I have been grounded here in Chicago for a few weeks after a first quarter of 2015 that was packed with travel. I should be home in the Windy City for several weeks again before taking off for a wedding in Virginia this spring. It is a welcome change and with the weather (finally) warming up, I'm really enjoying getting to spend some quality time with my little family (read: husband and dog) in the neighborhood that we have fallen in love with.
So today, let's kick off the first edition of the neighborhood guide with a look at breakfast. We all know it's the most important meal of the day, but it's one of my personal favorites too. I love getting up early on a weekend morning with a full day ahead and walking through the neighborhood on the hunt for a good cup of coffee and delicious baked goods. This neighborhood is filled with great options, but here are three of my new favorite places to do just that in Lakeview:
Heritage Bicycles General Store
Heritage Bicycles is a charming spot on bustling Lincoln Avenue. From the name it is difficult to know exactly what this place is, but it is part bike shop and part coffee shop and everything is cool and vintage. The atmosphere here is relaxed with a cafe sitting area in the front where patrons take advantage of the free wifi, sip coffee, and snack on the pastries brought in from some of Chicago's best bakeries while mechanics and are busy working on bicycles in the back. Alex and I stopped in on a Saturday morning walk and I instantly fell in love with the strong coffee, the delicious trail mix scone, and the details-- right down to the vintage stove that houses the coffee creamers and milk and spacious outdoor patio. It's the perfect place to sit and relax-- or to grab a coffee on the go.
Bakin' & Eggs
Bakin' & Eggs is an adorable little breakfast spot on Lincoln Ave. and is the dine in sister restaurant to Lovely: A Bake Shop in Wicker Park. They offer a full breakfast and lunch menu and open early (at 8 AM), so it's the perfect place to stop for breakfast before the 11-12 brunch crowds start to roll in here and everywhere else. They offer a bottomless coffee option (which is amazing) and if you show up here and find a crowd, you can put your name on the list and then help yourself to coffee while you wait.
The menu has a little bit of something for everyone: sweet, savory, and an amazing selection of frittatas. Their signature menu item though is their vast selection of flavored bacon. Bakin' & Eggs serves up a variety of different bacons including jalapeno, cherry smoked, and maple pepper, to name a few. The frittatas are served with your choice of one of the bacons on the side-- or you can order a bacon flight and try them all! I went with a special frittata that day: it was filled with roasted butternut squash, caramelized red onions, bacon, and creamy goat cheese... all of my favorite things!
If you're dining on the go, Bakin' & Eggs also has a little bakery counter where you can grab a coffee and a baked good to go. The bakery at Bakin' & Eggs offers a delicious daily selection of muffins, scones, cookies, and cupcakes like these amazing carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting that we picked up during a walk down Lincoln one day.
After hearing friends in the neighborhood rave about it, Alex and I stopped into Dinkel's on our first morning in our new place for coffee and breakfast to start off a long second day of unpacking. We were hooked after the first visit and have been back several times since.
Dinkel's is an institution here in the Lakeview neighborhood, opening its doors on Lincoln Ave. back in 1922. This old fashioned bakery is still making delicious pastries, sandwiches, cakes, cupcakes, and traditional German treats today. Alex is a big fan of Dinkel's donuts and they have a large number of classic flavors and varieties available every day.
I'm more partial to the savory breakfast pastries like their spinach and cheese croissants-- they're buttery and flaky and the filling has a really wonderful flavor.
I also really love their burglaur, a signature Dinkel's breakfast item. The burglaur is basically a breakfast tart consisting of a soft bready exterior (like focaccia) filled with egg, cheese, bacon, spinach and pesto. It's really savory, very filling, and the perfect little handheld complete breakfast.
Dinkel's is our new 'go to' neighborhood bakery-- for breakfast on the go, for a larger assortment when we're entertaining, for special occasion cakes and cupcakes, and everything in between.