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February 6, 2013

Chicago Restaurants That Never Close

Christmas morning, an hour before sunrise, the snow is gusting, the wind is whistling, and you find yourself walking the deserted streets of Chicago craving something caloric and greasy.  How you got here is nobody’s business.  The only question is where to eat.  If only you had a guide to Chicago’s 24/7/365 restaurants.
 
Enter domu!  Today, your favorite apartment-finding resource is pleased to offer the renters of our beloved city a list of Chicago restaurants that never close.  Whether it be Thanksgiving, Christmas, or International Skeptics Day, we have found at least 34 local eateries that are open and ready to serve hot food any time of the day, any day of the week, every week of the year.  These always-open restaurants are scattered across 26 Chicago neighborhoods, from Ghareeb Nawaz in West Ridge to Captain Hook’s Fish & Chicken in Chatham to the Americana Submarine Shop across the street from the notorious Metropolitan Correctional Center.
 
Now don’t get us wrong.  We get munchies like the next guy, but we don’t promise a bacteria-free experience.  Nor do we rate or endorse restaurants (although the burrito con huevos y chorizo at El Presidente is oustanding).  Last but not least: We don’t guarantee hours of operation.  Of course we fact-checked this list repeatedly, extracting assurances that table service would be available any minute of the year, but these are largely mom-and-pop restaurants with hours of operation always subject to whim.
 
Speaking of table service, we should point out that all of the restaurants featured on our list offer table service.  Restaurants open 24/7/365 solely by virtue of late-night drive-thru’s have been omitted because drive-thru’s don’t count.  Nor do hot dogs and reheated pizza at 7-11.
 
The Golden Nugget Pancake House, with six locations, rules the late night diner kingdom, while Subway, with three locations that never close, is the only fast-food franchise on the list.  Meanwhile, the White Palace Grill and the Diner Grill rate special mention for being more than a half-century old, making them members of domu’s vintage restaurant club too.
 
With the notion that “close” counts in horseshoes, hand-grenades, and late-night eats, we would be remiss not to mention that Chicago also boasts at least 41 dining establishments that describe themselves as “open 24 hours,” but which are actually closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or, in the case of Jeri’s Grill in Ravenswood, one random February Day for deep cleaning.  So rather than 86’ing these usually reliable options, we’ve included them on a list of “honorable mentions,” otherwise known as “24/7/363.”  But 363 is as low as we go.  Restaurants closed more than two days a year fail to rate.  (Yes, we’re talking to you too, Sunshine Restaurant in Avondale, which now closes on Tuesdays.)
 
Late-night eateries come and go faster than midnight gyros, so please let us know if we’ve omitted anything from our survey.  We want our apartment-dwelling customers to know as much as possible about their neighborhoods!  And next time you see us walking the streets early on Christmas morning, flag us down for some greasy-spoon victuals.  Our treat!
 
 
Restaurants That Never Close
 
Americana Submarine 400 S. Clark Street Loop
Arturo's Tacos 2001 N. Western Avenue Bucktown
Au Bon Pain 251 E. Huron Street Streeterville
Café del Mundo 3152 W. Irving Park Road Irving Park
Captain Hook's Fish & Chicken 8550 S. Cottage Grove Avenue Chatham
Diner Grill 1635 W. Irving Park Road Lakeview
El Presidente Restaurant 2558 N. Ashland Avenue Lincoln Park
Express Grill 1260 S. Union Avenue South Loop
Flaming Wok 'n' Grill 903 N. Halsted Street Goose Island
Ghareeb Nawaz 2032 W. Devon Avenue West Ridge
Golden Apple Restaurant 2971 N. Lincoln Avenue Lakeview
Golden Nugget Pancake House 2406 W. Diversey Parkway Avondale
Golden Nugget Pancake House 3001 N. Central Avenue Belmont Cragin
Golden Nugget Pancake House 3234 W. Irving Park Road Irving Park
Golden Nugget Pancake House 3959 W. Diversey Parkway Logan Square
Golden Nugget Pancake House 4229 W. Irving Park Road Old Irving Park
Golden Nugget Pancake Souse 1765 W. Lawrence Avenue Ravenswood
Hollywood Grill 1601 W. North Avenue Wicker Park
International House of Pancakes 4210 N. Cicero Avenue Portage Park
Jim's Original Hot Dog 1250 S. Union Avenue South Loop
Kevin's Hamburger Heaven 544 W. Pershing Road Bridgeport
Lazo's Tacos 2009 N. Western Avenue Bucktown
Maxwell Street Depot 411 W. 31st Street Bridgeport
Melrose Restaurant 3233 N. Broadway Street Lakeview
Steak 'n' Egger 1174 W. Cermak Road Pilsen
Subway 753 W. 31st Street Bridgeport
Subway 511 N. McClurg Court Streeterville
Subway 1958 W. Chicago Avenue Ukrainian village
Tabaq 1245 N. Clybourn Street Near north side
Taco Burrito King 5509 N. Harlem Avenue Norwood park
Taco Burrito King 114 W. Chicago Avenue River North
Tempo Café 6 E. Chestnut Gold Coast
The Edge 2720 N. Clark Street Lincoln Park
White Palace Grill 1159 S. Canal Street South Loop
 
