Hours: Breakfast, lunch, dinner: seven days
The food at this funky breakfast-and-lunch spot is OK—but the beer selection and the patio will keep people coming back for more.
By far the best reason to go to the Spoke & Bird is the patio. The inside of the cafe, which replaced Cafe Society in March, is cute and modern, but it's the 2,500-square-foot space outside, partially shaded by trees and equipped with enough seating for 100 people, that makes the place stand out. In fact, even calling it a patio—which in Chicago is often applied to a few tiny tables shoehorned in between a sidewalk and a busy street—feels like an understatement. In light of the fact that the new owners, Scott Golas and Alicia Bird, have managed to obtain a liquor license and now offer 20-odd mostly local brews (six of them on tap), the term "beer garden" seems more appropriate. There's a fairly brief menu of food to go with your beer: salads, sandwiches, sides, and a couple pasta dishes in addition to pastries and several breakfast classics (beer for breakfast was popular in 18th-century England, and I don't see why we shouldn't revive the tradition). If you want dinner here, though, it'll have to be an early one: the cafe closes at 8 PM.
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