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View Map1754 W. Balmoral Ave. , Chicago
Tel: (773) 561-8573
Fax: (773) 561-1127
View Website
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Editorial Review of Pauline's

A '50s-style breakfast.
photo: Steph Yiu
Best described as a '50s explosion—'50s diner crossed with '50s ice cream shop crossed with '50s cafe—Pauline's is a tucked-away breakfast gem. In 1996 owners Pauline and Ron Messier took over the former Reba's, carrying on a tradition started in the 1920s and leaving plenty of nostalgia in the mix.

The retro diner angle owes itself to its Pepsi-Cola advertisements, red vinyl booths and Marilyn Monroe decor, its famous five-extra-large-egg omelets, all-day breakfast, belt-buster burgers and huge portions. But most importantly, it lacks the modern-day commercialization; instead of mass marketing, its rep draws patrons to the corner spot, hidden behind loads of greenery (it's more accessible by bike than any form of public transportation, allowing for a nice old-fashioned ride to breakfast).

Old-school ice cream lovers will quickly zero in on Pauline's candy-store-like colors—bright reds, yellows and blues—and its mean $3 sundae and shakes (topped with whipped cream, chocolate chips and a cherry) made with Ashby's Ice Cream.

Patio seating shaded by tall trees and surrounded by a white picket fence completes the too-cute experience. Grab a fresh-squeezed lemonade or orange juice, order up a plate of blueberry pecan pancakes and let those cares roll away.

Average cost: <$10

Centerstage Reviewer: Steph Yiu

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7 a.m.-3 p.m. daily

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