Chicago Restaurant Week 2015 – Eli’s Cheesecake Participates First Time Ever!

CRW_2015Eli’s is excited to be participating in Chicago Restaurant Week for the first time this year! Chicago Restaurant Week begins January 30 and runs through February 12, 2015. The annual culinary celebration features special prix fixe menus starting at $22 for lunch and $33 and/or $44 for dinner (excluding beverages, tax and gratuity). Over 250 restaurants take part so get a taste of the city’s rich, culinary diversity: Italian, French, Spanish, Korean, Thai and more! Between the neighborhood favorites and downtown hotspots, you can feast on delicious multi-course menus all across the city and suburbs. Wondering how to get in on all the fun? Start your foodie adventure by browsing the list of Chicago Restaurant Week participants and their special lunch/dinner offerings. Then simply make your reservations between January 30 and February 12.

And to kick things off, get your tickets to First Bites Bash, an exclusive tasting event that previews sweet and savory creations from more than 50 of Chicago’s top chefs and restaurants, taking place January 29 at Union Station. Join us inside the magnificent Great Hall at Chicago Union Station, where you will enjoy savory and sweet tastings from over 50 of Chicago’s most celebrated chefs and restaurants. Restaurateur & master sommelier, Alpana Singh will host this year’s event, from which a portion of the proceeds will benefit Inspiration Corporation. Tickets are available now!

Don’t forget to enter the Instagram Contest, and tag Eli’s in the photo (@elischeesecake)! Below is the Eli’s Cheesecake prix fixe menu.


Eli’s Celebrates Founder’s Day & Eli Schulman’s Birthday

Eli Schulman, Founder

Eli Schulman, Founder

On January 22, 1910, our founder, Eli Schulman, was born.  An entrepreneur and restaurateur, Eli became a Chicago icon over the course of his life and continues to give back to his community through his namesake company today.

Eli’s Cheesecake was the dream of Chicago restaurateur and celebrity in his own right, Eli M. Schulman. Over his almost 50-year career, he developed a reputation for serving up great food, providing outstanding service and making every customer feel important. Representing the spirit of the city he loved, Eli was dedicated to helping the community. His motto “charity will never bust you” was exemplified during the great depression, by a sign hanging in his restaurant’s window “if you are hungry and have no money we will feed you for free.”

Eli opened his first restaurant, Eli’s Ogden Huddle, on Chicago’s West Side in 1940, after he found a foreclosure notice on the door of the local coffee shop that he regularly visited.  After only a year of operating the restaurant, Eli joined the Army Air Corps, utilizing his restaurant management skills at bases around the country.

Eli's Ogden Huddle

Eli’s Ogden Huddle

Eli continued his success with the opening of Eli’s Stage Delicatessen in 1962.  The delicatessen became a hot spot for visiting celebrities, including Frank Sinatra and Woody Allen, but Eli still wanted something greater.  In 1966, Schulman opened his pride and joy, a white-tablecloth restaurant named Eli’s The Place for Steak in the heart of downtown Chicago.  Schulman’s large host of celebrity friends followed in the move and at any given time, the restaurant was filled with stars of stage and screen.

Eli's The Place for Steak

Eli’s The Place for Steak

Today, Eli’s son, Marc, continues his father’s legacy and The Eli’s Cheesecake Company provides a wide variety of high quality desserts to eager mouths all over the world.  The company, like its founder, remains a Chicago icon, offering scholarships to students and sponsoring various events throughout the city.

In the next coming weeks, we will celebrate what would have been Eli’s 105th birthday by holding a special lunch for all of our employees as a token of our gratitude for all of their hard work. We will also be having special celebrations in the Bakery Cafe. For a full list of events, visit our calendar.

“To have come from where I came from, to have known the people I’ve known…I’d have to say that I’m the luckiest ma

n in the world.” – Eli Schulman

Eli’s Cheesecake Excited to Sponsor Chicago’s 13th Annual Sketchfest



On Thursday, January 8th, Chicago’s SketchFest will open. For two weeks, the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival turns Stage 773 into a sketch comedy oasis, renting out the entire building and featuring simultaneous performances in all three theatres. The first SketchFest was held in January 2002 and featured 30 local sketch comedy groups over a 6 week period.  Today, SketchFest is the largest comedy festival in the nation, hosting over 150 groups and drawing in roughly 10,000 patrons annually.  The event’s home contains separate theaters, each offering visitors a unique experience.  Eli’s Cheesecake is a proud sponsor of SketchFest 2015.  To learn more about SketchFest or to buy tickets online, click here.

Eli’s Associates Give Back with the Giving Tree

Throughout December, Eli’s associates support the local charity of their choice with generous cheesecake donations. It is our way of spreading joy this holiday season. Below is this year’s Giving tree donations. A BIG thank you to all of our associates who participated!

