It was an idyllic summer day when my boyfriend, Alex, and I decided to venture out for an authentic Latin fusion brunch at Café Con Leche. The restaurant, open since 2001, is owned by the same group that runs The Harding Tavern, and can be easy to miss on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. The building that houses Café Con Leche has free parking in the back (quite a perk for those of you with wheels), and is conveniently located next to the Logan Square Blue Line stop.
Alex and I walked up to a quaint patio in the front and ventured inside to check out the scene. Inside are your basic table tops along an exposed brick wall, with a natural stone bar and high top tables in the back. A see-through fireplace separates the bar area from the rest of the restaurant, which must be cozy during colder months! A back door leads from the bar area out to a much larger, quiet patio with plenty of umbrellas to shade diners. About a third of the tables were full when we arrived around 11 a.m., so with every option available to us, we opted for the high tops near the bar.
The bar has six different beers on tap including big names from Mexico and a couple local favorites, but the craft cocktails were what caught my eye. I went with the “summer thyme,” a light but strong gin-based beverage, perfect for the sunny weather we had. Alex ordered the “pepino picante,” which was a little heavier than my drink with a slight kick from the jalapeños, but still refreshing. Both of our drinks had fresh squeezed cucumber juice.
We started with an order of fresh guacamole made in-house. It didn’t look like it was made-to-order (and the menu doesn’t specify that it is), but it hit the spot. The chips were crispy and perfect for supporting extra guac. From there, Alex ordered the house specialty: chilaquiles verdes, which has three eggs topped with homemade salsa verde, queso, sour cream, and a choice of meat on the side. He chose the steak, which was juicy, easy to cut, and added to the deliciousness of the meal. The sunny side up eggs were well prepared, and he appreciated the traditional sides of rice and refried beans.
Meanwhile, I requested the papas con chorizo with sunny side up eggs. The chorizo had the perfect amount of smoky, spicy flavor that was well-balanced with the creamy slices of avocado. A warning: this dish was huge! I ended up taking half of it home, and it made great leftovers for breakfast the next day.
Overall, we enjoyed our visit to Café Con Leche! It’s a very relaxed space for a casual weekend brunch. The food represents authentic, Mexican cuisine and the drinks are a refreshing treat for beautiful summer days. Also worth noting: the manager was working the floor with his employees. You can tell a lot of care goes into running this place!
The Bitches say: three Champagne flutes
Café Con Leche is a great neighborhood spot for authentic Latin fusion and refreshing cocktails in Logan Square.
Café Con Leche serves brunch starting at 8 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.