Subway: Blue to Racine(312) 733-9871 staxcafe.com41.869105 -87.661844 1401 W Taylor St (at Loomis St) Little Italy, Chicago
Breakfast, lunchAverage main course: $10
This Little Italy breakfast-and-lunch room is essentially a diner, but it has a newfangled feel that more closely resembles brunch favorites Yolk or Meli. Inside the cheery, sunny space, chef Chris Barron turns out light (though not quite ethereal) ricotta pancakes, well-executed omelettes and the “Toad in the hole”: a runny egg cooked inside a slice of toasted bread. It’s the combination of pepper-ridged bacon, strong coffee and good value, though, that make this a favorite for UIC students and neighborhood families.