Neighborhood: Chicago’s Old Town, 1746 N. Wells St.
The scoop: Nookies is a crowded, fast-paced diner. This place was busy both inside and out. Rolling into Chicago with two hours to spare, we picked the easiest place to get to from the freeway, best ratings and shortest wait from Yelp. We asked a few patrons waiting outside if it was worth the wait, and everyone unanimously said yes. I really could not believe the cult following this place — especially since it was only 10:30 a.m.! Service was great and, we received our food in record time. There was not much décor to note, as there was nothing really on the walls. There was a classic diner bar surrounding the open kitchen and tables scattered throughout a few open rooms. The menu was a classic American diner menu with several items to fit anyone’s taste at any time of day.
Chicago brunching 411: One thing to note about Chicago brunching is that all restaurants seem to open before 10 a.m. on weekends, which was very surprising. Not many spots accepted reservations. I was also surprised to see that stuffed pancakes and stuffed French toast were popular items on many restaurant menus.
Bottoms up: A busboy was quick to pour us all coffee without us having to ask, which I thought was awesome! However, don’t get too excited because each coffee was $2.25. We also ordered OJ, which was freshly squeezed and delicious. After downing the drink in record time, it was refilled just as quickly. Refills are not free, which I wish they would have warned us about. My boyfriend and friends agreed that the little amount this cost was not really worth writing off the restaurant because everything else was so good. This restaurant is also a BYOB! A few tables had ordered pitchers of OJ to go along with the champagne they brought.
Chew on this:
Jalisco wrap $8.95 / Three eggs, salsa, guacamole wrapped in a tomato tortilla; $1.50 extra to add chorizo
An oversized breakfast wrap with its insides oozing out. The dollar value for this dish is unexplainable. It was huge and delicious. Adding the chorizo gave it great flavor, along with the salsa and guac.
Steak egg tostada$11.95 / Served with rice and beans (special summer menu item)
This is exactly what it sounds like — a Mexican tostada with eggs and steak inside a crispy hard-shell tortilla. The dish was decently portioned, and I barely got a taste before it vanished. It’s a fun twist on your basic steak and eggs.
Stuffed berry brioche $10.95 / French toast stuffed with vanilla bean mascarpone, topped with fresh berries, drizzled with maple vanilla cream and berry sauce (special summer menu item)
Do you think one more item could fit on this French toast? This was quite a heavenly dish and extremely satisfying for dessert and French toast lovers! I was really fascinated by the fact that it was “stuffed” with mascarpone. The entire thing wasn’t hard to consume, but warning for those who are not ready to have dessert for breakfast!
The final bite: You can’t really go wrong in choosing one of the three Nookies locations for brunch. There is something to offer for everyone. With that being said, just prepare for a wait, but nothing compared to its competitors. We were in and out in a jiffy! And don’t forget to bring your own bottle of champagne to enjoy!
Reviewed by: Erica