cafe marie-jeanne

all day french flair in humble humboldt park

Café Marie-Jeanne is a French-ish jewel of a restaurant-cafe-bar located more than a safe distance away from any tourists, over in Humboldt Park. It’s the kind of place that holds a special place in the hearts of many locals, especially within the restaurant industry. The all day spot feels like a tried and true French bistro, but with the friendliness of Chicago.

Marie-Jeanne has it all. There’s a cafe and pastry takeaway counter at the front that flows seamlessly into a bar that serves up wine, beer and cocktails. The food menu is quirky but classy, with the finesse of French cuisine in a casual setting. They are heavy on the sides and snacks and starters with few mains, but that a la carte flexibility might just be a part of their formula for success. Throw it all into an airy and bright space with copper ceilings, scribble some daily specials on a chalkboard and you have yourself your new favorite cafe, bar and restaurant all in one neat package.

December 2020 Update: Marie Jeanne is closed for good, as of November 23, 2020.

the details

Address1001 N California Ave, Chicago
Hours7am – close on weekdays, 8am to close on weekends, closed on Tuesdays
Price$$, they have a range of options from a la carte breakfast items and lunch fare generally <$15, to dinner priced closer to $20-30
Aestheticeffortless french simplicity in a low key way 

good to know

Go here for: brunch, a breezy weekend lunch, some day drinks

Order this: build your own a la carte breakfast, or get a lunch-y sandwich and a glass of something good

Amount of time to spend: 20 minutes, 2 hours, half a day, you’ll want to stay

When to come: weekdays are nice and peaceful, weekends draw in a lot more people for brunch

Getting here: this is the part of town that is not well serviced by the CTA, so you’re better off driving (street parking is fairly easy) or taking a bus (the 94 drops you off right in front)

Other things to note: 

  • They have a special secret menu item, a $46 “Gonzo” toast that includes sturgeon roe, uni and brisket all atop a slice of house-made sourdough. Talk about decadent.
  • They have free wifi during the day, making it a haven for hiding out without ever having to worry about getting hungry.

Last visited: August 2019

Last updated: December 2020

while you're here