Grandma J's Local Kitchen [Closed]

Restaurants, American Humboldt Park
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha WilliamsGrandma J's Local Kitchen
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha WilliamsGrandma J's Local Kitchen
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha WilliamsGrandma J's Local Kitchen
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha WilliamsGrandma J's Local Kitchen
 (Photograph: Martha Williams)
Photograph: Martha WilliamsGrandma J's Local Kitchen

There were a handful of Humboldt Park skater kids in Grandma J’s the morning I visited for breakfast, and though the place only opened earlier this summer, they were obviously comfortable making themselves at home. Maybe that’s because this spot is full of folksy, old-lady touches (tchotchkes and figurines and hard candy). Probably it’s because of the hipster touches (the birds painted on the wall, the moderately inked-up owner of the place). After all, it’s not like these kids can go to a bar, and when it comes to coffee shops and other alcohol-free spots, this is about as close as they’re going to get.

Adults will experience Grandma J’s a little differently. There’ll be some slight regression, the coffee-shop vibe and French toast sticks sparking flashbacks to high school. (Those sticks are housemade, by the way, and fried to order and happily Burger King–like, crispy on the outside, all custard within.) But then comes the relief. The relief of a no-stress menu; the relief of recognizing every ingredient. Here, it’s all about well-prepared eggs, well-toasted toast, crispy bacon, crunchy housemade potato chips. The fact that the eggs might come with a tiny pile of very delicious, very herby mushrooms, or that the eggs and bacon and cheddar in the “morning sandwich” are slathered generously with chive mayo—these are just extra gifts from the kitchen. They’re the details that separate Grandma J’s from a run-of-the-mill diner, sure. But it’s Grandma J’s dinerlike qualities that make the place appealing.

By: David Tamarkin


Venue name: Grandma J's Local Kitchen [Closed]
Address: 1552 N Kedzie Ave
Cross street: between Pierce and North Aves
Opening hours: Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner (Thu–Sat)
Transport: Bus: 52, 72, 82.
Price: Average main course: $9
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Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:7
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Organic, local, home cooking in a warm setting. Delicious food, hot coffee, amazing and caring owner!

Great fresh breakfast options that use local ingredients, the fried pickles are an awesome starter and the menu is always changing with the seasons. They have friendly awesome service too--we love Grandma J's!

I have loved this place since Day 1. If you want amazing and friendly service, home cooked and very tasty food, go to Grandma J's. What are you waiting for ?!?

I live in Humboldt Park and this is hands-down my favorite neighborhood brunch spot. Order 'The Works'. It's is comforting, filling and delicious! Having visited many a times, even on rare evening events, we've tried several things on their menu. The mushroom toast, fried green tomatoes, chicken and waffles, brussel sprout salads, etc. You name it, we've likely tried it. I love the casual, vintage, comfortable atmosphere. While the food may take a little bit to come out, it's because it's a small kitchen and they're making everything fresh with locally sourced ingredients. They also have a nice patio in the back which is great to enjoy on a sunny day. Check this place out!

Great food, great atmosphere. The staff is great at making you feel welcome. The BLT and the Chicken Sandwich are amazing!


Grandma J's will remind you of sitting down at a table in your own grandmother's cluttered kitchen, especially if she knew how to cook some great brunch. This Humboldt Park staple is almost always crowded with people, who line up to eat breakfast sandwiches and the restaurant's signature dish: fried chicken and crepes. Whatever you order, you'll enjoy it—especially if you get a side of hash.