Breakfast and Brunch, Lakeview, River North, Streeterville, The Loop

Yolk.

Yolk.
Breakfast, Lunch

Neighborhood: the Loop, River North, Streeterville, West Loop, Lakeview
Address: Multiple
Phone Number: Multiple
Website

Price Range: $6-14
Our Rating: 4.6 out of 5

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Margarita Frittata

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Tuscan Frittata

What We Tried: Tuscan Frittata, Margherita Frittata, Build-a-Skillet (Among many other things, during many other visits)

Our Take: Yolk is Switzerland. Neutral, but in the best way possible. You can’t not like Yolk, because it has something for everyone. It has trendy food items for your hipster friends (Cajun Portobello Scramble) without being too off the wall for your Plain Janes (Two Eggs and Meat). It has crazy big portions for your guy friends who forget they no longer play football (2X2X2X2 Combo) while still catering to your “I’ll just have half a grapefruit, thanks” friends (half a grapefruit). Something for your Sweet Brunch Enthusiasts (Banana Blueberry Crunch Cakes), as well as your Savory Brunch Enthusiasts (Countryside Skillet). Something for your Health Nuts (South Beach Greek yogurt bowl) and your Couch-Potato-but-Still-Unfairly-Skinny friends (Red Velvet French Toast with a Cinnamon Roll on the side) ((It’s going to catch up to them some day)).

Get the picture? Yolk likes everybody, and everybody likes Yolk.

My Tuscan Frittata was everything I love about food. Sun-dried tomatoes, red potatoes, chicken, fresh basil, goat cheese… so good. Seriously even better than Sunny Side Up‘s amazing frittata. Plus each egg dish comes with a side of toast, pancakes, or english muffin, with only a slight up charge for specialty pancakes (worth it).

The only way this place could improve is with homemade jam and an amped-up muffin game (not worth the splurge for true muffin lovers).

The decor is somewhere between Ann Sather and Hot Chocolate. Not especially hip or eclectic, but bright, sunny, and pleasant. Again, Switzerland. Overall, Yolk is a great place to start your day.

-Meredith

p.s. Bonus points for anyone who finds the two very subtle Parent Trap references hidden in this post.

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Breakfast and Brunch, Coffee, Lakeview

Heritage General Store

Heritage General Store
Coffee Shop

Neighborhood: Lakeview
Address: 2959 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
Phone Number: (773) 245-3005
Website

Price Range: $3-7
Our Rating: 5 out of 5

Studies have shown that hanging at Heritage Coffee makes you more awesome than the general population.

Studies have shown that hanging at Heritage General Store makes you more awesome than the general population.

What We Tried: Iced Coffee

Our Take: People demand bikes and coffee, and Heritage General Store has both. Heritage is Chicago’s original bike cafe. (Read their story here) The store sells and fixes bikes, organizes rides with a bike club I wish I were cool enough to be a part of, and makes really good coffee. All the coffee is Stumptown (hey, Portland!), and the treats are made by local bakers like Southport Grocery or Bang Bang Pie. And you know a place is hip when it’s featured in Kinfolk. I don’t live in Lakeview, but you know I will be coming back here to sip another soy cafe misto and pretend I own a bike. 

-Carolyn

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Coffee and bikes–now that’s a concept!

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The in-cafe repair shop

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Sit outside

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Outdoor eating area

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Dessert, Lakeview

Popcorn Asylum

Popcorn Asylum
Dessert

Neighborhood: Lakeview
Address: 68 W. Hubbard Street, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone Number: N/A
Website

Price Range: $6-9
Our Rating: 4.4 out of 5

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Modern interior sets the tone

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They let you sample any flavor! (Pictured: Mexican Hot Chocolate)

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What We Tried: Cookies ‘n Cream, Strawberry Balsamic, Blueberry Balsamic, Mexican Hot Chocolate

Our Take: Friendly service, inventive decor, and a delicious product a good popcorn shop does make. Founded by two brothers and their friend, the trio is constantly creating new flavors for us to enjoy. Flavors start with either a cheese or caramelized base and range from savory to spicy to sweet. The best part is that every flavor still maintains the light, airy nature of popcorn, unlike a certain famous Chicago popcorn chain. So light that you and your roommate could polish off two bags without even noticing (not that we would know). We LOVED the balsamic flavors. Keep an eye on Popcorn Asylum’s latest flavors on their Facebook page or website, and be sure to stop in soon!

