Daley’s Restaurant: Serving Woodlawn Since 1892

  |     |   Chicago Living, Things to Do

 wpid-Coverphoto.jpeg  photo courtesy of the chicago crusader

Currently Chicago’s oldest restaurant, Daley’s was founded as temporary spot for railroad workers in 1892 that has been handed down from generation to generation for 127 years. This mom and pop restaurant in Woodlawn is just steps from the CTA Green Line Cottage Grove stop and an eight minute walk from the University of Chicago Campus.

The country western exterior greets Chicagoans into the comfort of their grandparents’ kitchen. Pictures cover almost every inch of wall space depicting the historical evolution of Daley’s or famous black figures. These hang above the vertically-lined half-wall paneling. The square layout has small booths lining the walls and counter seating forming a smaller square in the middle around the service station.

Daley’s Restaurant has one of the most extensive menus leaving visitors with every home cooked craving satisfied. An early bird specials menu runs from 6am until 9am when the full breakfast menu with famous omelettes, pancakes, waffles, French toast, pork chops, house skillets and breakfast sandwiches starts. Throughout the day, a smaller breakfast menu runs alongside the massive dinner menu featuring steaks, pork chops, various sandwiches, soup, fresh salads and full chicken, fish and roast beef dinners; a rotating minimum 10-item daily specials menu offers additional options. Grandma is whipping up every type of soul food. 

Breakfast sandwiches are a must order! Biscuits are handmade in house and crumble apart while taking a bite from the pork sausage patty and fried egg with cheese. The crunchy biscuit exterior compliments flakey interior, juicy patty and melted cheddar cheese. Each sandwich is served with the Daley’s signature size cup of coleslaw and dill pickle slice. A side of hash browns perfectly rounds off any meal. The hearty potatoes are hand-shaven and have a beautiful, crispy, fried color that fill the entire plate.

You will not leave this place hungry as their hearty sizes will fill you up. The piled-high Denver Omelette comes packed with the perfect eggs-to-extras ratio. Pieces minced ham, onions and green peppers sprinkled with melty, warm cheese complimented with a side of your choosing give it a little bit of every flavor and every texture. Dash some hot sauce on there and oooo, this breakfast means business.


Waitresses know their way around the best Daley’s desserts and can recommend the highly praised strawberry shortcake cake. The turtle cheesecake is a close second pick. It is a traditional, thick, creamy vanilla base loaded on top with caramel, chocolate and nut morsels with a thin drizzle of chocolate sauce. A glass of milk or cup of coffee is recommended to accompany the sweet treats.

Daley’s is a family-friendly restaurant that serves up no-nonsense, homecooked, soul food that is friendly on the wallet. Dishes are an amazing value costing only between $10-$15 per person. The quick service, friendly staff, delicious food and homey atmosphere explain why Daley’s holds the title of Chicago’s oldest restaurant. They have figured out the recipe for success and are the restaurant everyone loves.

809 E 63rd St, Chicago, IL 60637


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