I was reading a few reviews of Downtown Chicago hotels this morning. One comment was regarding a sub-par breakfast included at a more budget-friendly hotel. What better opportunity to share some low to moderately priced breakfast destinations with travelers. In my opinion, just because something is free does not mean I will automatically take it. When it comes to a vacation breakfast, I will pay for hearty and filling-you may spend hours on your feet sight seeing and touring; you need a good breakfast!

Pret A Manger is located throughout the Loop. I am not a fan of their sandwiches, they are pricey and just don’t float my boat. However their oatmeal is great. I had not been an oatmeal eater as an adult until Pret came along. They offer two sizes, with the largest still under four dollars. A variety made with quinoa is available too. Brown sugar/cinnamon toppings are available as well at the counter. The drawback is that quantities are limited, as Pret’s concept is based on freshly made foods, so once the supply is gone-it’s gone.

If buffets are your preference, a gem called Delmonico’s may suit you. It is tucked inside an office building at 111 W. Washington street. Thankfully, a sign is on the sidewalk between A Loft and Hallmark store. The buffet charges by the pound, so the heavier the food is, the higher your bill. Luckily french toast is fairly light! Pancakes and omelets are available at the grill for a flat rate. Coffee, juices and pop are plentiful along with a large seating area. It opens at 6 am and I have been there as late as 8:30, with a good supply of food still being replenished. The cashiers can tell you when breakfast service stops if you are curious.

Further out of the way of the central business district is the Eleven City Diner at 1112 S. Wabash. Breakfast is served all day here along with Jewish deli specialties. Prices are higher than fast food breakfasts but less expensive than a full-service hotel breakfast. The atmosphere is festive with great music and a bar, but still family friendly.

If I come across more on my travels I will send an update. Yolk is another South Loop breakfast spot, but I have yet to visit, but have heard awesome reviews. Happy eating!