It's a bit hard to find this gem. Located in the arcade level of the Seneca Hotel between the John Hancock Center and the Water Tower, Chalfin's is a well-kept secret. And a good one at that: Most everything is homemade at the quaint deli, from the mandel bread to the roasted-in-house beef brisket. And though it's tiny (there are four seats at the counter and four tables for two squeezed along the wall), the portions are not.
Thankfully, you'll get a mouthful without spending a wallet-full: three pancakes cost around $6, hot gritz with butter are around $3, and sandwiches with coleslaw, dressing and a kosher pickle range from around $7-$12 for the famous Colossal, Chicago's "largest corned beef sandwich."
The NY-style menu doesn't miss out on any of the deli faves: nova lox platters, reuben sandwiches and, yes, chopped liver. Breakfast is served all day and the daily special tends to draw a crowd for lunch. Desserts are on display in a case up front, tempting those who wait in line by posing the question, "Should I break my diet for that scrumptious piece of cake?"
For those following a kosher diet, Chalfin's proudly offers kosher foods; favorites include potato pancakes, the homemade cream cheese, rugelah and corned beef.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Stephanie Sims