Café by the River - Chicago
Café by the River offers another innovative dining experience from Chef José Andrés, who adds to his already formidable restaurant group this classic American coffee shop and café with Spanish flair. The menu includes all-day breakfast sandwiches, salads and pastries, perfect for nearby office workers to grab a bite or order a fully catered breakfast or lunch for office meetings.
Served all day and ideal for the grab-and-go downtown crowd, the Cafe Breakfast Sandwich (fried egg, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and garlic mayo on Pan de Cristal) and the Magdalena (Spanish-style sponge cake) are perfect bites to begin the day.
More substantial menu items include the Steak Sandwich (caramelized onions, giardiniera, Los Cameros cheese and mustard on Pan de Cristal, obviously a house favorite bread); Fried Chicken Sandwich (with a fried thigh, bravo sauce, garlic mayo and piparra peppers on a po'boy); and a Super Flauta, available in two sizes (paletilla de Iberica de Bellota. manchego cheese, tomato fresco and olive oil on a long roll called a flauta).
If you're not in the mood for a sandwich, there are classic chilled Gazpacho (tomato, cucumber, green bell pepper); Quinoa Bowl (roasted sweet potatoes, sweetie drop peppers, feta cheese, watercress, chili lime and roasted tomato dressing); and Southwest Chicken Bowl (black beans, fresh corn, cotija cheese, fried tortillas). For those in need of a protein boost, steak, an egg or a chicken breast can be added to any of these salads.
There are many Spanish-inspired baked goods, including the Xuixo (a deep-fried, sugar-coated pastry); Brazo de Gitano (sponge cake with vanilla ice cream) and Torta de Santiago, an almond cake that's perfectly paired with a cup of coffee.
The warm beverages at Cafe by the River are predictably awesome, with a broad selection of the usual favorites -- cold brew, nitro cold brew, drip, latte, mocha -- as well as a carefully curated selection of caffeinated, decaffeinated and herbal teas.