To grandmother’s ‘house' we go

For great diner food with a waterfront view, you can’t go wrong at Granny’s

Granny's Lakeside Diner
Granny's Lakeside Diner
Granny's Lakeside Diner
Granny's Lakeside Diner

Come to Granny’s Lakeside Diner a few times and the staff and owner Lee Munger will know you by name. That’s the kind of place this is – a friendly, homey, neighborhood joint, with awesome food to boot.

Situated on the waterfront in North Suburban Antioch, this classic diner has replaced the roadside with the lakefront, and boasts a diverse menu, filled with an assortment of breakfast sandwiches, pancakes and French toast, biscuits and gravy, eggs benedicts and egg dishes, omelets and Granny’s Kitchen Sink Plates, as well as sandwiches, wraps and burgers and kids meals. Friday night fish frys (the only evening the diner stays open) are especially popular, with local and traveling diners alike.

“We love Granny’s and eat there all the time,” said Antioch resident Debby DeVoe, who often dines on Sundays with her husband Eric, son Eric Jr., and his wife Ashley and her granddaughter Delilah. “The food is fabulous and the service is awesome. We also feel so welcome and everyone is so kind.”

Not only does Granny’s Lakeside Diner use the freshest ingredients, but a lot of them, offering generous portions that fill the hungriest customers, many who still can’t finish their plate and opt for a doggie bag to save the deliciousness for a late night snack.

And with folks loving breakfast more than ever, and wanting it all day long, mom-and-pop pancake houses and diners like Granny’s are more popular than ever, especially ones that offer a menu that’s available anytime of the day. Craving a towering stack of pancakes for lunch? Go for it.

Having recently relocated from Memphis, Tenn., Melanie Isaken knows all about hospitality and classic, hearty biscuits and gravy. She found both at Granny’s.

“We’re new to the area (Lake Villa) and were looking for a diner to have breakfast at…a local establishment, not a chain,” she said. “We’ve had a great experience. It was busy, like you’d expect, but we were seated right away and we didn’t have to wait for drinks or refills and we all got our food at the same time.”

And those biscuits and gravy?

“Being from the south …we pride ourselves on that,” she said. “We were impressed.”

And while the food is tasty and filling, and the hospitality key, don’t discount location in the mix of this diner’s success. Granny’s has boat access at Spring Lake Marina, so those who are building an appetite on the water have had a place to fill their bellies since 2010.   Antioch is considered the gateway to the Chain O’ Lakes, there’s plenty fisherman and other boaters in pursuit of a place with good coffee, hearty food and wonderful company. They consistently find that at Granny’s, and weather permitting, can eat outdoors on one of the picnic tables.

“I usually come in on Sundays with my bike crew so there’s usually eight to 12 of us at a time,” said Fox Lake resident Ronnie Pecorini. “It’s great now, to get outside on the patio and see the water. It’s a great atmosphere. They’ve got great food and homemade bread, which is wonderful. I haven’t had a bad meal there.”

Located at 25125 W. Grass Lake Road in Antioch, Granny’s opens at 6 a.m. everyday. It’s open until 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Saturday and Sunday and is open late on Friday’s with a fish fry that goes until 8 p.m.

(847) 395-2328
www.grannyslakesidediner.com

Hungry for more? Check out these other great diners that fill your belly, and your sense of nostalgia

Cruisiní Bar & Eatery
11 Galligan Rd.
Gilberts
(847) 836-7272

Cruise on in to Cruisin’ any day of the week to enjoy its daily specials, beat the doldrums of the work week by digging into its junk yard fries – waffle fries swimming in cheddar cheese sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, sour cream and salsa – or stop in on Friday and learn first-hand why its Friday Fish Fry should be famous. The Cruisin’ Bar & Eatery has special entrees, including broasted chicken, chopped streak and stir fry as well as burgers, sandwiches, salads, pizza and a lot more. And, don’t forget to check out its lengthy beer menu to wash it all down.

Dell Rheaís Chicken Basket
645 Joliet Rd.
Willowbrook
(630) 325-0780
www.chickenbasket.com

Nothing hits the spot quite like freshly fried chicken when you’re road weary and hungry. And Dell Rhea’s has been filling that craving since the 1930s. And while a lot has changed in the world in the past 80 years, the chicken  at Dell Rhea’s stays true. It’s as popular as ever and still served in baskets with a few sides and a bunch of napkins. An all-you-can-eat lunch buffet offers soup, salad, pizza, various entrees, mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, and of course, the famous fried chicken. So loosen your belt and stay awhile.

Flynnieís Diner
607 Depot Ave.
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(815) 973-8129

It’s a must-stop if you find yourself driving through Dixon, as well as a good reason to make a detour to grab a bite. Known for its “deliciously home style cookin’,” Flynnie’s Diner is open for breakfast and lunch from 5 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day. Breakfast highlights include Mike’s Homemade Biscuits & Gravy and a seemingly never-ending menu of specialty omelets. For lunch, it’s hard to beat its half-pound burgers, but just be sure to save room for the sides – corn nuggets, onion rings, sweet potato fries and classic tater tots.

Gene & Judeís
2720 N. River Rd.
River Grove
(708) 452-7634
www.geneandjudes.com

Why mess with a really good thing? The fine folks at Gene and Jude’s haven’t for more than 70 years. What they do at this Chicago area spot seems so simple, yet no one has perfected it like they have. The Depression-style dogs, which have become the diner’s hallmark, are steamed, natural-casing Vienna beef dogs deliciously lathered with sports peppers, mustard, onions and relish and then buried with freshly-cut fries that are piled high and wrapped for you to enjoy on the go or while standing at the counter. No pretense or nonsense, and there’s never ketchup involved, ever. Gene & Jude’s is open late, because cravings don’t ever have a quitting time.

The Polk-A-Dot Drive In
222 N. Front St.
Braidwood
(815) 458-3377

While you’re getting your kicks on 66, you’ll need to stop in to the Polk-A-Dot for its famously delicious and unforgettable chili cheese fries. This family owned ’50s style diner on historic Route 66 will certainly take you back, while keeping your appetite at bay. Whether you choose a burger or dog, chicken or sandwich, or go straight to the famed dessert menu with a sundae, banana split or milk shake, you really can’t make any wrong choices at the Polk-A-Dot.