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Our Nominations for Best No-Nonsense Breakfasts

By Samantha Abernethy in Food on Oct 27, 2011 9:00PM

Bacon and eggs from Tweet by Flickr user shookiemookie
Chicago Magazine put out a list of the best breakfast places in Chicagoland. While we agree with many of their choices, we can't help but notice most of these places require a reservation or a wait in a line that wraps around the block. Sweet Maple Cafe on Taylor Street often has a wait, but it also has fantastic biscuits and gravy that make it worth the wait. Tweet's breakfasts are so good we wish we lived in Uptown just for their breakfast burritos, veggie black bean patties and multiple levels of Bloody Marys. We've sung the praises of Depot Diner's donuts before, and we fully concur with Chicago Magazine's assertion that Ramova Grill in Bridgeport probably has the best chili in the city.

However, on some lazy weekend mornings, your tired feet and hungover tastebuds are wasted on places like the Bristol, Publican, Hot Chocolate and Longman & Eagle, etc., so we've compiled our own list of diners and places that are simple and approachable. These are spots you can get a solid, cheap breakfast when you roll out of bed at 11, stumble inside and say, "Just give me all the bacon and eggs you have."

Steak N Egger - Pilsen, 1174 W.Cermak
If you want something fast, dirt cheap and dinery and are *not* a fancy pants, Steak N Egger is for you. It's the kind of establishment where the cooks used to chainsmoke over your scrambled eggs. Aaron Cynic

Alexander's Diner - Edgewater, 6158 N. Clark
It's the quintessential Greek diner, and Alexander the owner might also be your waiter. Try the kayana - scrambled eggs with tomato, onion and feta. Samantha Abernethy

Golden Heart Snack Shop - Brighton Park, 4210 S. Archer
This diner has an amazing marquee and some of the fluffiest pancakes on the Southwest side of the city. Their skillets are sizable and healthy and I love the long winding counter and extra salty coffee. You can tell the staff here still uses salt and ice to clean the pots. Chuck Sudo

La Cebollita - Pilsen, 1807 S. Ashland
Come here for an amazing Mexican brunch value. For $5.50 you can get two eggs, a really big tamale, papas con chorizo and an amazingly thick hot chocolate drink called a champurrado. And you'll avoid the line at Nuevo Leon. Steven Pate

Tiztal - Uptown, 4631 N Clark
Oatmeal shakes, El Vampiro juice (my favorite), and to-die-for chilaquiles and huevos. Laura Browning

Lumes House of Pancakes - Morgan Park,11601 S. Western
Think Ann Sather, but a little more worn-in and not as kitschy. Buttermilk pancakes, fluffy like clouds, come with nearly every item on the menu. The oven-baked pancakes, like the Dutch Baby (a German-style pancake, shaped like a bowl, and overflowing with fresh lemon and powdered sugar), is guaranteed to lead to a sugar crash. The apple pancake serves up to three people, is worth the 40-minute cooking time, and is certain to give you a potbelly if you make it a habit. Chuck Sudo

Fireside Restaurant - Andersonville, 5739 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Not to be confused with the bowling alley, this place is tucked away far from the stroller-filled sidewalks of A-ville's Clark Street. It has a heated covered patio and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Samantha Abernethy

Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles - Bronzeville, 3947 S King Drive
The interior is lovely, and the potatoes were great, as was the two-hour food coma subsequent to my meal. Jon Graef

Fullerton Restaurant - Logan Square, 2400 W. Fullerton Ave.
You know that Denny's you hung out at in high school (and maybe college) that made you feel really fucking cool? Fullerton out-hips that feeling and amplifies it by a zillion with their no nonsense killer breakfasts and super chill atmosphere. When you need a greasy, delicious meal for "brunch" this should be your go-to: no wait, no muss, no fuss, just food. Jim Kopeny

Daley's Restaurant - Woodlawn, 809 E. 63rd
The chicken gumbo here is some of the best in the city. Nearly everything here is swimming in butter and lard, so stick to the bottles of pepper vinegar on the tables for seasoning. Chuck Sudo

Golden Nugget - Multiple
Yeah, that's right. We said it. Sure, the big gaudy yellow neon signs don't make their breakfast food seem classy, but we've never had a bad breakfast there. Samantha Abernethy