The arrival of this upscale Viennese coffee import in Lincoln Square (the only other U.S. location
is in Lakeview) is either another sign of the neighborhood's progress or yuppie encroachment, depending on whom you ask. Either way, Julius Meinl draws a healthy crowd each day, thanks in part to its plentiful seating and a refined but family-friendly atmosphere.
Those familiar with the cafe's original Chicago location in Southport will experience déjà vu; down to the mustard-colored walls and framed vintage European posters and photographs, the interior is visually reminiscent of the Lakeview coffeehouse.
Julius Meinl is known for a slightly more formal experience than your average neighborhood coffee joint, with sit-down service and a broad European-inspired menu, including Nutella crepes ($6.50), or the baked egg breakfast dishes, stuffed with bacon, ham or veggies ($7.25 -$8.50).
Coffee drinks average between $2 and $4.50. The cafe features traditional pastries as well, many served with a Viennese flair. Try the strudel, stuffed with raisins and topfen, a sweet Austrian curd cheese. If you want to take some of the Julius Meinl experience home with you, pick up the cafe's loose-leaf teas and jarred fruit preserves.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Keidra Chaney