Best Breakfast in Chicago

March 27, 2018
by Zagat Staff

When you want something a little more exciting than your usual morning yogurt, turn to this guide. It’s all our top-rated places for eggs, pancakes, hash browns, and more.

Café Marie-Jeanne
Humboldt Park · $$

This modern, French-style cafe and wine bar in Humboldt Park features breakfast, lunch and dinner (with optional prix fixe) along with a deli counter and prepared foods served in a relaxed dining area with mosaic-tiled tables and a tin ceiling.
Mortar and Pestle
European · Lakeview · $$

This casual Lakeview corner cafe cooks up New American breakfast, lunch and brunch dishes with global flavors. The earthy-chic confines have rustic tables custom-crafted from century-old wood, industrial stools, candle-style chandeliers and a shelf of books.
Brunch · North Center · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.1

Every dish delivers " at this fairly " cheap " American in " out-of-the-way " North Center offering an " extensive, imaginative " daytime menu of " decidedly upscale " " sweet and savory options "; " attentive " staffers tend to diners in a " bare-bones, but modern " milieu, and regulars warn that " long waits " on weekends will only increase " unless we can keep it quiet.
Longman & Eagle
American · Logan Square · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

This "popular" , "hipster" hangout in Logan Square features "superb" , "innovative" New American fare highlighting "unique ingredients and preparations" dispensed in a "lively" "bar atmosphere" fueled by "awesome drinks" ; a no-reservations policy means it’s often "crowded" , but fans say it’s "worth the wait" for a "meal you’ll be telling people about for a long time.
Lockwood Restaurant & Bar
American · The Loop · $$$
Food 4.0 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.7

Set in the "famed" Palmer House Hotel lobby, this "upscale" Loop New American is a "sight to be seen" with its "modern" elegant stylings (especially after a recent half-million renovation including updated furnishings and decor) that set the stage for "solid" sometimes "imaginative" fare backed by wines "uniformly good both in selection and price" ; service is generally "courteous" , and though its "location can make it rather pricey" , you can't beat its "good proximity to downtown theaters.
Cafe des Architectes
French · Gold Coast · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

Not your typical hotel restaurant ", this Gold Coast " oasis " in the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower lures " a large contingent of locals " with " excellent ", " sophisticated " New French cuisine including " gracious brunches "; the " lovely ", " modern " setting and " charming " staff make it " great " for " power lunches " and " special occasions" alike.
NoMi Kitchen
American · Gold Coast · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

“Excellent,” “beautifully plated” New American dishes and “fabulous sushi” are matched by “killer views” overlooking Michigan Avenue at this “dependable” kitchen in the Gold Coast’s Park Hyatt, where a “terrific” terrace lends a “romantic” vibe; a “lovely” interior and an “attentive” staff further suit it to “entertaining clients” or “formal events,” as do “expense-account” tabs.
American · River North · $$$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

Floor-to-ceiling windows afford "awesome" city views at this "special-occasion" New American on the 16th floor of River North's Trump International Hotel & Tower, where "fresh, seasonal ingredients" are turned into "excellent" "works of art" ; the upscale space feels "intimate but expansive at the same time" , and the "agreeable" staff helps take the sting out of "expensive" tabs.
The Lobby
Bar · River North · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.4

Set in "beautiful" surroundings in River North’s "exquisite" Peninsula Hotel, this "elegant" destination serves "excellent" American fare including a "delightful afternoon tea" in a "relaxing" space "where you can have a conversation" while admiring the views from "amazing tall windows" ; servers who "notice the small things" add to the "luxurious atmosphere.
Dove's Luncheonette
Breakfast · Wicker Park · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

Gourmet comfort food " with a Tex-Mex " twist " is on the menu at this " hip " Wicker Park " winner " from the Blackbird team, also serving " wonderful " desserts and " fantastic " cocktails in a " fun, vintage diner " setting; a retro soul and blues soundtrack adds to the " buzzy " vibe, making it a " must-visit " that’s " worth " the sometimes " long" waits (it’s no-reservations).
Bongo Room
Brunch · South Loop · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

A "crazy good" menu of "decadent" daytime grub, including "to-die-for" pancakes, draws hordes to these "reliable" American "breakfast and brunch joints" ; diners sit "elbow to elbow" in the colorful spaces, and though you should "prepare for a long wait" (unless you "come early" ), "large" portions and small bills help ensure they're "well worth it.
Tre Kronor
European · North Park · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.4

