Route 66 Historic Roadside Attraction – Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant in Chicago

historic route 66 - Lou Mitchell's Restaurant

Nestled under the skyscrapers of Chicago, Illinois, Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant and Bakery is the first dining stop that is original and still remaining along the beginning point of historic Route 66.

Historic route 66 - Lou Mitchell's Restaurant - Chicago

Route 66 Chicago restaurant and roadside attraction

Located at 565 W Jackson Boulevard, the diner opened its doors in 1923 and was ready for business from Route 66 traffic in 1926 when the road’s first signs went up.  Lou Mitchell’s has managed to retain that true coffee shop diner atmosphere that plenty of other restaurants have only been able to replicate.

route 66 - historic coffee shop diner

Diner style

Form follows function in this 90 year old establishment, with a chalk board style menu on the wall… a bona fide soda fountain counter…and neon signs.

route 66 -neon sign-Lou Mitchell's Restaurant36

 

route 66 - bustling wait staff

Although they do not take reservations, you will most certainly see the wait staff bustling around non-stop to get patrons seated, fed and satisfied.

Donut holes -Route 66 - Lou Mitchell's Restaurant

If you are hungry while waiting

If you have to wait in line to be seated, you will find that the lines move pretty fast, and while you’re waiting, there is always a staff member happy to offer you homemade doughnut holes or milk duds.

route 66 - attraction-Lou Mitchell's

Breakfast and lunch only

The restaurant is open daily for breakfast and lunch.  Their menu offers comfort foods “from scratch”, soda fountain creations, and homemade desserts, breads and pastries from their own family recipe.  If you are looking for a lighter menu, Lou Mitchell’s has made sure to include healthy choices as well, such as egg-white omelets, salads, organic yogurt and produce.

route 66 - Lou Mitchell's skillet

Many of their meals are served right up in a skillet.

route 66 - diner- carry out

If you don’t have time to sit down, you can order carry out.

route 66 - gift idea from Lou Mitchell's Restaurant

Gift ideas and souvenirs

Many of their specialties make great gifts when packaged to-go, including homemade orange marmalade and signature maple syrup.

route 66 -Chicago roadside attraction-Lou Mitchell's Restaurant

Lou Mitchell’s is easily accessible by foot, bike, car, cab or train.  Located in the west loop area, the one story building is just a block west of Union Station, walking distance from various Metra and CTA stops, and just east of the I94/ Kennedy expressway,

route 66-roadside attraction-Chicago

This original roadside attraction, just down the way from where historic Route 66 begins, is a must stop if you are visiting downtown Chicago, if you are interested in some route 66 nostalgia, or if you are just looking for fresh, down home food at an affordable price.

Please tell me about your experience, if you decide to visit Lou Mitchell’s.

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5 Responses to Route 66 Historic Roadside Attraction – Lou Mitchell’s Restaurant in Chicago

  1. Michael November 27, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Wow, open for business for 90 years, I’ve been in places that shouldn’t have been open for 90 minutes.

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