The 9 Best Brunches in Chicago

Get ready to salivate over waffles and sugary beignets
March 14, 2017
by Zagat Staff

Brunch is a serious meal full of difficult and delicious choices. Do you go sweet or savory? Do you add a fried egg or not? Bloody Mary or mimosa? Not to mention the ultimate decision: where to go. We've complicated this great debate by rounding up some of the best options in Chicago.  


Lula Cafe
New American · Logan Square · $$
Food 4.7 · 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.
Fat Rice
Asian · Logan Square · $$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.4

A "tiny restaurant" with "big flavors" , this "unconventional" Logan Square "standout" offers an "exceptionally creative" Macanese menu ( "it’s every bit as exotic as it sounds" ) of "gorgeous" , "next-level" dishes, including a "fantastic" brunch; factor in "excellent cocktails" and a "convivial" , "boho-chic" setting and it’s "worthy of the hype" – the "only bad part is the wait."
Longman & Eagle
American · Logan Square · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.2 · 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."
The Bristol
American · Bucktown · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

A Bucktown "treasure" , this "hip" New American spot offers "rustic yet gourmet" plates that take "casual dining up two notches" through local sourcing and "modern twists" ; a "comfortable" , brick-walled space and "attentive" servers enhance its appeal, as do "well-constructed" cocktails which some say might be "the best part."
The Publican
American · West Loop · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.3

"Pork is elevated to gourmet status" at Paul Kahan's West Loop New American, where an "imaginative" small-plates menu ( "sharing is the name of the game" ) celebrates "all things pig" , but also includes a "fine selection" of seafood and other "thoughtful" dishes for "non-swine lovers" too; drinks are "delicious" and the digs "cool" , and while "long" communal tables mean it can get "loud" , most still agree it "scores on all fronts."
American · Andersonville · $
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.2

"Well-prepared" breakfast and lunch plates get an "enthusiastic thumbs up" from fans of this "adorable" Andersonville cafe, where the New American menu includes "amazing" brunch fare including French toast to make you "swoon" and "great" baked goods; though it "can get crowded and noisy" , most agree it’s "worth the wait" for a table, and the "friendly" staff makes sure "coffee refills are never too far away."
Big Jones
Southern American · Andersonville · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.2

"When you miss NOLA" or long for "a night out in Charleston" , fans suggest this midpriced Andersonville "destination" for a "genuine, quality Southern food experience" (especially at the "don't-miss brunch" ) courtesy of a "surprising" menu featuring both "locally sourced" products and ingredients that are somewhat "unheard of" in Chicago; "helpful" servers, "warm, welcoming" surroundings and a landscaped outdoor patio also make for a "memorable" experience.
Mindy’s HotChocolate
American · Wicker Park · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

At this Wicker Park American, the "rich" desserts are "sublime, of course" , but the savory seasonal dishes also make for a "nurturing" dinner and might "remind you of things you ate growing up" ; its warm, brown-accented digs have a "hip vibe" , and it does a "great brunch" too – just "save room" for the "decadent" hot chocolate.
Chicago q, Barbecue Restaurant Down Town , Gold Coast Best BBQ
Barbecue · River North · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.2

A "higher-end" BBQ experience can be had at this "hopping" Gold Coast ’cue joint turning out "finger-lickin’" ribs and other "updated" smokehouse eats alongside a "terrific bourbon selection" ; the "cool" , "inviting" digs feature leather banquettes and lots of wood, and there's a patio too; P.S. try not to "overdose" on the complimentary pickles and chips.