Our Picks for Irish Breakfasts and Soda Bread

breakfastWhile I’m not Irish, I do enjoy two things: Irish breakfast and soda bread. So what better way to start off March than by sharing my suggestions on where you should be spending your time and money to enjoy them as well. Breakfast of Champions The definition of an Irish breakfast may vary depending on who you ask, but it generally contains many of the greatest ingredients know to humankind, including:
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Black and white pudding (pork, oats, spices, and pork blood - stay with me, it’s delicious)
  • Eggs
  • Baked beans
  • Grilled tomatoes
  • Potatoes
Everything is cooked in butter to make it even more awesome and is accompanied by bread with more butter, as well as jam. Dying to try it for yourself? Here are a few recommendations: Paddy Long’s This Lincoln Park establishment serves the “full” Irish breakfast as part of it’s Wakin’ Bacon Brunch. Top it off with a bacon Bloody Mary to give your weekend a bit more punch. Paddy Long’s is located at 1028 W. Diversey. Galvin’s Public House Not only does Galvin’s do the full breakfast, they offer an “Irish breakfast sandwich” consisting of  traditional rashers and sausage accompanied by an egg (any style), all served on a French roll. Galvin’s Public House is located at 5901 W. Lawrence. Wilde Bar & Restaurant Oscar Wilde was right when he opined, “Love and gluttony justify everything.” Wilde’s Irish American Skillet takes my love of all things bacon to a higher level with the inclusion of both traditional Irish rashers and American bacon in the dish. Wilde Bar & Restaurant is located at 3130 N. Broadway. Porter Cullen’s Irish Pub & Restaurant While technically not Chicago, this place lays out the traditional breakfast for those on the south side until 2:00 p.m. every Sunday. Porter Cullen’s is located at 3541 W. 99th Street in Evergreen Park. Oh for the Love of Bread SodabreadIn Beard on Bread, James Beard says, “Traditionally, soda bread is baked over a peat fire in a three-legged iron pot that can be raised or lowered over the fire in the old-fashioned way.” Given that I stink at making any kind of bread, this smacks of effort, so I say no thank you. That’s why I’m more than happy to rely on the experience and competence of others for my soda bread. While I’ve had acceptable versions from Jewel and Whole Foods in the lead-up to St. Patrick’s Day, here are a couple of others you might want to try. Dinkel’s Bakery What makes Dinkel’s different is that their soda bread is not a quick bread (which uses something other than yeast and eggs for leavening). Theirs is a yeast bread, complete with raisins. Although I’m not a raisin fan, this soda bread is killer toasted. Contact Dinkel’s to check on availability. Dinkel’s is located at 3329 N. Lincoln. Weber’s Bakery Like Dinkel’s, the seasonal soda bread at Weber’s is a yeast bread, but don’t let that deter you. Walk into the shop and you may just pass out from all the awesome. Weber’s Bakery is located at 7055 W. Archer. Know other breakfasts and bakeries we should be trying? Let us know in the comments.
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Tracie Bedell

Tracie Bedell started wiping dishes with her family's catering company at the tender age of 8 and has been involved with the food industry in one way or another since. After earning her degree in French and spending way too much time on technical writing and advertising, she's stoked to be back doing what she really enjoys: eating and writing about food. Ask her for her life-transforming enchilada recipe; you'll be glad you did.