Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Lula Cafe

-Grubbing in Chicago  
A local legend in Logan Square

So you'd think that with all the Chicago restaurant experiences I've shared on here I would have posted about my favorite neighborhood place by now. By which I mean my favorite restaurant in the neighborhood where I stay. Lula Cafe is by extension one of my favorite spots in the city. The type of place I consider lucky to have around despite a large collection of other spots more than worth their own weight. But Lula Cafe is special in that it's the type of spot I can recommend for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Aside from full fledged diners that serve the purpose of lots of food for a low cost there's just not many chef driven restaurants where they're doing a high level cooking for all three meals.

Locals Favorite in Logan Square

As of this post Lula Cafe has indoor dining (with proof of vaccination) for both brunch and dinner as well as a takeout window (with a slightly different menu) that's open from 9-3 Thursday-Monday. Today's post comes from a collection of visits. Lula Cafe has called their Kedzie location home since 1999. They're not just one of Logan Squares best restaurants but it's one of it's oldest too in terms of fine dining, although I wouldn't let that moniker scare you away as Lula Cafe is a chill, comfortable place to eat food that's prepared with the same love and care as you'd find at some of the city's Michelin star holding spots. My favorite time of the day to visit might actually be the morning bc their breakfast offerings are as strong as anywhere in town. Always on the menu items like the breakfast burrito and buttermilk pancakes are excellent examples from their respective parties. Another reason I love Lula Cafe is the menu is always switching up and it's fun seeing what's new with each visit. 

Breakfast (tamal + breakfast sandwich) at Lula Cafe

I'm not sure how long the takeout window will last but they already brought it back once after shutting it down earlier this year. It may be weather pending. But for now we've had a very mild Fall and I always find myself tempted to stop whenever I'm passing by on a walk or whatever. I did this recently for their turkey sandwich which I had been eyeing all summer. I don't order out a ton of turkey sandwiches but I had a feeling that Lula would do a really good one with turkey that was roasted and sliced in-house as opposed to Boars head brand or whatever. They call it the Lula '99 Turkey Sandwich in an ode to it's place on the menu during their opening year. It comes with avocado, tomato, lettuce, red onion, sprouts, and chile aioli with the option to add cheddar and/or bacon for $1 each. I'm not sure where they get their bread but every component of this sandwich is super strong. Their commitment to market fresh and in-season ingredients is showing in this one. 

Lula '99 Turkey Sandwich 

I credit Lula for helping me understand entrees without meat can be as satisfying as those with. On a recent visit we tried a pappardelle with a walnut bolognese off the ever changing menu and it was as good if not better than any meat based bolgognese sauce I can remember. One menu item most always available is their signature spaghetti made with pancetta, queso fresco, and sweet and spicy chile ‘salsa rosa’ as they call it. I've ordered this for pickup a couple times since pandemic began. Lula is a spot I've come to appreciate more than ever with all that's happened in the restaurant world. 

Spaghetti at Lula Cafe

Lula Cafe
2537 N Kedzie Blvd
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 489-9554

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