-Meredith

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Dessert, Lakeview

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Dessert

Neighborhood: River North
Address: 3404 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
Phone Number: (773) 348-7139
Website

Price Range: $5-10
Our Rating: 5 out of 5

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Adorable Exterior? Check.

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Expansive (and Enticing) Menu? Check.

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Makes-Your-Stomach-Want-to-Eat-Itself Curb Appeal? Check.

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Cucumber Water? Check. (Ice cream always makes me thirsty; these people think of everything)

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Fresh Ingredients? Check. (Pictured: Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam, Pineapple Upside Down Cake made with Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt)

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Pure Indulgence? Check. (Pictured: Brown Butter Almond Brittle, The Buckeye State, Salty Graham Gravel, Hand-Whipped Cream, and Extra-Bitter Hot Fudge Sundae)

What We Tried: Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Brown Butter Almond Brittle, The Buckeye State, Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam, Pineapple Upside Down Cake – Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt

Our Take: Our first 5 out of 5! Just go. Seriously. Do not stop. Do not collect $200. Just go. First of all, great decor – modern, clean, and fun. And then there’s the smell. I wish I could blog a smell. But I can’t. So just go. Then there’s the ice cream. So inventive! Unique! Mouth-watering! The Goat Cheese with Red Cherries was surprisingly delicious, but I don’t know that I’d want a whole bowl. Good for those who like Original (Tart) froyo. The other flavors were just out of this world. My favorite by far was the Pineapple Upside Down Cake. The fresh cherries were so sweet and mixed with soft and spongy cake – just orgasmic. Is that appropriate to say on here? I don’t care. We will definitely be back. Frequently. For things like a Salty Caramel with Smoked Almonds Ice Cream Sandwich. You should go too. 

-Meredith

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Breakfast and Brunch, Lakeview

Ann Sather

Ann Sather Swedish Cuisine and Catering
Brunch and Breakfast

Neighborhood: Lakeview
Address: 909 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL, 60657
Phone Number: (773) 348-2378
Website

Price Range: $8-15
Our Rating: 3.8 out of 5

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Cinnamon Buns

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V-4 Omelet: Fresh artichokes, asparagus, portobello mushrooms, and tomatoes topped with Asiago cheese (not pictured)

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Swedish Waffle with Ice Cream and Strawberries

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What We Tried: V-4 Omelet with Cinnamon Buns and Fresh Fruit, Swedish Waffle with Ice Cream and Fresh Strawberries

Our Take: At 11 am on a Tuesday, there was no wait at Ann Sather. It appeared that our waitress was waiting on the entire restaurant, so while she was very impressive, it was very much a sit down, order, eat, and get out atmosphere. That being said, she was still very friendly. My omelet came with two side dishes, so I ordered 2 cinnamon rolls (counts as one side) and fresh fruit, and had the famed cinnamon rolls come out first. They were worth the hype! Light and fluffy without being dry, gooey without feeling underbaked, they were cinnamon roll perfection. My omelet was watery – probably because it contained portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and asparagus – and more frittata than omelet. My neighbor didn’t seem to have any liquid issues with his Denver Omelet, though, so I would just pass on the V-4. The Swedish Waffle was a denser, chewier, and sweeter than your typical light and crisp Belgian. Good, but not out of this world. My 12 year old cousin gave it 5 stars, but probably just because I let her go into a sugar coma. Bottom line, come for a cinnamon roll or two, and stop there. 

-Meredith

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