The "traditional" Scandinavian fare is "consistently delicious" at this "charming" , "one-of-a-kind" North Park BYOB, a "mainstay in the community" where breakfasts especially "shine" ; an "attentive" staff adds to the "welcoming" vibe, further ensuring that the "homey" , "cozy" space is "never empty.
American · River North · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

“Comfort food” gets a “healthy twist” at these “vibrant” all-day American kitchens, whose “inventive” , “consistently delicious” offerings include “excellent” brunches, plus coffee and juice bars; the “down-to-earth” , “eclectic” surrounds are “always hopping” , and the Streeterville and Loop ‘Market’ locations also feature a grab-and-go area.
Baker Miller
Breakfast · Lincoln Square · $

Bang Bang Pie alums are behind this all-day Lincoln Square cafe offering baked goods (muffins, popovers, cookies) made with flour from their own organic milling company, plus a trendy toast bar and other seasonal American eats with a focus on grains. White painted walls and exposed brick give the simple space a homey feel.
Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli
UIC/Near West Side · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.2 · Service 4.0

A "Chicago landmark" since 1942, this "real-deal" deli still turns out "fabulous" , "traditional eats" , including "Flintstones enormous" sandwiches and some of "the best corned beef" in town; though it’s a bit "plain" , the "cafeteria-style" spot boasts an expanded deli counter and has a kind of "charm" , especially when "celebs and pols" are dining nearby.
Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
Breakfast · Logan Square · $
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

Homemade goodness " radiates from these " cozy " bakery/cafes, dishing up " delightful ", " amazing " pies and " darn-good " sandwiches made with " decadent ", " buttery " biscuits; they’re " crazy busy " on weekends, but fans say the " fantastic " grub makes it " worth the wait. " P.S. Seasonal assets include a fireplace in Ravenswood and a " wonderful" garden in Logan Square.
The Allis
Breakfast · West Loop · $$

By day, this stylish hangout in the West Loop's Soho House offers morning pastries, fresh juices, light lunch and afternoon high tea, while by night it turns into a happening bar pouring craft cocktails. The lofty bi-level digs span a lobby area with warm wood, crystal chandeliers and a marble bar, plus an upstairs lounge with comfy couches suitable for snacking on an all-day menu of small plates and wood-fired pizzas.
Lula Cafe
Logan Square · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

“Serving farm-to-table cuisine before it became popular,” this Logan Square “mainstay” is a “gold mine” for “exquisite,” “creative” New American fare (including an “amazing” vegetarian tasting menu) and “wonderful” cocktails; a “well-informed” staff works the “stylish” yet “laid-back” room where you “never feel rushed” – even when there are “huge lines” for the “fantastic,” no-reservations weekend brunch.
Lou Mitchell's
Diner · West Loop · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.0

Come hungry " to this West Loop " king of breakfast ", a " quintessential " " Chicago icon " since 1923 where " oversized " portions of " hearty ", " high-quality " diner fare like " lighter-than-air scrambled eggs " and " amazing French toast " are served all day by " friendly " staffers who " have been working there for 20 years or more "; the " old-time " environs can be " crowded ", so " get there early to avoid the lines " – though some late risers are " treated to donut holes and Milk Duds" while they wait.
Cellar Door Provisions
Logan Square · $$

Rustic-chic environs and an ever-changing, farm-to-table American menu are the hallmarks of this tiny Logan Square BYOB with a mere 20 seats. The moderately priced, crafty fare, including house-baked bread, is offered for breakfast, lunch and weekend dinner in a bright, minimalist space with wooden plank floors, an exposed kitchen and large, corner windows
Nico Osteria
Italian · Gold Coast · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

This "high-energy" Gold Coast Italian "go-to" from Paul Kahan and company "delivers on its culinary promises" with "imaginative" offerings such as "ultra-fresh" seafood and "flawless" pastas, backed by craft cocktails and "interesting" wines; a "knowledgeable" , "self-assured" staff tends the "beautiful" Thompson Hotel setting, and if tables feel "tight" you can always "sit at the counter" to "see the cooks" at work, or try the patio in summer.