Cinnamon Cafe, a diamond in the rough.

Chicagoans, get to Cinnamon Cafe in Lincoln Square immediately! I heard about this place last week when Eater.com included it in their weekly email and it seemed like it would be worth the trip. Indeed it was!

At first glance Cinnamon Cafe is the definition of unassuming, looks like your average and assuredly underwhelming family restaurant, but when you see the menu you realize that this place is anything but. The food has a definite Mexican skew, but if that isn’t your thing there are certainly other options. I decided to start with a cup of cinnamon coffee, which ended up being so delicious it turned into three cups. The cinnamon taste was really subtle, but certainly present; not over the top and syrupy like it’s chain coffee shop or gas station counterparts.

Generally, I stear clear of the sweeter side when it comes to brunch but my eye was immediately drawn to the corn flake encrusted french toast that was prepared using house made brioche and covered with stewed strawberries and marscapone. It was as wonderful as I had anticipated, though I had to share it with the table because it ended up being simply too much for me. To even things out a bit I ordered a side of deliciously simple broccoli hash, which saved my stomach from the inevitable effects of a sugar overdose.

My friend Michelle ordered some sort of guacamole topped egg and hash situation that she said was delicious. Alyn ordered herself an herbed eggs benedict served on house-made corn bread that she was pretty into. I didn’t get a chance to see what Tiffany ordered, but after she left I cleaned her plate and I will assure you it was tasty! I apologize for the vague descriptions, but I was focusing most of my attention on the wonderful conversation and the mountain of french toast.

The service was great, the wait for Saturday morning brunch was non-existent, the menu was to die for, and the price point was absolutely appropriate for the quality ($10ish). I would whole-heartedly suggest Cinnamon Cafe to anyone looking for a quality brunch on the North side of Chicago.

They have no website at the moment, but if you’re in the area you can find Cinnamon Cafe at 1968 W. Lawrence Avenue.

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