Many years ago, a (now-ex-)boyfriend and I set about to find the best potato pancakes (me) and burgers (him) at Chicago diners. We broke up before the project ended, but what remains is intimate knowledge of the best diners in the city (plus familiarity with dive-y joints worth a try).
Best at 3am when you're not ready to go home just yet. Hashbrowns with cheese and onions are horrible for your cholesterol levels, but who cares?
Management has changed here over the years, and the latest iteration is top-notch. Food is good, and the desserts are a step above other diner sweets (especially the coconut cream pie).
I first walked into this place in 1991... and it hasn't changed one (despite the neighborhood changing quite a bit). The sweet-n-sour cabbage soup is the best soup of ANY kind I have ever had in my entire life.
AMAZING veggie burgers here -- they are like a veggie burger combined with a potato pancake.