Filter 2.0

The beloved Wicker Park coffee spot is back, with more serious eats than before

Chicago has serious coffee and low-key, casual cafés. But there are too few places that combine quality caffeine with good food, especially in a stay-all-day setting.

Bolstering the ranks is Filter, Wicker Park's new (old) coffee shop and café.

For years, Filter held a hallowed place in daily Wicker Park life, until it was replaced by a much-protested bank. Two and a half years later it's back, with a larger, more ambitious menu that's part diner, part Mediterranean café.

Start the morning with oversize La Farine croissants, airy multigrain pancakes ($6) or the classic Hipster Hash, a plate of tawny hash browns topped with eggs and salsa ($8).

The best dishes from owner Jeff Linnane's other restaurant–the now-closed Café Mediterra–have made their way onto the chalkboard menu. For lunch, there's homemade falafel ($5) and garlicky hummus ($4), which are compelling companions for thick-cut sweet-potato fries with peppery horseradish-paprika mayonnaise ($2.50).

Salads are heaping; the Filter (a cousin of Bandera's obsessed-over Macho) has roast chicken, cabbage, avocado, dates and sweet honey-lime vinaigrette all playing nice together ($7.50). And the homemade soups–like smoky chicken chili and black-bean vegetable–change regularly.

An in-house coffee roaster is ready to begin roasting 10 types of beans this week, and dinner specials should start soon. Until then, have a sandwich, skirt steak and eggs ($10), or more pancakes. Did we mention that breakfast is served all day?

Filter, 1373 N. Milwaukee Ave.; 773-904-7819