Eli’s the Place for Steak

This is where it all started. The popular Chicago restaurant, Eli’s The Place for Steak, was the birthplace of Eli’s Cheesecake.

Located in historic Streeterville, dining at Eli’s was a true Taste of Chicago in every sense of the word. Catch a glimpse of Chicago’s Who’s Who while enjoying real Chicago foods like prime steaks and chops, the famous Chopped Liver Eli; Shrimp de Jonghe; and, of course, Chicago’s favorite dessert – Eli’s Cheesecake. Walking through the door makes you a part of Eli’s 55-year history.

Inside the Restaurant

The story started in 1940 when Eli Schulman opened his first restaurant, Eli’s Ogden Huddle on Chicago’s West Side. Just before World War II, Eli hung a sign in the window, “If you are hungry and have no money, we will feed you free.” Later, he opened Eli’s Stage Delicatessen on Oak Street. Eli’s personal way of making each customer feel important and his sensational food attracted Chicagoans and celebrities alike. The “Stage” became a mecca for the rising talent of the ’60’s.

Plate of Eli's Steak

Eli’s Cheesecake has become a symbol of Chicago. It was proclaimed Chicago’s 150th Birthday Cake, was Mayor Richard M. Daley’s wager when the Bulls won the NBA Championship, and was the dessert at Mayor Daley’s inaugural balls. Eli’s most famous creation was America’s Inaugural Birthday Cake – the 2,000 lb. cheesecake served at the opening of the Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Eli's Place for Steak - Dining table

Eli’s tradition of taking exceptional care of his customers is continued by his wife, Esther Schulman, and son, Marc Schulman, who share Eli’s philosophy – “We shall serve good food always, at a profit if we can, at a loss if we must.”

Enjoy the view of the city’s tribute to a great Chicagoan, the Eli M. Schulman Playground at Seneca Park as well as the site of the new Museum of Contemporary Art, located directly across the street from the restaurant.

Eli’s The Place for Steak closed its doors in 2005, leaving behind 39 years of great food, great memories and (of course) great desserts!

Best Cheesecake and Best Restaurant for Dessert - Chicago Tribune Readers Poll

Email the President!

Check out www.allenbrothers.com, who we are happy to thank for providing the fine steaks use at Eli’s The Place for Steak.

After a 39 year run at 215 E. Chicago Avenue, Eli’s the Place for Steak is now closed. Now standing in our location is a new Women’s Hospital built by our former landlord, Northwestern Memorial Hospital.


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