First time poster from Chicago, been grabbing lots of fine ideas here for an upcoming road trip. Here's my token of appreciation:
For outstanding biscuits and gravy, go to Sweet Maple Cafe. This is on Taylor Street, the old Italian neighborhood. Very good omelettes and home fries, but the B&G is a must. Lots of fennelly sausage with a good red pepper kick, not too greasy. Big fresh homemade biscuits:
Sweet Maple Cafe
1339 W Taylor St
For dessert head down the street for the best Italian Beef (I know, I know - but you'll never get consensus on this) in the city, Al's #1 Italian Beef (not to be confused with lame franchisees at other locations). I do not like my beef dipped here, it makes the sandwich a soggy mess. There's plenty of juice in the beef to moisten the bun. Get it with th great homemade giardinera:
Al's #1 Beef
1079 W Taylor St
If you want to grab some delicasies to make your own meal, there's a great old school Italian deli down the street - one of the few left in the city proper. Excellent product at very fair prices, stock up on your San Marzano tomatoes here. They can make you a sandwich, but they're parsimonious on the ingredients. Keeps cost down to attract all of the nearby UIC students and medical center employees:
Conte Di Savoia
1438 W. Taylor St.
If you're still hungry, head 8 blocks south to the Mexican neighborhood of Pilsen. A must stop is Don Pedro's Carnitas. This is actually a great choice for breakfast on the weekends. They brew up huge cauldrons of pork rendered down in it's own fat, so early in the morning it's nice and fresh. You'll see lines of Mexicans out the door waiting to get their takeout orders on the weekend. I'd suggest just walking in and grabbing a table. Waitress will ask in spanglish what you want - you can have meat only, or meat and all the accoutrements such as chicharron. That's it. No menu, they'll just bring you out a massive platter of fantastic pork shoulder confit. Comes with pickled jalapenos, warm tortillas, onions, cilantro and salsa verde. It's always, "Oh no, no way we can eat all this", and then the platter is swiped clean. Delicious and memorable meal for the ridiculous price of about $7 per person:
Don Pedro's Carnitas (open breakfast and lunch only)
1113 W 18th St.
I don't know about you but I always have an appetite after a jolt from the defibrillator, so you can grab pastries down the street at a fine Mexican bakery:
1508 W 18th St