Elly's Pancake House

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Though this conveniently located Old Town diner has suburban roots (there are also locations in Arlington Heights and Mundelein), the spacious dining room sports a decidedly urban vibe, with exposed ductwork, bare bulbs, muted colors and a sleek smoothie bar serving up fresh-squeezed juices. The menu balances affordable American staples and greasy-spoon classics with a smattering of more healthful options--look for everything from bacon waffles, fruit- and ricotta-stuffed blintzes and patty melts to spinach-and-mushroom egg white scrambles and tuna salad-stuffed cantaloupes.