Located on 63rd and Cottage Grove, a step away from the Green Line station and an under-ten-minute trek from Cathey Dining Hall, Daley’s offers a wide selection of hearty meals guaranteed to satisfy any ravenous college student on a budget. This eatery has been in this neighborhood since 1892 and boasts a menu that includes the traditional Southern fare of waffles and fried chicken, catfish, sausage and gravy, as well as brunch items and desserts. One thing of note though: according to my own experience and the comments from Yelp, serving sizes from this place range from large, to larger, to (almost) too large.
Like many places around Hyde Park, Daley’s boasts a casual atmosphere with a busy but warm vibe. The clientele is a mix between locals from the community and students. The waitstaff is similarly cheerful and very efficient. Water is brought as soon as you are seated, and unlimited coffee is available for $2. The Daley’s selection features a large menu with different options for brunch, lunch, dinner and specials, but I will focus on two things that makes this place stand out:
Chicken & Waffles
Out of all the comfort food Daley’s serves, this has to be my favorite. All UChicago students know about Harold’s, but this fried chicken is in a class of its own. Piping hot, crispy, well-seasoned and the perfect compliment to the warm, large and very fluffy waffles. Every time I eat chicken & waffles I contemplate ordering more chicken but rarely end up doing so only because I get distracted by the biscuit and gravy and end up with no room to spare.
This is a category instead of any single dish, but if you happen to be on the south side of campus and want to catch up with friends over a hearty brunch, this is the best place to do it. Options range from delicious pancakes to fluffy biscuits to loaded skillets and alternative selections such as liver. There is something for everyone, and portions are large enough to feed anyone no matter how hungry they are. When I come here, almost everyone ends up with leftovers. Given the price, brunch and a midnight snack later seem like a great bargain.
Bottom line is, Daley’s is a delightful place with a loyal following that has yet to reach the mainstream consciousness of university students from the South. It is the perfect place to grab some comforting chicken and waffles when traveling to and from the Green Line as well as an excellent brunch spot for those weary of limited dining hall options but a tad too far away from the spots up north on 53rd street. The portion sizes at Daley’s are also incredibly desirable for any college student on a budget.