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Melrose Restaurant: An Ode to Diners

By Hanna Aronovich in Food on Mar 23, 2006 4:50PM

There’s a time and a place for everything. Some evenings, a candlelit, white-tablecloth steakhouse is appropriate, and other times, such as at 3 a.m., it’s about finding somewhere that’s open. For that, the 24-hour diner is a beautiful thing. The fluorescent lights, the pastry display cases filled with layer cakes and pies, Formica counters with chrome stools – these are the furnishings that give diners the nondescript atmosphere that make them so comforting. Melrose logo.jpg

Every Chicago neighborhood is peppered with numerous all-night diners and greasy spoons, and today, Chicagoist pays tribute to the Melrose Restaurant. Situated on the corner of Melrose and Broadway (3233 N Broadway) the Melrose is a Boystown institution that never closes. Whether it be 4 a.m. or Christmas morning, the “open” sign at the Melrose is always glowing.

The fare at the Melrose is standard: burgers, sandwiches, salads and main entrees. Chicagoist is a little wary of ordering seafood here, but the BLT sandwiches are pretty tasty (it’s hard to mess up bacon on bread). If you’re a breakfast fan, you can order waffles, pancakes or one of the many giant-sized omelets at any time. Portions are generous and prices are moderate. Although lacking any notable décor, the Melrose does have an outdoor patio, which is usually packed in the summer, especially for weekend brunch. Service is quick and friendly, although Chicagoist has been served the wrong order once or twice. open.jpg

The Melrose is everything that a diner should be: an extensive menu, open all the time and very close to home. We’ve spent many a Sunday morning here sipping coffee and munching on toast.

The neighborhood diner has a way of endearing itself to patrons. So, Chicagoist asks: Which one warms your heart?