If I had unlimited amounts of wealth and time, or otherwise lived a life of leisure, I would surely wake up every morning and walk to Lula Cafe, where I would find a sunny spot at their long white marble bar, read the paper, and have breakfast. There would be pour over coffee, an omelet or frittata, and a small plate of their exceptionally good breakfast sausage. And I'd be a happy man.
Lula Cafe has been a Logan Square cornerstone for years, a highly respected restaurant focused on seasonal cooking. Last year, they expanded the restaurant into an adjacent storefront, and now the front room is an airy, light-filled space that I never want to leave.
Since the expansion, the food has gotten better every time I've been to Lula. It combines a fierce devotion to good sourcing, impeccable technique, and just the right balance of adventurousness and allegiance to simple ingredients to stay grounded.
Their house made breakfast sausage is a perfect example. For some reason, it's one of the best breakfast sausages I've ever tasted. And yet, there doesn't seem to be anything special in the seasoning: just garlic, fennel seed, salt and pepper, and a little bit of red chile flakes. But there is some alchemical way in which those ingredients are combined (I imagine the quality of the pork has a great deal to do with it) that produces this remarkable sausage patty.
On a recent trip, I ordered it along with the chicken apple sausage, which comes in casings and is sourced from Amy's Sausage, based here in Chicago. I ate it alongside the special of the day, a chèvre goat cheese tart set inside a buttery crust, a custard cheesecake-like filling toeing the line between savory and sweet. As lunches go, it's about as good as it gets.
Lula opens at 9am daily. Perhaps you have all the wealth and time in the world, and you can go every morning. Or if you're like me, you'll go as often as you can—and fondly remember in the in-between times.
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