By Natalie Bartel (Loyola Freshman)
☆☆☆☆☆ 5 out of 5 stars
Located on 7036 N. Clark St, Honeybear Cafe sits on a colorful corner in Rogers Park. Serving breakfast and lunch, the restaurant is open daily (Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & Sat-Sun 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.).
Honeybear Cafe was opened in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the dining room had to close and the restaurant had to rely on carry out orders, it survived the lockdown and reopened its doors shortly after mandates for restaurants were lifted.
I recently visited Honeybear Cafe for the first time, and it was quite a wonderful experience. I was immediately enticed by the atmosphere of the restaurant and the bubbly waitstaff. With colorful balloons hanging from the ceiling, neon signs adorning the walls, and a rose placed on every table, there wasn’t a dull spot in the cafe. Flowers painted on the stalls made even the bathroom an elegant place. Smiles from the workers filled the place with warmth and made everyone feel welcome.
Accompanied by my father, the ambiance of the restaurant made us even more excited to enjoy our favorite meal of the day; breakfast.
Despite it being quite busy Friday morning, we were immediately greeted by the hostess and led to a table. Along with menus and glasses of water, two (free) sample sized cheesecakes were brought to our table- a touch that I very much appreciated.
From a classic omelet to the unique Tres Leches French Toast, the menu had seemingly endless options, all of which sounded delicious. There were plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options to choose from as well. Pricing was moderately expensive, but reasonably so, considering the quality and quantity of the food being served. The food portions from Honeybear Cafe could easily feed two (maybe even three) people.
After only a 10 minute wait, our food was ready. Along with some freshly squeezed orange juice ($4.42), I ordered Strawberry Shortcake Pancakes ($8.05). The perfectly golden pancakes were served with homemade strawberry compote and sweet cream, vanilla bean glaze, graham cracker crumbles, and whipped cream. Even with all of the toppings, the fluffy pancakes were just the right amount of sweet and they tasted just as good as they looked.
My dad, on the other hand, got the French Quarter Benny with hashbrowns ($18.09) and a coffee ($3.64). His meal consisted of andouille sausage and grilled shrimp sautéed with mushrooms, jalapeños, and onions, which were served on a homemade biscuit topped with two poached eggs and Cajun hollandaise sauce. The hash browns were perfectly crispy and the rest of his meal was a unique, but ideal combination that not many would think to put together. When describing his food, he said, “This is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.” The eggs weren’t dry, and the meat was cooked to perfection, too.
Honeybear Cafe does a brilliant job of offering inclusive dining options, impeccable service, welcoming waitstaff, and heavenly tasting food. I left the cafe feeling satisfied and excited to visit again. My first trip to this family owned breakfast joint definitely won’t be my last.
For more information on Honeybear Cafe, visit their website https://www.honeybearrp.com/.