Even though today is my official birthday, Saturday celebrations began with breakfast at Meli Cafe in Greektown/West Loop, which, conveniently, is located on the main street of that neighborhood, right where the Greek Festival would be taking place that afternoon and night.
As we walked up from the bus stop, various vendors—of all things from knock-off designer purses and canned preserves to souvlaki and meat grilled over huge beds of coals—were setting up beneath rows of blue-and-white tents.
Meli Cafe was crowded, but we were seated right away. Inside, the blue, white and yellow color scheme fits perfectly with its setting and feels like a bit of the Mediterranean. The menu offers every breakfast you could want—pancakes, French toasts, crepes, eggs of every make and ingredient combination.
Meli, the Greek word for honey, is a well-chosen label, as most of the signature dishes at this restaurant use that classic ingredient as a prominent feature.
While I typically go with carb-heavy breakfasts, Saturday I chose the asparagus & gruyere omelet topped with Hollandaise. It comes with a generous side of baby red, oven-fried potatoes and two thick slices of toast.
Not surprisingly, I went nuts for the savory potatoes, which were seasoned and browned for maximum flavor. The eggs were also very good, though a little tough in the center. And to top my toast, the waitress brought two small glass bowls of fantastic jelly, as well as whipped butter.
All in all, a great breakfast that left me stuffed for three hours of walking (and sweating—gosh, it was hot!) all around Chicagoland. I highly recommend trying it for yourself.
301 S. Halsted Street
Chicago, Illinois 60661
Hours of Operation
Sunday-Thursday: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 7 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. (bar open until 12 a.m.)
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.