Pearl’s Place | Chicago Bronzeville Soul Food Breakfast Best

Review by: Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

Downhome Southern Cooking

For soul food breakfast, neck bones dinner, and freshly made banana pudding for dessert, Pearl’s is a Bronzeville beacon of good eats. This vintage South Side restaurnt describes its cuisine as “Downhome Southern Cooking.”

Breakfast Is Served All Day

Here you will savor some of the lightest, fluffiest, most delicate biscuits you’ve ever had, served hot from the oven. If all Pearl’s served were biscuits, we’d be back again and again. They’ll cook eggs any which way, but it’s the selection of side meats that bring our taste buds to attention. Of course you can have bacon, ham, or sausage, corned beef hash or pork chops. But how about country-fried steak, catfish fillets, salmon croquettes, or chicken wings? They also offer something called Parker House Spicy Sausage, which comes from a local sausage maker founded in 1919. Soul food breakfast specials generally combine eggs AND pancakes AND grits AND some sort of meat. The Bronzeville breakfast (named for the neighborhood, which has long been a center of African-American culture) features two eggs, two sausage links, two strips of bacon, and two pancakes.

Buffet or A La Carte

You can secure breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet-style. Choices are extensive. If you choose to go a la carte for lunch or dinner, you’ll find such delights as Mary’s Sea Food Gumbo, smothered short ribs, braised ox tails, red beans & rice, and some very highly regarded fried chicken. There’s a long roster of sides to select from, too. Peach cobbler and sweet potato pie are dessert favorites.

Honoring the Cultural Past

Music fans will enjoy perusing the walls at Pearl’s. Here hang hundreds of vinyl recordings and album jackets from classic gospel, soul, and jazz artists from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Everyone will enjoy the historic Bronzeville photos around the restaurant. Free parking is available in the lot of the adjacent motel.

What To Eat


Down South Breakfast

Shrimp and Cheesy Grits

Salmon Croquette

Chicken and Waffles

Breakfast Sandwich


Pearl’s Place | Chicago Bronzeville Soul Food Breakfast Best Recipes


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