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Review: Little Branch Cafe

By Anthony Todd in Food on May 13, 2009 5:00PM

The South Loop, especially the area south of Roosevelt, is not exactly filled with brunch spots. Most weekends, we make the trek up to Hot Chocolate or the Bongo Room - both excellent options, but they’re usually packed. In our desperate search for another option, we turned (sadly) to Google - and it led us to Little Branch Café. Hidden away in the Museum Park complex, not visible from the street, Little Branch Café is an absolute gem of a restaurant, designed with style and care.

Little Branch Café has a full menu for breakfast and lunch, as well as an enormous selection of coffees, teas, and fancy hot drinks. We tried a Lavender Chai Latte, which had a subtle herbal flavor underneath the sweetness of the chai. They also have a full menu of fruit smoothies, eliciting raves from our dining companion. His smoothie combined raspberry, mango and grapefruit, and was delightful. Their food options range from egg dishes to grilled paninis, and they also offer a full range of pastries and baked goods. We sampled a Frittata Sandwich, made with bacon, cheddar, arugula and aioli, and a Croissant Sandwich with cheddar-scrambled eggs, both excellent. And, at $7.50 each, Little Branch is serving up treats that won’t break the bank of any regulars.

In addition to the options for breakfast and lunch, Little Branch has a full bar and a selection of cocktails. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten path spot to have a drink after work, come on over. If their cocktail menu is any indication, it’ll be a good one - we’ll be at the bar.

Service is attentive for a coffee shop, with an eye towards recruiting regulars. The restaurant is counter service, and often staffed by the owners, who are supremely confident about their products. “Just try it, you’ll like it,” one of them told us when we wavered on our order. Boy, was she right.

Little Branch Cafe is located at 1251 S. Prairie, inside Museum Park building IV. During the summer, they open at 7:00 Monday-Friday and 8:00 Saturday and Sunday.