Hours: Breakfast, lunch: seven days
Longstanding south-side soul-food haven, now in a new location after more than 125 years.
Daleys is one of the oldest existing restaurants in the city, if not the oldest, though ask any waitress exactly how old and youll get a different answer every time—usually something like A long time, baby. The previous owner, Nick Kyros, says an Irishman opened the place in 1892 and ran it until his father took over in 1918; now he's turned it over to his son Michael and co-owner Nick Zar, though he still hangs around some, he says. Today the majority of his employees and customers are neighborhood folks who pack in for massive portions of mostly solid, sometimes-from-scratch soul food at practically historical prices. Its not hard to eat incredibly well, though you have to be selective. The biscuits are light and fluffy, but the mashed potatoes are instant. The chicken gumbo is tangy and thick but mined with canned green beans. One serving of smothered chicken can look like it was fed on steroids while another looks starved. The beefy, cheesy patty melt is a sure thing, as is a side of cabbage with bits of ham, and just about anything can be livened up with the bottle of spicy red pepper vinegar on each table. Nobody stays alive for more than a century without doing something right.
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