Eleven City Diner

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Bradley Rubin, the man behind this South Loop eatery, aims for an old-school diner vibe here, skipping the electric slicer in favor of hand-slicing the corned beef, brisket and pastrami. (He even hired countermen who clocked time at long-shuttered Chicago delis like the original Pickle Barrel and the Belden Deli.) The  menu offers lox, chopped liver, knishes, latkes and of course, matzo ball soup. Breakfast is served all day and includes options like stuffed challah French toast and steak and eggs. Other perks include a soda jerk who'll whip up goodies like cherry phosphates (served with the mixing tin), plus there's a barista station featuring custom-blended coffee (from Intelligentsia). There's also a deli area where you can grab goods by the pound (like sliced meats and salads).