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The Best Late Night Eateries in Chicago

Looking for a midnight snack? These diners have got you covered.

Donuts from FirecakesDonuts from Firecakes

Chicago is one of those cities that becomes something totally new after night falls. With awesome nightclubs, restaurants, and shows the list of things to do is endless. In everyone’s quest for memorable late-night antics, the need for good food is always a priority. If you happen to be looking for the perfect diner to have a midnight meal, these are a few places that will gladly help you out.

1. Griddle 24

Griddle 24 late night diner Chicago
Griddle 24 late night diner Chicago
Location: 334 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL, 60654
Type of Food: Americana and Mexican
Hours: Open 24 hours
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As one of the most upvoted diners on Yelp in Chicago, it stands to reason that Griddle 24 is pretty darn good. With clean interiors, polite service, and a mix of traditional Americana and Mexican food it’s hard to wish of anything more. Once you consider in the fact that they serve boozy milkshakes, it’s no wonder that this is a favorite late-night hot spot.

2. Firecakes

The counter at Firecakes
Locations: River North, Lincoln Park, Oak Park, and Loop
Type of Food: Desserts
Hours: Varies depending on location

If you’ve ever wandered into a Firecakes you know why we have it on this list. With a coterie of crowd favorite treats that keep people coming back for more (Triple Rich Chocolate Cake, Tahitian Vanilla Iced, and Buttermilk Old Fashioned) as well as spectacular seasonal creations (Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Orange Poppy Seed, and Chocolate Hazelnut Long John) it’s no wonder this bakery has captured the public’s attention. With 4 store locations and a food truck, Firecakes is easy to stuble upon in your late night journey.

Firecakes is rooted in the family history of its owner. Karen Hobbs’ grandfather, William “Billy” Hobbs, worked as a baker at logging camps in Wisconsin. There he made “firecakes”, an “backwaters take on the modern day donut” made with the limited resources he had available. Billy’s recipe and methods have since been brought to the masses through the bakery and we’re all happier for it.

3. The Chi Cafe

Sesame Chicken at Chi Cafe late night diner Chicago
Locations: 2160 South Archer Avenue Chicago,IL 60616
Type of Food: Chinese
Hours: Friday & Saturday ~ Open 24 Hours, Sunday – Thursday ~ 8:00 AM – 4:00 AM

Created in 2008 this Chinatown eatery boasts an extensive menu of Chinese food that’s guaranteed to satisfy. Made with fresh ingredients, the numerous healthy and delicious options guarantee that anyone can find something they love. The Chi Cafe is a great option if you’re hanging out with a group and need a place that will probably be able to cater to everyone’s personal tastes.

4. Jim’s Original

Jim's Original late night diner Chicago
Jim’s Original late night diner Chicago
Locations: 1250 S Union Ave, Chicago, IL, 60607
Type of Food: Polish and German
Hours: Open 24 Hours

One of Chicago’s most famous places to eat is Jim’s Original. This 70 year old establishment brings sumptuous polish sausages, pork chops, and chicken sandwiches to the ravenous Chicago masses every day.

The owner of Jim’s Original was born in Gostivar, Macedonia, Yugoslavia and immigrated to America in 1939 with $7.00 in his pocket and almost no English. Today he’s managed to cultivate an veritable food institution with the loyalty of the Chicago people.

5. San Soo Gab San Korean BBQ

San Soo Gab San Korean BBQ late night diner Chicago
San Soo Gab San Korean BBQ late night diner Chicago
Locations: 5247 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL, 60625 and 7901 Golf Rd., Morton Grove, IL 60053
Type of Food: Korean
Hours: Varries depending on location

This exceptional restaurant specializes in Korean BBQ to great success. By regularly drawing in large crowds, this Chicago eatery has been hailed by critics and average people alike.

With a wide array of options and large portions this is the kind of place that’s best enjoyed with friends. There are entire sections of the menu devoted to group specials, so ordering for everyone is ten times easier.

RELATED: Best Date Night Ideas In Chicago

What are your favorite late night diners in Chicago?  Let us know in the comments below or on social media.

Madeleine Hettich
Madeleine Hettich is a graphic designer, writer, illustrator, and comic book artist. After graduating with a BFA degree (with an emphasis in Visual Communications Design) from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer before being hired by GREY. She continues to develop independent illustration and comics projects in her own time. This background gives her a unique perspective when writing about any number of topics.

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