Austria: Julius Meinl

AustriaJulius Meinl
3601 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL

A stone’s throw from Wrigley Field. Julius Meinl is a little taste of Vienna right in Chicago. Julius Meinl is an Austrian company known for their coffee blends (and unique logo), and this cozy cafe is their only American outpost. You can either take out coffee and tea drinks to go, or dine in on a menu of American and European fare. The drink menu is stunningly comprehensive and extensive, featuring Meinl’s artisan coffee blends as well as specialty drinks like Black Forest Mocha ($4.45) and Vienna Eiskaffe ($2.95), a blend of espresso and vanilla ice cream. If you are eating in, there is table service at an ample seating area. Meinl has an extensive breakfast menu as well as soups and sandwiches. The European portion of the menu includes Spätzle, Crepes and Austrian goulash. A favorite off the American portion of the menu is the Chicken Salad Sandwich with grapes, apricots, walnuts and Tarragon dressing. The sandwich comes on hearty walnut wheat bread, with a small micro-green salad ($7.95).

However, perhaps the most enticing part of Julius Meinl are the desserts. You can scope out the goods, baked in-house, in the glass case at the counter, ranging from about $4-6. If you like chocolate, you won’t be disappointed. The Viennese Torte is an excellent mix of bittersweet chocolate and apricot jam, as is the Mohr Im Hemd – a chocolate cake with a molten chocolate center. The service is a bit erratic, unfortunately, but the surroundings are comfortable. If you’re ever around Wrigley Field, looking for a relaxing lunch or a cup of joe, Julius Meinl is a great alternative to the ho-hum Starbucks or Corner Bakery. Come for the coffee, stay for the dessert.

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