Mary G.
The Lydia Home
Sharon M.
The Lydia Home
Michele D.G.
Sacred Heart Parish
Doina N.
North Center For Handicapped Children
Lucy F.
P.A.D.S. Wood Dale Community Church
Lisa F.
WINGS Program Inc
Elias K.
University Bible Fellowship 
Becky S. 
Triton University Bible Fellowship
Jennie C.
Little City Foundation
Gabriela G.
Allergy Partners of Chicago 
Joe N.
Deerfield Food Pantry 
Helen S. 
Divine Savior Church
Sarah Z.
2nd Baptist Church of Joliet
Eleonor L.
Kingsword International Church
George O.
Our Lady of Lourdes
Margaret C.
Sunshine Activity Center
Javier S.
Howard Community Center
Joselito S.
Immaculate Heart Of Mary Church
Rasim C.
Humbolt Park Public Library 
Slawomir M.
Chicago Public Library 
Anthony G.
Church of Israel
Olivia P.
Belmont Cragin School and San John Basco Church
Rodolfo Z.
St John Basco Catholic Church
Mike P.
Victory Outreach Church of Chicagoland
Johnie O.
Victory Outreach Christian Recovery Home
William F.
Victory Outreach Christian Recovery Home 
Sandara P.
St. James Church (2)
Ronnie A.
Victory Outreach Church of Chicagoland
Maria G.
Church Foster and Milwaukee
Sergio D.
St Sylvester Parrish
Adriana L.
Howard Community Center
Yue Z.
Howard Community Center
Alex C.
Church Foster and Milwaukee
Preciouse L.
Daniel Webster Elemetary School
Ada L.
Iglesia Casa Misericordia
Marcus F.
Victory Outreach Chicagoland
Jerry J.
Victory Outreach Church of Chicagoland
Alma F.
Iglesia Casa Misericordia
Hector P.
Senior Apartment Pomerd
Anabell K.
Iglesia de Cristo Tabernaculo de Amor
Belinda L.
First Baptist Church
Mary Ann Y.
Dr. Bistord
Martin M.
Casa de Misericordia Church
Galdina D.
Dr. Jorge Prieto
William D.
Shalom Christian Center
Wendell D.
Montrose Baptism Church
Gabriela G.
Burbank Elemnetary School Mrs Cruz Room 111
Quincy J.
Avondale Middle School
Roberto D.
St. Bartholomew Catholic Church
Carmen O.
Iglesia Cristiana de Avivamiento Maranatha Mt. Prospect 
Rosemarie A.
St. Pascals School
Cristina V.
St. John’s United Methodist Church 
Maria D.
San Juan Bosco
Yahmeece H.
John Smyth Magnet School
Maria M.
Iglesia Trasformacion
Carol F.
Iglesia Trasformacion
Maria R.
Lawndale Christian Health Care
Martin S.
First Baptist Church
Maria S.
Lowell School

Eli’s Joins The Sunshine Activity Center for a Holiday Celebration

On Thursday, December 4, Eli’s Associates prepared a special holiday dinner for The Sunshine Activity Center in the northern outskirts of Chicago.  The Sunshine Activity Center serves to provide essential life skills to those with developmental disabilities.  This center is a haven to many in the community, providing a safe place for those with developmental disabilities to learn and gain a sense of independence.  Eli’s chef Antonio Rivera and R&D Vice President Diana Moles prepared a holiday feast for everyone, served by Eli’s staff.  After dinner, Eli’s employees joined the guests in singing Christmas carols and playing holiday bingo.  Of course, no holiday festivity would be complete without a visit from the big man himself! Santa came with his bag of gifts in hand and spent some time with everyone.  It was an incredible night of giving and holiday cheer.  Everyone at Eli’s is excited to join in the holiday celebrations again next year!


Happy Holidays & A Happy 2015 From Eli’s Cheesecake!


HolidayPhotos1 HolidayPhotos2

Eli’s Remembers Judy Baar Topinka

We were saddened to hear the news yesterday of the passing of Illinois Comptroller (and Illinois’ first female Treasurer) and our friend Judy Baar Topinka. As State Treasurer, Judy Barr Topinka created the spring tradition of Eli’s Cheesecake Day in 1993; a day in May when legislators, guests, lobbyists and state employees would all celebrate with Eli’s Cheesecake at the Illinois State Capitol. State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias kept the tradition alive when he took office and it continues to this day. Always a loyal Eli’s fan, Judy even wagered Eli’s Cheesecakes in a bet with the North Carolina state treasurer Richard Moore on the outcome of the 2005 NCAA basketball championship (in which our Illinios team lost).

We are honored to have known Judy and our thoughts are with her family and friends.

Judy handing out cheesecake and discussing cheesecake day

JudyTopinkaCheesecakeDayatCapitol 2012

Eli’s Congratulates Crain’s Chicago Business on 25 Years and their 40 Under 40 Celebration

40_under_40_anniversary_logoOver the years, the publication that our business has grown up with is Crain’s Chicago Business. Crain’s Chicago Business made its debut in 1978, just two years before Eli’s Cheesecake made its public debut at the first Taste of Chicago.

It was Crain’s and then reporter, David Snyder, who in 1987 ran the first major business piece on Eli Schulman and how Eli’s Cheesecake was on the move. Two years later, in 1989, Crain’s did its first class of “40 Under 40″ and Marc Schulman, President of Eli’s Cheesecake, was fortunate to be listed in that group along some now very distinguished people, including Oprah Winfrey. Since they launched their annual 40 Under 40, nearly 1,000 up-and-coming Chicagoans have earned the title. All have reached the top of their fields before reaching their 40th birthday. 