 
Restaurants Open 24/7/363 (Honorable Mentions)
 
Belmont Snack Shop 3407 W. Belmont Avenue Avondale
Clarke's Diner 2441 N. Lincoln Avenue Lincoln Park
Don's Humburgers Grill 1837 S. Western Avenue Pilsen
El Charro 2410 N. Milwaukee Avenue Logan Square
El Gallo Bravo 3714 w. Lawrence Avenue Albany Park
El Gallo de Oro 2952 W. 63rd Street Chicago Lawn
Elly's Pancake House 101 W. North Avenue Near North Side
Hamburger Heaven Express 3001 S. Archer Avenue Bridgeport
Huck Finn Restaurant 3414 S. Archer Avenue McKinley Park
Huck Finn Restaurant 6650 S. Pulaski Road West Lawn
Huddle House 4748 N. Kimball Avenue Albany Park
International House of Pancakes 2818 W. Diversey Parkway Avondale
International House of Pancakes 3760 N. Halsted Street Lakeview
Jeri's Grill 4357 N. Western Avenue Ravenswood
Lawrence's Fisheries 2120 S. Canal Street Chinatown
Lindo Guadalajara 4761 N. Clark Street Sheridan Park
McDonald's 1951 N. Western Avenue Bucktown
McDonald's 4158 S. Ashland Avenue Back of the Yards
Mr Greek Gyros 234 S. Halsted West Loop
Mr Gyros & Mrs. Pizza 109 W. Division Street Gold Coast
New Modern Grill  3171 N. Halsted Street Lakeview
Subway 5324 N. Broadway Street Edgewater
Susie's Drive-In 4126 W. Montrose Avenue Mayfair
Taco & Burrito Express 2540 N. Halsted Street Lincoln Park
White Castle 11050 S. Halsted Morgan Park
White Castle 1400 W. 79th Street aAburn Gresham
White Castle 1550 E. 79th Street Auburn Gresham
White Castle 2140 S. Wabash Avenue South Loop
White Castle 3132 N. Harlem Avenue Dunning
White Castle 3205 S. Ashland McKinley Park
White Castle 3212 W. Addison Irving Park
White Castle 3457 S. King Drive Bronzeville
White Castle 4750 W. 63rd Street Clearing
White Castle 5618 W. North Avenue Austin
White Castle 7550 N. Harlem Avenue Edison Park
White Castle 6901 S. Western Avenue Chicago Lawn
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guest says

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 1:21pm

Hi,

You should add I-Cafe/Sukur's place. It's open 24 hours and has delicious food. He just opened Pide ve Lahmacun next door also.

http://www.sukursplace.com
http://www.yelp.com/biz/i-cafe-sukurs-place-chicago
http://www.yelp.com/biz/i-cafe-chicago
http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2013/02/01/a-first-look-at...

Kind regards,
Alper

Andrew says

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 1:28pm

It was on our initial list, but was deleted during fact-checking when we were informed that they are NOT open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

guest says

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 5:15pm

What about Clarke's on 53rd in Hyde Park?

Andrew says

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 5:26pm

We extensively fact-checked this list, and only a single Clarke's location survived. Either the location on 53rd Street is no longer open 24 hours a day, or it is closed more than two days out of the year. (It would not be impossible for us to have been provided erroneous information by the restaurant itself, however.)

guest says

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 5:50pm

You missed Archview (http://www.yelp.com/biz/archview-restaurant-chicago) which is right down the street from Huck Finn.

Andrew says

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 11:39am

Archview Restaurant is open 24 hours a day, but closed four days a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, and Easter. Alas, it does not make even the "Honorable Mention" list. But it gets really close!

guest says

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 8:44pm

Clarke's in Hyde Park is definitely open 24 hours/day (as evidenced by their website http://www.clarkesdiner.com/locations.html and the fact that I have been to that location at all hours of night).

arup says

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 1:34am

I'm fairly certain the McDonald's in Hyde park on the 24/7/363 list only has the drive-thru open past a certain hour. I've tried biking there a few times late at night and have always been disappointed. They won't take orders in the drive-thru if you're on a bike either!

Andrew says

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 11:43am

You are correct! We were provided erroneous information the first time around. Our blog post has been amended accordingly.

guest says

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 10:36am

There are multiple El Gallo Bravo's that are all open 24/7. For example, El Gallo Bravo #2 at Milwaukee and Belmont is open 24/7.

Andrew says

Thu, 02/07/2013 - 12:19pm

We checked with all the El Gallo Bravos we could find. The location at Belmont and Milwaukee is open 23 hours a day. (They close for one hour for cleaning.) The location on Montrose Avenue is open late, but not late enough to be 24 hours.