Ah, brunch. How I love thee! I KNOW I’m not the only one in Chicago who feels this way – whether it’s an easy spot that I can go to completely on a whim, or somewhere that makes planning ahead easy, brunch is THE BEST. There’s nothing like slowly easing into the day with coffee, eggs, and maybe a “breakfast appetizer” as my friends like to call a cinnamon roll or order of pancakes for the table 😂
I feel like I’m always on the hunt for a good brunch, but these are all tried and true favorites for me. They’re located all over the city, too – so no matter what neighborhood you live in, you should be able to find something delicious!!
The Best Chicago Brunches
This critically acclaimed restaurant is cozy and inviting, with a seasonal menu by executive chef, Ken Carter (who used to work for Charlie Trotter). We still haven’t been for dinner yet, but their brunch is OUR FAVORITE brunch in Lincoln Square. Every single thing we’ve ordered there has been knock-your-socks-off good. They also change their donut flavor often, so Adam and I usually split that to start the meal. I told you we love a good breakfast appetizer 😉 As for entrees, they always have really interesting brunch dishes. Adam loves their fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup and sweet + sour sauce. I’m also dying to go back to try their new Winter Harvest Hash: cheesy scrambled eggs, acorn squash, roasted yukon + sweet potato, shaved brussels sprouts, apple puree, and spiced chips. I MEAN, come on! YUM!
This was our favorite weekend spot when Adam lived in the Humboldt Park area. It’s not your traditional brunch experience, but it’s perfect exactly as it is. You usually have to wait in line outside the cute little shop for a bit, but then you get inside and breathe in the smell of biscuits and pie and all is forgiven. My favorite is the Avocado Biscuit with an Iced Coffee (on tap!). In the summer, you can grab a seat on their patio, soak up the sunny morning, and pet a few dogs that are there (always), while you wait for your biscuits. It’s pretty much my version of lazy Saturday morning heaven. Ps. if it’s not nice out, get it to go and bring it home to binge watch the latest Netflix show. The best.
Etta hasn’t been open very long, but it’s quickly become one of our favorite restaurants in Chicago for brunch. The space is beautiful, it’s in the heart of Wicker Park, and everything is top notch. The last time I went with my girlfriends, we split the focaccia with ricotta and jam, and then I got the Etta Soft Scramble. SO GOOD. We’ve also had their homemade cinnamon roll before… need I say more?
I’ll admit, the decor of this place is what initially sucked me in – but I kept going back because off their Breakfast Tostadas. I’ve tried a few other things there, but nothing beats those tostadas! Crunchy and a little spicy and a yolk that spills everywhere? Yes, please. They also have a great avocado toast on their brunch menu, too!
This brunch was kind of a surprise to me! Their dinner is pretty good, their pizzas are great, but their brunch is EXCELLENT. I went with a group of girlfriends for a birthday and we split their Smoked Salmon Pizza – highly recommend. Also, if you go with a group, you can get a “Build Your Own Mimosa” setup with a bottle of Prosecco and different juices. Brunch dreams, right?! (PS. If you’re in the mood for lunch food vs. breakfast food, their chicken sandwich is also delicious.)
This is where you go when you want to be BAD ? It’s true! Their menu even describes their food as “sinful“! We’re talking White Chocolate Pretzel Pancakes and Red Velvet Pancakes and Egg Benedicts and all of the most decadent breakfast foods you can think of. There’s usually a wait, but if you’re in the mood to eat something unhealthy and worth it – this is your move. Trust me.
I know this was on my list of Favorite Healthy Spots too – but it’s just so good! All of their coffee drinks are awesome, but I especially love their matcha (both hot and cold) because it’s not too sweet! They also have fresh juices, spicy Bloody Marys, and other fun brunch cocktails! I’ve had a lot on this menu, and I’m not sorry about it! Pepper and Egg White Breakfast Sandwich, Spicy Chicken Tinga, Green Chili Enchiladas, Quinoa Cakes with Poached Eggs, and Cauliflower Grits and Eggs. ALL of those have been great and I’d order them again. How many other restaurants have that many options to love and not feel awful about after eating it?! ? That being said, if you get the quinoa cakes and feel like you deserve a treat after, their cookies and muffins are also insane. Can you tell I love this place?!
I actually haven’t been here in a while, but their Spicy Feta Omelette used to be my go-to brunch. Swooooon, it’s so good!
This was my first brunch love in Chicago. They have two locations, but their Lincoln Park restaurant is small and cozy and absolutely adorable. There’s nothing super fancy about their food – just a simple and delicious breakfast at a cute neighborhood spot.
I know this is a bit of an unconventional choice… you want me to go to brunch at a Farmer’s Market?! Umm yes, I do! Get the breakfast pizza and some tamales, find a spot on the grass with a view, and what more could you need?! You’ll thank me after your first bite of the breakfast pizza ?
This is probably the most inventive brunch I’ve ever had in Chicago. When I went, I got the Chile Rellenos with a fried egg on top – never done that before! While it doesn’t look like it’s on the menu anymore, I’ve heard that everything else is just as awesome. If you like southern/mexican food, you gotta try it.
This place is mostly known for it’s cocktails, but last year I went for brunch with some of my girlfriends. I’m so glad we did, because it definitely wasn’t on my radar for that at all! I personally think this is the best brunch spot for an out of town group. You get the gorgeous view of Millennium Park, it’s the perfect spot for a photo op, and you can order family style! I’m pretty sure we shared French Toast, Biscuits, Chilaquiles, and Quiche – and it was super fun to get bites of different flavors, instead of devouring a meal on your own! Definitely consider if you’ve got a big group coming into town.
This restaurant is a little hit and miss – only because you can’t make reservations! If you go during an off time and get seated right way, it’s the most magical experience ever. I’m serious, the restaurant has a fountain in the middle of it, and the food is SO delicious. Order the scrambled eggs!
If you go during a peak time, it might still be worth it – just know that you might need to wait. That being said, it’s kind of the best place to wait because there are multiple floors of Restoration Hardware showrooms… and each one is prettier than the last. By the time you’ve strolled through the whole historic building, your table might be ready. Win!
Band of Bohemia is the first brewpub to receive a Michelin Star… which is kind of a big deal. It’s on a very unassuming street in Ravenswood, and the interior is decorated with unique rugs and upholstered furniture like a cool bohemian living room. They have a tasting menu for dinner, but you can order a la carte for brunch!
I’ve only ever been to this Wicker Park/Bucktown restaurant for brunch once, but it was GOOOOD. Also, if you’re in the mood for dessert whenever time of day you go, the bread pudding is the best I’ve ever had. It’s made with banana chocolate babka, butterscotch cream, and a frozen oat scotchie crunch. YUM.
I’ll admit, I haven’t been here yet – but I keep hearing that it’s amazing! The menu looks super inventive, too. Where else can you find Alaskan King Crab Benedict and Fois Gras + Eggs with truffles? They have other more typical breakfast items, too – don’t worry 😉
Cira is located on the first floor of The Hoxton and it’s beautiful. Their food is very Mediterranean, so you’ll find dishes like shakshuka, baklava, and a Turkish breakfast platter.
Other notable spots:
The Dawson (sit on the patio in the Summer), Eden, WHISK, Lula Cafe (only been once – must go back), Little Goat, True Food Kitchen (only been for lunch/dinner), and Luella’s Southern Kitchen (we hear the shrimp and grits are amazing!).
Did I miss any of your favorites?! Which ones do I need to try next!