Chicago's North Shore is Great for Breakfast

My friend, Ellen, asked me if I knew any good breakfast places not far from Wilmette. Her husband loves to take their daughters out to breakfast early on weekends and they are looking for really good restaurants. An early breakfast allows fathers and children, husbands and wives, visitors, families and friends a unique time to talk, to relax and to share feelings and ideas before the responsibilities of the day intrude. Do I know any? Yes. For years, my husband and I have traversed the North Shore area in an attempt to find just the right restaurant to begin our day. He also loves to take his children and grandchildren to breakfast.

A great restaurant for us is one where breakfast is available early, where the food and service blend to create an enjoyable experience that propels you through the rest of the day. We love wholesome, tasty food. We like many choices, a cheery server and a filled coffee cup.

So I told Ellen about our discoveries, old and new.

Country Kitchen

446 Central Ave.
Highland Park 60035-2651
Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. seven days a week

We hadn't been to Country Kitchen in Highland Park for a while. It has been there for 20 years, but we discovered it about 10 years ago and go there now and then. On our recent visit, we found the scramble eggs, potatoes and corned beef hash were delicious. We appreciated the efficient, pleasant service and refilled coffee, especially because it was on the late side for us and we were very hungry. The comfortable booth where we were seated allowed us to talk easily. Ruby, one of the owners, said that it is a family style restaurant specializing in American breakfasts.

Caffe Buon Giorno

566 Chestnut St.
Winnetka 60093
Hours: 6 a.m.-4 p.m. daily

My sister and brother-in-law from Southfield, MI, also love to do breakfasts during visits to Chicago. We took them to Cafe Buon Giorno once and that was it. Now they reroute each trip to get a last breakfast there before driving off. The restaurant has a charming atmosphere and serves great food often inspired by Mary Jo. I love to check the chalk- board to find the daily specials. Fresh flowers are also a pleasant touch. Waffles with fruit and vegetable hash are among our favorite dishes.

Greenbay Cafe

Original Green Bay Cafe
568 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka
Tel: (847) 446-7698
Hours: M-S 6:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., Sun 7:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

It would be very easy to go right by the Original Green Bay Cafe driving along Green Bay Road in Winnetka but one day we noticed it and decided to stop and get breakfast. There is a large fireplace that dominates an otherwise diminutive room with a few country style wooden tables and chairs. The food is great and unless you are very early you will find a line waiting to be seated. I remember an unusual hot rice cereal. The eggs and omelets with potatoes have a wonderful flavor and pancakes are very good. Their chalk- board announces new creative dishes often with a Mexican flair and always enjoyable.


Hotcakes Cafe
1195 Wilmette Ave.
Wilmette 60091-2719
Tel: 847-256-2099
Hours: M-S 6:30 a. m 2:30 p.m., Sun 7:00- 2:30 p.m.

We noticed that 'Hotcakes' had taken the place of another restaurant. The name caught our attention. When we tried it, we found a diminutive room with a counter and tables around the sides. There were bright, primitive murals on the walls. There was a warm, family feeling and prompt service. The menu and hours, it turns out, are the same as the Original Green Bay Cafe because Carla owns both of them.

Walker Bros.

Walker Bros. Original Pancake House
153 Green Bay Rd
Wilmette, IL 60091
Tel: 847-251-6000
Hours: 6:30 10:00 p.m. daily

Walker Bros. is the granddaddy of pancake houses in our area. It claims to have origins dating to 1948. In 1960, it became one of the first franchisees of The Original Pancake House from Portland, Oregon. We discovered it sometime in the mid 60's shortly after moving into the area. Relatives would take us there for a great treat. With its stained glass windows, Tiffany style chandeliers and various antique touches, it continues to be the place to go for that ultimate treat-the apple pancake that needs to be shared. I also love the very rich cream served with the coffee. So we go to meet friends and family, and take out of town visitors and always look forward to going there. But the rule in our house is it has to be before 7:30 a. m. to avoid the long lines and even my college-age granddaughter pulls herself out of bed to be there!


Le Peep
827 Church St
Evanston, IL 60201
Tel:(847) 328-4880
Hours: weekdays 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., weekends 7:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

When downtown Evanston is our destination, we always plan breakfast at LePeep. We were pleased to discover it several years ago. It is bright and cheery, with a country feeling. Their claim to the use of fresh ingredients is experience in their eggs dishes. Skillet dishes are their specialty and are very creative. The pots of coffee supplied at each table allow one to keep their cups filled and a pleasant server insures the pots are filled, also.

New Day Cafe

2916 Central
Evanston, Il 60201
Tel: 847-332-2233
Hours: Tues Sunday, 7:00 a.m.-2:00p.m. and Friday night 7:00-9:00 p.m.

This is our most recent discovery and appears to be a work in progress as it is very new. It is very open with wood floors and large windows. The blackboard announced specials. My favorite is a very unusual orange-honey yogurt made on the premises. My husbands favorite is a very unusual corned beef hash. The coffee from Casteel coffee roasters just across the street, is exceptionally good.

We hope Ellen's husband and children enjoy these restaurants and we have more suggestions for other parts of Chicago later.

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