The Burgers of Chi
In 1939, back when the old Maxwell Market still reigned supreme, and way before you even knew what Panera Bread and DSW shoe house were, the White Palace Grill was born. One of the most recognizable restaurants in the city, it sits with the Chicago skyline to its back and has been a favorite shot for photographers in the city since its birth. It has been as much a part of Chicago as any dining establishment out there and has seen the city transform over time so its not just about the food here-its also a city landmark. During the 'hoods rebranding the developers tried to have the White Palace torn down to make way for more corporate chains and apartment unit rentals for yuppies. Luckily that didn't happen and it's been open 24 hours a day since 1939 and is to this day one of the city's unique dining experiences. Its popular at all hours of the day with police officers, doctors, college students and everyone else the city has. Its the type of diner that's been recreated in countless parts of the country but not too many out there have the history and stories of White Palace.
a familiar landmark in Chicago
The menu at the Palace is breakfast food and your usual diner fare with comfort food and a little bit of everything else. Its a pretty extensive menu and they also have daily blue plate specials. Everyone has something they like at White Palace and since there are so many options and so many daily visitors theres not much that isnt popular. Its not all about the food at White Palace but more the dining experience and history behind it. However when the clock hits 3a and then 4a and then 5a it is one of the better places in the city. It's a popular spot with all the late night party people, overnight workers and its always been a favorite of NBA players after the clubs. White Palace is where I first met Guy Fieri host of Food Network's "Diner's, Drive In's & Dives"-who I've run into randomly filming at spots in Chicago three times now. What's up maan.
While it is surrounded by corporate America-it's nothing like IHOP
One of the reasons White Palace is so popular is the extensive menu which has a bunch of nice choices where even the pickiest eater will find something they like. A few of my favorites are the usual breakfast items like bacon and eggs and omelets, the turkey club, you would never expect it but the blue plate special chicken parm is worthy of ordering (Saw that on Diners Drive In's and Dives) and of course the burger. I also will usually get a side of corned beef hash with my burger and while not homemade they do a nice job of crisping it. I would say that 7 out of 10 times I will usually go with a double cheeseburger or regular cheeseburger. While the fries are just ok, they do a good job on making a diner burger with all the fresh toppings and a deluxe meal comes with soup. Its the best your going to get when the clubs close.
CBH is not the best-but good at 3a
Overall Grade: B-
Strengths: Its about what you should expect from a diner burger and it never fails you as a satisfying late-nite meal. The deli style pickles are loaded up on the burgers and that's a plus in my book. Its also a huge reason to explain there no reason to go to McDonalds or Taco bell when you know the Palace will always be open and always have the best burger available when the last drinks been served. Sometimes consistency is a great thing. Go with a double.
Weakness': The grade might be lower if they weren't open all night but that's not the case. Its not going to wow you and have you proclaiming it to be the best in Chicago no matter when and where but its never going to disappoint you either.
White Palace Grill
1159 S Canal St
Chicago, IL 60607-4906