Randolph Street hosts many of Chicago’s finest, obsession-worthy restaurants (ahem… Nellcôte) and, being only minutes from the Loop, is always incredibly popular and bustling with hungry eaters.
But there’s one diner that has sparked a pilgrimage of truly EPIC proportions from natives and tourists alike… Au Cheval. Rumored to have one of the best burgers in the entire country, this tiny diner boasts an enormous following of worshippers who pray at the altar of their rich, life-changing food.The Au Cheval love affair runs deep: you often hear stories of diners happily waiting three hours to eat here (they don’t offer reservations — tables are first come, first serve)! And while that may sound crazy to some, Chicagoans happily pump their fists in the air and scream “worth it!!!”
Because it SO is. The space is small, intimate and dark with a bohemian Dandy-vibe that feels rustic and romantic at the same time. It’s actually one of Hubby and I’s favorite date spots!But the feel of this space is informal and unpretentious, despite being one of the most popular restaurants ever to grace the Windy City with its greasy spoon. I especially love the woven flooring!And all the booths are very intimate and cozy — again, great for date night!The narrow restaurant is engulfed by a large bar behind which the chefs furiously cook away in front of their hungry patrons. Both exciting and extraordinary to watch!Au Cheval has a surprisingly limited menu but, as you can tell from this blog’s name, I love “quality over quantity” and that’s exactly what this menu offers.
You honestly can’t order a bad meal at Au Cheval because they’ve tailored each menu item to be its own breed of life-changer.Always start with one of their expertly mixed cocktails – Hubby chose a special that blended apple cider with bourbon. Yum!
BUT the most important thing to order is the Crispy Fries with Mornay Sauce, Garlic Aioli and Fried Farm Egg. Hubby and I both have weak spots for flavor-packed fried food but these fries are in a league of their own!!
In French, ‘au cheval’ translates to “on horseback” but in the context of this Au Cheval, it means “with a fried egg on top”.
As in, you’re going to want to order at least one dish here with a fried egg on top. And you can’t go wrong topping crispy french fries with a perfectly cooked egg.I mean, how sexy are these fries? The mornay cheese sauce is so rich and creamy while the garlic aioli packs the perfect cooling punch. But the crispiness and flavor in the french fries alone is worth an order (can I get a hallelujah for skin-on french fries?).
The best part comes when you break the egg yolk and it drips over these obsession-inducing fries, adding an insane depth of flavor to the dipping sauces. **GUSH**Oh my!
Inevitably I have trouble writing these restaurant posts because I somehow always end up writing them early in the mornings. Here I am sitting at 7 am wanting fried-egg-topped french fries with garlic aioli…
This is down-right the BEST OMELETTE I’ve had in Chicago. NO ONE does eggs like Au Cheval!
And though sometimes I pussy-foot around the issue and say “it’s one of the best”, this time I’m saying this is THE BEST!!! Perfectly cooked every time with melty cheese oozing all over the rich mushrooms inside? You wouldn’t think a simple mushroom omelette would be something to pay homage to but Au Cheval will stand you corrected!!
H opted for one of Au Cheval’s LEGENDARY cheeseburgers.
The word cheeseburger really is synonymous with Au Cheval…
Don’t believe me? Put Au Cheval into Google and see how many letters you need to type in until “burger” pops up…
These burgers top absolutely everyone’s best Chicago burger list. I’m not kidding — they’ve sparked the kind of obsession most restaurants would KILL for. And they exemplify everything Au Cheval serves: rich, juicy and perfectly greasy!
Ask someone in the know where to go for a burger in Chicago and they will undoubtedly tell you Au Cheval (and if they don’t, feel free to educate them).
The long wait for a table at this tiny restaurant is instantly wiped away with a single bite out of this monster!!And Hubby happily devoured it in less than five minutes. Looking for an amazing, pretense-free meal that will haunt you for weeks and serve up some major #foodporn bragging rights? Au Cheval has you covered!