HUNTER’S NEIGHBORHOOD SPOTLIGHT: CAFÉ MARIE-JEANNE
1001 North California Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
Café Marie-Jeanne is one of Humboldt Park’s best-kept secrets. At first glance it doesn’t look like much; the outside is a quiet, unassuming storefront, the inside is a simple dining room with a bar along one wall. However, the food is another story altogether. Whether you’re stopping in for a morning coffee, grabbing drinks with friends, lingering over brunch, or on the prowl for a hearty dinner, Café Marie-Jeanne has one of the tastiest—and most fascinating—selections in the neighborhood.
Nothing about the café is ostentatious; come as you are and enjoy the casual, welcoming atmosphere. If you’re sitting down to a meal, you can be seated in the dining area or outside on the patio, or you can simply grab a spot at the bar. The room is cozy, the bartenders are friendly, and the wait staff is always helpful.
The menu, reminiscent of bucolic French cuisine with an American twist, is carefully crafted according to local seasonal options and changes on a regular basis. Whether you’re ordering from the brunch, lunch, or dinner menu, Café Marie-Jeanne offers a variety of small plates that you can pair à la carte, or you can select one of the larger main dishes.
The foyer doubles as a coffee bar where you can order pastries (choose from croissants, buttermilk biscuits, honey pistachio morning buns, or cinnamon rolls) or snag a customizable breakfast sandwich. Aside from breakfast, Café Marie-Jeanne is known for artisan cheese and meat plates, old-world smoked and pickled fish, sustainably farmed vegetable dishes, delicious hand-crafted soups, gourmet omelets, and farm-to-table main courses like smoked chicken, steak frites, and roast duck. The restaurant offer excellent wine pairings as well as craft cocktails.
Planning your visit: street parking is free on both California and on Augusta. The neighborhood is quiet, and finding a spot is rarely a problem. Public transportation is also an excellent option; the #52 Kedzie/California bus has a stop right outside the café doors.