This is one of the few remaining establishments in Chicago where you can watch your food being grilled, says a sign hanging over the counter. Aside from a relatively new air conditioner, the “World’s Largest Littlest Restaurant” has retained its authentic 1960s coffee shop character. Most mornings, the five booths and half-dozen counter stools are packed with guests from the motel next door and locals in need of quick nutrients or a hangover cure.
Afternoons are much quieter, when the sole waitress does double duty as short order cook. While no-nonsense service and the chance to chat with strangers about the Bears or Bulls are added perks to the experience, the real draw here is breakfast in the middle of the afternoon. Tasty if not particularly adventurous, the menu includes half a dozen omelets and the restaurant's signature Deuce’s Wild: two eggs, two strips of bacon, two sausage patties and two pancakes more perfectly fluffy and golden than the homemade kind, for $4 and change.
If you absolutely must have lunch for lunch, the Ohio House is a serviceable greasy spoon serving a host of sandwiches, like the artery-clogging British Burger with bacon served with fries and slaw.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Justin Sondak