Guys, There Is A Ron Swanson Cafe In Chicago!

IMG_1990JPGOk seriously, guys, there is a Ron Swanson cafe in Chicago.

Normally, I’d have started with a cute quip or a story or a fun quote by the mustached legend himself, but some news cannot be contained. I’ll say it again: THERE IS A RON SWANSON CAFE IN CHICAGO!

I have no idea how I haven’t heard of this. I love Parks and Rec and I’m slowly discovering the best things to see and eat in Chicago and The Whisk never even came up on my radar. That’s such a shame, because not only is the space amazing, but the food is fantastic.

Honestly though, that seems to be this city. Chicago’s food scene and geek scene is so good, that even amazing finds like this get lost. But dammit, I stumbled across it and it needs to be shouted about from the rooftops.


IMG_2011JPGThis is a cafe opened by chef brother Rick and David Rodriguez. Their slogan: “Brunch by day, Burgers by night.” Plus, and maybe most importantly, they’re BYOB, which is always a win.

I actually didn’t pick this place for dinner, the legendary Colleen Curtis invited me down. She’d never been either, but chose it as it was semi-close to my house and seemed to be solid. So I did no research into where I was going, which was to my delight, as I walked in and realised that I was being watched by 30 Ron Swanson’s on the wall. When I commented on it, it was then pointed out to me that Ron Swanson was EVERYWHERE.

I sat under the stern, angry glare of Mr. Ron Swanson and I don’t think I’ve ever felt happier or more protected.


If you couldn’ tell by now, it really is Ron Swanson all the time, every time here. Here’s what the owners said about it in Chicago Magazine:

“My brother is a huge Parks and Recreation fan,” says Rick Rodriguez. “I love burgers; he loves pancakes. We wanted to do the breakfast for dinner that Ron Swanson always talks about. That’s why he is our unofficial mascot.”

Of course, while Ron may hate everything:

The one and only Nick Offerman has been here and gives his approval:


As you would expect from a place dedicated to the lifestyle of Ron Swanson, this place does two things well: Breakfast and then meat.

From 7am to 5pm, it’s all breakfast foods, and that’s what I came for. I got a gigantic plate of biscuits and gravy ($12.5), which I honestly think is one of the best biscuits and gravy I’ve ever eaten. Thick gravy, warm biscuits, eggs on top with a side of potatoes, holy hell this place, this place! It was so much food, I had to get half wrapped up tp go for later.

IMG_2009JPGThen, in the evening till 11pm, they switch to burgers and according to the Yelp reviews, they are solid. Dammit, I want to go back, especially since they have a burger called The Ron Swanson ($18), which is a half-pound burger wrapped in a pound of bacon with bacon mayo on top. Because if you’re going to die, die like Ron Swanson would die, with a XL portion of meat in your hands.


How can you not love this place? Breakfast for dinner, burger wrapped in bacon, all in honor of a man who once said this:

Chicago, guys, it’s the best.