The Genuine Brooklyn Egg Cream

Tom's Restaurant, Brooklyn, NY

Tom’s Restaurant, Brooklyn, NY

I can still taste them. The chocolate egg creams we had at Tom’s in Brooklyn. (View way better photos at that link.) Purported to be the best, the most genuine, in all the land. I was there in December with my LOSH (Long-Suffering Husband) and we met up with my VCFA classmate and friend, the author of YA novel FROST, Marianna Baer! So keen of her to join us.

Anyway. We drank, and it was good. The server was very friendly and even gave us a free vanilla egg cream to share–3 straws! And you know what? I think I might like the vanilla ones even more.

So now I have a baseline for how a true egg cream should taste–and I must say, Chicago’s Eleven Diner gets it right. They’re going to be hard to beat in my Chicagoland search.

The Quest for a Genuine Egg Cream


The Eleven City Diner at Wabash and 13th, Chicago


The Real Deal

It’s a Brooklyn original, the egg cream. A soda fountain drink made with milk, seltzer water, and chocolate syrup, ideally with Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup. Cecelia, the main character in Radio Girl, loves them. Here in Chicagoland, an egg cream is hard to find. Chicago has its own legendary drinks and dishes, but the closest thing you can get to an egg cream is a drink called a chocolate phosphate. Yummy, but not the same. It’s made without milk. So what’s a girl to do when she wants the real deal? According to my research, there are at least three places in my area that make egg creams and I am determined to try them all. This post is the first in a series in which I document my Midwest egg cream quest.


The Eleven. There was a line to get in on Sunday afternoon.


Vernors! They also had Faygo Rock’n’Rye and Green Rivers


The Fare

Last weekend I stopped at the Eleven Diner on Wabash in Chicago. This place is cool! Not only do they serve egg creams but they also have real kosher deli-style food AND two hard-to-find soda pop brands that I love: Vernors ginger ale and Faygo Rock ‘n’ Rye  If you grew up in Michigan, you know what I’m talking about. There’s a candy counter and paintings of somber rabbis line the walls.

Lots of Old Fashioned Candies!

Lots of Old Fashioned Candies!

The Upstairs Decor Was Magical!

The Upstairs Decor Was Magical!

So I ordered a corned beef on rye and what is purported to be a genuine Brooklyn-style egg cream. I don’t know for sure that it was made with Fox’s U-Bet chocolate syrup, but it was delicious! Heck, everything was delicious.

Deli Stuff

Deli Stuff

This place is going to be hard to beat. How about you? Ever had an egg cream? Ever been to the Eleven? Wanna go?

This Is Me.

Wouldn't Say No to Another.