Pick Me Up Cafe

Chicago, Illinois

3.6 / 22 votes

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Fifties-esque diner with lots of vegan-friendly food

The Pick Me Up is a nice place to grab a bite to eat, especially late at night. The interior is decorated with fifties memorabilia, and is amusingly kitschy. The menu features many vegetarian and vegan selections, including breakfast items and desserts.

Added by Dave Rolsky on Mar 11 03 (last updated Jul 7 10)

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I really like the vibe of this place and I've heard that their vegan breakfast items (offered all day) are delicious. I think I just happened to order the non-winners on the menu. I was BEYOND excited to see they had homemade vegan jalapeno poppers ($6.50 - not bad), but very disappointed to find that they were stuffed with mashed tofu and not cream cheese. Using Tofutti cream cheese would likely be a little more expensive but would be SO worth it. Jalapeno poppers are supposed to be rich and fatty and if you're going to go to the trouble of stuffing and frying them, you might as well do it right.

I also got the small vegan mac and cheese ($4.50 - not bad), and also wasn't super impressed. I'm a big fan of the Teese cheese texture so that was right on but the mac didn't really have much flavor so I ended up dumping on salt, pepper, and hot sauce. I would have liked it better if it had some garlic, nutritional yeast, or were baked in the oven with breadcrumbs (to give some ideas :)). I also tried my friend's chocolate oatmeal cake ($5) which was so-so and overpriced.

Given that I've heard how good brunch items are, I'd be willing to return to try those items but I wouldn't re-order anything that I've ordered thus far.

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I go here almost every weekend. Almost without fail, no matter who the server is, they will forget one person's order for about half an hour after everyone else has their food (and on busy nights that itself takes an eternity). Who knows why, but it's never once made any of us hesitate a second on returning the next weekend. I'll wait days for that buffalo tofu, I don't care. Don't miss the homemade soups, the vegan chili, chili cheese fries, or the vegan mac'n'cheese (approved by my carnivore friends), or the mushroom gravy on the mashed potatoes, the hummus, or the gnocchi... you get the idea. There's no better place to go at 4am on Saturday morning after you've left the clubs, not to imply that I don't go there for lunch during the week, either.

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$$ - average


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  • American


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5pm - 3am
24 hours
5pm - 3am

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