As soon as I heard fried mac and cheese, I knew I had to make a trip to retro-style Chicago diner, Salt and Pepper. Great for a hangover, or in my case, the go-to spot after a cold blistering walk, Salt and Pepper offers a warm, charming and energetic portrait for your eyes and a heap of indulgence for your belly. Formerly located in the Lincoln Park area and now gracing the streets near Wrigley Field, this comfort-food diner has been serving clientele for over 20 years.


Photography by Dawn Mikulich.

Three menu items and some adult root beer is an ideal meal for two. The Ultimate Cheeseburger was a hefty mate to munch supplied with 1/3 pound of beef and overflowing with what looked like a flat safety ring of crispy cheese. This was, of course, accompanied with fries and two separate sides – hot wings and mac & cheese wedges, the latter proving that carbs and cheese were meant to be fried in unison. The mug of adult root beer came with a handsome 10% alcohol content and sneaked up on me quick as it still had the good old taste I enjoyed as a kid. I would be more than thrilled to go back and enjoy an extra mug of that boozy treat along with most of the menu which boasts plates of pecan pancakes, a serving of what you can call Mod Man Meatloaf, a hearty melody of blackened chicken and much more.

If you find yourself with an appetite before catching a performance at Metro or hanging out at Smart Bar, Salt and Pepper will do more than enough to satisfy your greasy hankering at a very affordable price and in a comfortably throwback atmosphere.

Salt & Pepper Diner Official