We ordered a balance of Yolk’s sweet and savory specialties. From left to right, the Strawberry Cheese Cakes, Red Velvet French Toast, Breakfast Mac and Cheese and Chilaquiles Verdes. (Rachel Schlueter/The Daily Northwestern)
We ordered a balance of Yolk’s sweet and savory specialties. From left to right, the Strawberry Cheese Cakes, Red Velvet French Toast, Breakfast Mac and Cheese and Chilaquiles Verdes.

Rachel Schlueter/The Daily Northwestern

Open Tab: Yolk rewrites the definition of classic breakfast

May 1, 2023

Don’t let the simple, four-letter name fool you, Yolk serves up more than just eggs. The breakfast spot offers a plethora of dishes, ranging from American breakfast classics like waffles to extravagant specials such as the avocado toast.

Yolk’s first restaurant opened Chicago’s South Loop in 2006. Since then, it’s expanded to multiple locations in the Loop and across suburbs north of Chicago. The restaurant has also grown to three other states: Florida, Indiana and Texas.

We visited Yolk’s flagship South Loop location. On a weekend morning, the restaurant is pretty busy, so we recommend calling ahead of time to join the waitlist. Yolk does not accept reservations on weekends.

Flipping through Yolk’s extensive menu can be overwhelming. But, we found the best way to order was to go with the best of both worlds — that is, ordering both sweet and savory dishes. 

Who says you can’t have dessert first thing in the morning? Not us. We saw Red Velvet French Toast on the menu, and you better believe we ordered it immediately. For the dish, whole pieces of red velvet cake filled with cream cheese frosting were pan-fried in batter and topped with strawberries and whipped cream. Each bite was heaven, and we were devastated to find the plate empty when we attempted to grab one last bite. Trust us, your mouths and tummies will thank thee for ordering this tremendous treat. 

A combination of two classic dishes, the Strawberry Cheese Cakes were nothing short of exquisite. With two luscious, moist and warm pancakes, layered with cream cheese filling, topped with strawberries and graham crackers — this item is the perfect kickstart to your morning. The pancakes are thick, fluffy and cooked to perfection, the strawberries add a fresh, sweet flavor to cut through the richness of the cakes and the graham cracker crumbles add a nice crunch to the dish. The tanginess of the cream cheese frosting brings together the pancakes and strawberries for a perfectly balanced dish. 

When you think of breakfast, maybe your mind doesn’t immediately think of mac and cheese, but it should — it really should. The Breakfast Mac and Cheese features cheesy goodness loaded with bits of ham and bacon, and garnished with chives and panko parmesan. But it gets even better. For those of you breakfast egg-lovers, this mac and cheese is topped with a sunny side up egg. You can’t go wrong. Seriously. 

To round out our savory dishes, we ordered the Chilaquiles Verdes, which is made up of corn tortilla chips, salsa verde, pepper jack cheese, avocado, red onion and crema. The dish is topped with two eggs of any style, so we went with scrambled. The chilaquiles were fresh, with bright and tangy flavors emanating from the salsa verde and onion. The avocado and pepper jack cheese added a rich, creaminess to the dish while the tortilla chips brought the perfect crunch. 

A breakfast meal, however, cannot be completed without a sweet drink. This time, the iced chai called our names. The drink’s earthy and warm flavors were the perfect accompaniment to our meal and soothed our taste buds in between bites of food. 

Yolk is a one-of-a-kind breakfast spot that accomplishes two impressive feats: doing justice to the classics, all while creating an original brand. Yolk is paving its own path in the Chicago brunch scene. Whether you’re looking for a traditional short stack or a decadent, over-the-top special, Yolk is sure to please. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @kunjal_bastola

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @rschlueter26

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