This year, Crain’s Chicago Business is celebrating 25 years of their “40 Under 40″ class, and it’s time for another batch of innovators and instigators, entrepreneurs and educators to take center stage. Eli’s Cheesecake is proud to be sponsoring the event, serving a big cake and desserts at the party on Thursday, December 11th. To learn more about this year’s class, visit

Sharing Eli’s Cheesecake Chicago Holiday Activities

We are in the holiday zone here at Eli’s Cheesecake World, the location of our Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery Cafe, Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery, Eli’s Cheesecake Headquarters and Eli’s Retail Store and Visitor Center.  We want to share a few highlights and events for December here in Chicago.

Each year, one of our most valued holiday traditions is the Eli’s Giving Tree.  Eli’s Associates select of a civic or charitable organization of their choice and personally deliver a supply of Eli’s Cheesecakes and Desserts.  It is our way of spreading joy in our local communities this holiday season.

Eli’s Cheesecake Annual Open House is December 9 from 5pm-7pm featuring a free dessert buffet, DJ spinning holiday music, prize wheel and 20% off everything sale (gift cards excluded).

Eli’s will be closing early on Dec. 11 at 5pm to allow our Eli’s Cheesecake Retail Associates to bring holiday cheer to our friends at the Sunshine Activity Center, a not-for-profit organization serving adults with developmental disabilities.  Our associates will be preparing dinner, playing games and celebrating a visit with Santa.

The holiday dock sale of the year is on Saturday, December 13th  from 9am-1pm.  Popular flavor selections from Original Plain to Red Velvet Cheesecake and dockbuster sale prices make this a destination for your best prices of the season.  The dock sale takes place on our shipping dock at 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive, Chicago.

Eli’s Gift-A-Palooza sales is December 14-19.  Every shopper who purchases $30 or more receives a free secret Santa gift!  A fun family holiday outing is to visit Eli’s Cheesecake World for DIY (do-it-yourself) Kid’s Holiday Dipper Decorating Dec. 17-19 from 11am-2pm ($5.50 per child).  For more event information, visit or call 773-205-3800.

Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery Café and Retail Store is open 7 days per week: Mon-Fri. 8am-6pm, Sat. 9am-5 pm, Sun 11am-5pm.  Special holiday hours are Dec.23 open until 7pm and Dec. 24 and Dec. 31 closing at 3pm.  We are closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.   Shop the largest selection of Eli’s Cheesecakes and desserts anywhere!

Let us help you send a taste of Chicago’s Finest Cheesecake to your friends and family anywhere in the US!  Eli’s Cheesecake will arrive picture perfect in a holiday gift box, custom insulated Styrofoam container and dry ice.  To order, visit us 24/7 at or call 1-800-ELI- CAKE Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm.  Order by

Let us help you send a taste of Chicago’s Finest Cheesecake to your friends and family anywhere in the US!  Eli’s Cheesecake will arrive picture perfect in a holiday gift box, custom insulated Styrofoam container and dry ice.  To order, visit us 24/7 at or call 1-800-ELI- CAKE Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm.  Order by Dec. 18 at 11am CST for Christmas delivery.

If you would like to receive information regarding Eli’s Cheesecake’s Bakery Cafe  activities or Mail Order specials, please join our mailing list at

Enjoy the holiday season!

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Eli’s Mashes-Up with Leadbelly Burgers to Support Sunshine Activity Center

LeadbellyLogo_rev1Leadbelly Burgers is unveiling their latest Mash-Up, a collaboration with Eli’s Cheesecake!  Inspired by their namesake’s Louisiana roots, and in the shared belief that we can do more to give back to our neighbors together than as individuals, we are proud to introduce Leadbelly/Eli’s Cheesecake Beignets!  Leadbelly’s own scratch dough recipe, the same one used for their famously fresh burger buns, folded over a portion of Eli’s Cheesecake, then fried to a golden brown and generously dusted with confectioner’s sugar.  Cooked to order and served hot!

Though it was a lot of fun to create, the true pleasure in adding the Leadbelly/Eli’s Cheesecake Beignet to their menu through the month of December is our shared goal to raise money for the Sunshine Activity Center, 6202 W. Montrose, a Not-for-Profit organization working with developmentally disabled adults on the Northwest Side  through the teaching and practice of life-enhancing skills and hobbies.   Many members of the Eli’s community are tireless advocates of the Center, and at Leadbelly they are honored to be involved is such a cause.  50% of all Leadbelly/Eli’s Cheesecake Beignets sales from both Leadbelly locations will be awarded to the Sunshine Activity Center.

Words don’t do this particular Mash-Up justice, and while they won’t begin officially selling them ($4.95 for two substantial pastries) until Tuesday, December 2nd we kind of can’t wait for you to try them.  Come into either Leadbelly Burgers location this Friday through Sunday and sample a sneak preview and see what we’re so excited about! IMG_3305