If there’s one thing Chicagoans take seriously (aside from pizza, sports, and hot dog accoutrements, of course), it’s brunch. And while you’ll rarely be more than a stone’s throw from a restaurant touting brunch service, it’s not always easy to find an exceptional brunch menu. Here, the best options for a.m. eating in ten popular Chicago neighborhoods.
This quintessential farm-to-table resto offers a concise menu featuring sweeter options, like banana bread French toast topped with butterscotch, vanilla bean yogurt, and chocolate granola, as well as savory hits like the rotating “Royale” breakfast sandwich, which currently showcases a crispy chickpea patty, cilantro slaw, mandarin orange, and a sunny-side egg on ciabatta. 2537 N. Kedzie Ave., 773-489-9554
Score brunch-friendly eats all day long at this trendy diner, where the pepper and potato hash is great and the chorizo verde gravy-drenched chicken fried chicken is even better. As an added bonus, you have the option to add a fried egg to any dish on the menu (and you should definitely opt in). 1545 N. Damen Ave., 773-645-4060
The brunch menu changes on the regular at this neighborhood favorite, but you can always bank on an assortment of hot chocolates, a stellar Slagel Farms beef burger, and plenty of brunch classics made largely with locally sourced ingredients. 1747 N. Damen Ave., 773-489-1747
Armed with gut-busting fare and one of the best Bloodies in town, this trendy spot is an easy choice for weekend brunch. Kick your meal off with a bag of buttermilk and vanilla bean doughnut holes dusted with cinnamon powdered sugar and paired with seedling cider syrup, then work your way through breakfast sope, which highlights ranchera sauce, chorizo black beans, cotija cheese, guac, and a fried egg. Whatever your order, don’t forget to try a side of thick, maple-lacquered slab bacon.
Chef Paul Virant is known for teaming fresh, seasonal ingredients with pickled and preserved foods, and the brunch menu at his Lincoln Park gem is no exception. Savor dishes like Vie bread French toast with grapefruit marmalade, whipped cream, and candied almond crumble, smoked salmon tartine with Werp Farm greens, dill-honey mustard, cream cheese, chives, and pickled beets, and more. 1800 N. Lincoln Ave., 312-981-7070
Seemingly perpetual weekend crowds indicate this café’s popularity, while gooey bread pudding pancakes topped with cinnamon-sugar compound butter and vanilla Anglaise substantiate it. 3552 N. Southport Ave., 773-665-0100
Meat is the name of the brunch game at The Publican, which promises chicken liver pate with apricot and toast, and red wine poached eggs with prosciutto, sourdough, and béarnaise. But fear not, vegetarians: there are waffles, an apple salad, and mushroom strata with romesco, Swiss chard, almond, and sunny-side-up eggs, too. 837 W. Fulton Market, 312-733-9555
We’re pretty sure the spiced apple and candied bacon Dutch baby, pork crepinettes, and Juicy Lucy burger slathered in red onion-bacon marmalade had something to do with the Michelin star it recently earned. Or maybe it was the tantalizing house-made pastry lineup and brunch punch? 1227 W. 18th St., 312-526-3851
For a true down-home brunch experience, nothing satisfies like chef Paul Fehribach’s Southern cooking. Arrive in forgiving pants and gorge yourself on a freshly baked farmstead biscuit drenched in creamy debris gravy, voodoo greens, and poached eggs, or buckwheat banana pancakes, cornbread muffins, and authentic Cajun charcuterie galore. 5347 N. Clark St., 773-275-5725
While cherry and cream cheese streusel-topped oatmeal pancakes and corned beef hash shine on this inventive Sunday brunch menu, it’s the burger with pork jowl bacon, cheese, and mustard jam on a brioche bun that will keep you coming back for more. 1462 E. 53rd St., 773-288-1010