Best of Cuisine

The 10 Best Brunches in Chicago

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.  


 

1. Lula Cafe

New AmericanLogan Square

This Logan Square favorite can be difficult to get into, and for good reason with food so fresh it seems like they have a farm in the back. Start with the house pastries — cornmeal poundcake with berry butter, for example — before moving onto or the latest edition of the restaurant’s rotating menu of breakfast sandwiches.

Must-order: Almond brioche French toast covered in seasonal compote — right now, that means things like rhubarb — and sour cream.

2. Fat Rice

AsianLogan Square

For brunch with a Macanese accent, the place to go is Fat Rice. Wholly unique as the only restaurant in the city to showcase the cuisine of Macau, the Logan Square hot spot serves one of the most unique menus in town, and it's entirely worth the wait for dishes like pork chop sandwiches, coconut rice hash and Hong Kong-style French toast. 

Must-order: The dainty Portuguese egg tarts are a thing of beauty, featuring a delicate puff pastry crust laden with savory custard. It's like a quiche on steroids. 

3. Longman & Eagle

AmericanLogan Square

Longman & Eagle specializes in gourmet versions of standard brunch dishes that keep diners coming back. The restaurant keeps things cool by serving PBR with every dish of elegantly plated food, from the breakfast PBR— two eggs any style, North Country bacon or housemade sausage and potatoes — to the Bloody Mary, boasting a garnish that's like a meal on a stick.

Must-order: Ask about the seasonal selection of housemade donuts, which are also served next door at the Off Site Bar.

4. The Bristol

AmericanBucktown

For over a decade this cozy neighborhood eatery has put local farms and a nose-to-tail philosophy at the heart of the 50-seat establishment. Each Sunday, locals flock for brunch of braised pork chilaquiles and whole-wheat pancakes. Just as noteworthy as the elevated classics is the hangover breakfast ramen — a nourishing combination of noodles and aromatic vegetables in rich pork broth.

Must-order: Alongside the roasted half chicken on the dinner menu, the big cinnamon roll served at brunch is a Bristol and Chicago icon.

5. The Publican

AmericanWest Loop

One of the most perpetually popular spots for brunch in Chicago is this pork and beer expert, where the menu features a raw bar with a variety of oysters, “delicious thick-cut bacon” and waffles. Some dishes can get more adventurous, like pork-belly scrapple with mustard cream and a fried egg. 

Must-order: The waffles, served with honey butter and blueberry jam. (Oh, the mix is also sold across the street at Publican Quality Meats.)

6. Perennial Virant

AmericanOld Town

Whether it’s the omelet filled with market vegetables or roasted pork belly over grilled cornbread, Chef Paul Virant pulls off a tasty, simple fare. His mouthwatering offerings are served in the elegant dining rooms, which on Saturdays offer views of the bustling Green City Market that provides much of the kitchen’s ingredients.

Must-order: The English muffins are made in-house and can be turned into a sandwich with housemade sausage, Nordic Creamery smoked cheddar, baked egg and home fries with cheese curds.

7. m.henry

AmericanAndersonville

Fresh bread and pastries are the first thing diners see when they walk into this Andersonville icon. The menu counters classic eggs and bacon with uncommon dishes such as cinnamon roll French toast, drunken eggs and breakfast bread pudding. The great service and comfortable atmosphere are also draws.

Must-order: Breakfast bread pudding, a bowl of creamy vanilla and egg custard brioche bread pudding covered in warm peaches and blackberries.

8. Mindy’s HotChocolate

AmericanWicker Park

Local ingredients take on a gourmet twist in the hands of James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Mindy Segal. Her comfortable Bucktown restaurant serves a menu that changes weekly, with quiche, eggs Benedict and French toast filled and topped with seasonal fruits and vegetables. End every meal, including brunch, with a glass of thick, life-changing hot chocolate.

Must-order: Seasonal quiche, filled with farm-fresh ingredients and accompanied with a mixed green salad.

9. Big Jones

Andersonville

Diners are welcomed to the table with a plate of fluffy beignets covered in powdered sugar. The hospitality doesn’t stop there thanks to a super friendly waitstaff that offers a a slice of upscale Southern cooking— think biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits and gumbo ya-ya.

Must-order: Corn griddle cakes filled with cheddar cheese, served on black beans and topped with two fried farm eggs, spicy green tomato sauce, avocado and sour cream.

10. Chicago q

BarbecueRiver North

A large spread of breakfast and BBQ isn’t the only draw at this charming Southern spot. It's beloved for the build-your-own Bloody and mimosa bar, as well as the smoked meats and carrot cake pancakes. Built into a white cottage in the heart of the Gold Coast, the homey dining room and comfort-food menu transport guests to the Deep South.

Must-order: The Benedict flight, which comes with Kobe beef brisket, smoked chicken and pulled pork over a biscuit, cornbread and fried green tomato.

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