It’s good that diners get a choice of breads when dining out for breakfast. But some fancy restaurants will then put only one omelet choice on the menu. Maybe the thinking is that if it the dish is sufficiently gourmet it will suit everyone’s palate. The problem is that not everyone adores peppers or mushrooms or feta cheese or, well, you know the possibilities. Think about how long the line is at an omelet station and you know that one, the dish is a popular breakfast or brunch choice, and two, that people are choosing which ingredients they want. Indeed, part of the fun of ordering an omelet is creating it the way you want. It’s sort of like building your own hamburger. Ergo, the restaurants suggested all know how to make a fluffy omelet and they all can tailor the ingredients to your taste buds or allergies.
(Photo Credit: The Bongo Room's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: The Bongo Room’s Facebook)

The Bongo Room
1470 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
773) 588-0133

When entrepreneur Derrick Nobles and chef John Latino joined forces to open The Bongo Room in 1993, they knew their concept of fresh, quality ingredients was a winner by the weekend mob scene. They have since added two good places in Andersonville and the South Loop, but the Wicker Park restaurant is the original restaurant. The price is right and so are the omelet choices. For $12.50 you can choose three items from a long list of 34 ingredients and still get toast and potatoes. When here, you can go with all veggies, all cheeses, all meats or any mix. More veggies are $1 each. More meats are $1.50. An egg white omelet is $13.25

Lou Mitchell’s
565 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 939-3111

It doesn’t matter that Lou Mitchell’s, a famed Chicago breakfast place that has hosted world-wide celebrities and local politicians since opening in 1923, seems old fashioned. Fresh is still important here. Plus the restaurant believes in using organic veggies and cholesterol free oil. But if you’ve come for its huge omelets (it’s OK to ask for a to go container, they reheat nicely the next day), your only problem is deciding what to order from more than 20 yummy-sounding choices. You can do lain but consider one of the unusual kinds such as an apple and Old English cheddar or a smoked salmon and onion one or the Greek Sausage Special. (Prices vary by omelet) In addition you can ask that potatoes by mixed into your omelet or add more ingredients. Oh, an extra reason to come are the donut holes that usually appear at the table.

(Photo Credit: Windy City Cafe's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Windy City Cafe’s Facebook)

Windy City Café
1062 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 280-8366

You know this place takes omelets seriously when the menu section for their light, fold-over concoctions is called The Omelet Shop. There are 15 choices, but check the print under the category to see what changes or substitutions you can make including doing it with egg whites. The combinations are so good that the problem will be what to order.  Go for Olé with chorizo sausage and jalapenos or Havana with ham and roasted pork. Hmm. Maybe the Sunrise with spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese or the California Morning with veggie sausage, avocado, tomatoes and goat cheese. You will just have to come back. Windy City Café is in the West Town neighborhood.

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5020 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 492-8010

If in the Uptown neighborhood around breakfast or brunch time do yourself a favor by stopping in Tweet, an interesting café with great food. It’s the sister restaurant of Big Chicks, an Uptown bar that opens after Tweet closes. Tweet is in an Art Deco building but it’s the art inside by local artists that will also catch your attention. Of course, the big reason to come here are its excellent omelets. There’s one where you choose two ingredients from a list of 22 items ranging from asparagus and spinach to cream cheese and soy chorizo. Then there are about six specialties of the house that take the ingredients quandary out of your head and into that of the chef. These can range from the Heavenly Havarti Omelette with Granny Smith apple and Danish Havarti to Ed’s Omelette with egg whites, Amy’s chicken sausage, grilled mushrooms and more. Tweet uses only top ingredients and has gluten-free options.

1754 W. Balmoral Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 561-8573 

Pauline’s, an Andersonville neighborhood breakfast and lunch place since 1996, turns out huge omelets. Expect to share or ask for a container to go for your breakfast for the next two days. There’s about 13 omelet choices, but you can ask that an ingredient be left out. Kinds of omelets range from smokehouse (yes, think meats) and veggie (lots of different ones) to Mexican and a sun-dried tomato with goat cheese. This is a place you can go to any day you are in the mood for an omelet because the restaurant is open every day, including holidays. Pauline’s has also opened a place in Lincoln Park that is closed Mondays.

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Jodie Jacobs is a veteran journalist who loves writing about Chicago, art, theater, museums and travel. Her work can be found on