There's nothing particularly fancy about Daley's. High counters frame each end of the dining area, which is packed with tables and seating, but rather comfortably. The walls not adorned with celebrity photos are tastefully painted, with darker wood accents and molding at chair height.
The menu here holds classic soul food, all made from scratch. The catfish platter comes teeming with breaded, deep-fried filets, fries and slaw. Chicken gumbo is also a must-order. Other items include chicken smothered in gravy and a delicious patty melt. The heart-conscious should be warned; butter and lard abound in all the dishes. You can skimp on salt, though; liven up your meal with liberal splashes of pepper vinegar from the bottles provided on the tables.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Chuck Sudo