By The Editors By The Editors | March 24, 2023 | Food & Drink Feature
Looking for the best brunch in Chicago? From fluffy waffles and stuffed pancakes to savory eggs Benedict, here's our list of the 23 best brunch places in Chicago for your Sunday funday.
This rambunctious spot from DineAmic Hospitality has become an instant West Loop brunch fave with offerings like chicken and waffles, cinnamon rolls, “red flannel” hash amped up with roasted beets and dill hollandaise, and the already-iconic Diplomat: a shareable feast of pull-apart Slagel Farms beef sliders with all the fixings. 841 W. Randolph St.
From breakfast pizza and calzones to lemon-whipped ricotta-topped puff pancake, the menu at this sophisticated-yet-fun Randolph Street institution boasts serious Italian flair thanks to Top Chef fave Fabio Viviani. Other menu faves include jumbo lump crab Benedict, avocado toast and a slate of original brunch cocktails, bloodies, mimosa and sangria. 832 W. Randolph St.
This popular local spot serves a rotating selection of French toast and seasonal selections that always impress. Since 2012, diners have loved the upbeat atmosphere, delicious dishes and warm hospitality. 2748 N. Lincoln Ave
“Healthy meets delicious” is the calling card of this Lettuce Entertain You effort, whose varied menu and approachable vibe have made it an unflashy-but-reliably tasty favorite across the city. Case in point: Weekend brunch favorites range from egg white omelet with white cheddar, spinach, salsa and organic turkey bacon to a mushroom and quinoa burger; ahi tuna poke bowl; 10-grain oatmeal with dried cherries; and for the carnivores, steak chimichurri and eggs. Multiple locations
Chef and co-owner Paul Fehribach goes all in on Southern heirloom cooking at this Andersonville fave, and the results (particularly at the popular weekend brunch) are lipsmackingly delicious. Housemade buttermilk biscuits, skillet cornbread and beignets highlight the baked goods offerings, while savory options include shrimp and grits, corncakes with red pea gravy and eggs New Orleans: a decadent dish of poached eggs and crab cakes in popovers with bearnaise sauce. 5347 N. Clark St.
In the heart of Lincoln Park, this charming French bistro from chef Dominique Tougne tempts with French-inspired fare like croissant French toast with fresh berries and mixed berry coulis; crêpes Grand-Mère with chicken, mushroom, onion and bacon; plus steak frites, cassoulet, croque monsieur sandwiches and more. 2100 N. Halsted St.
Chicago’s Home of Chicken and Waffles
When it comes to brunch in Chicago, It doesn’t get more down-home than this beloved Bronzeville institution, where weekend diners happily wait for the signature chicken and waffles plus belt-busting 5-egg omelets, wings, biscuits and gravy, mac and cheese, yams, collard greens and Cajun red beans and rice. 3947 S. King Dr.
The Duck Inn
Chef Kevin Hickey first made his name as a fine dining force to be reckoned with, drawing raves with notable stints at The Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons—but it’s at this Bridgeport tavern where the South Side native has truly come into his own. The elevated-yet-approachable brunch menu delights with a slate of tempting dishes: rotisserie duck hash, smoked salmon avocado toast, an “egg McDuckInn” sandwich and, of course, Hickey’s signature take on a Chicago-style dog cooked in duck fat, natch. 2701 S. Eleanor St.
An eclectic crowd of in-the-know creatives gather at this stylish new American spot in the West Loop, which scores with creative brunch fare from chef Charles Welch. Dig into tempting plates like spring shakshouka with asparagus, English peas and spring onion; rotisserie chicken hash on a bed of red spuds, poblano peppers and cotija cheese; and the Everything Spiced Demi, with spiced fresh bread topped with house-cured salmon, whipped cream cheese, capers and cucumber. 1111 W. Lake St.
Chef Brian Jupiter's homage to his Southern roots, Ina Mae Tavern, quickly became a Wicker Park neighborhood staple and tourist destination for those seeking New Orleans flavors in Chicago. Signature brunch dishes include Shrimp & Grits, Fried Chicken & Pancakes, Grand Slam Breakfast Platter, and Biscuits & Gravy, in addition to Chef Jup's array of Po' Boys, Fried Chicken, and Vegetable Small Plates. Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 11AM-3PM. 1415 N. Wood St.
Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club
Years before RuPaul’s Drag Race became must-see TV, this Northalsted destination was famous for its boisterous brunch, starring divine diva performances served up alongside weekend faves like chicken and waffles, make-your-own omelets and build-your-own mimosas and bloody Marys. 3700 N. Halsted St., 773.525.1111
A Logan Square institution since 1999, this beloved boîte earns raves for its outstanding (and veggie-friendly) brunch fare, which includes everything from a tofu and veggie scramble to grain bowls, buttermilk pancakes and a squash and pasilla chili quesadilla. 2537 N. Kedzie Blvd.
This iconic Andersonville spot’s brunch menu is one of the most creative you’ll find: From lemon shrimp and corn cake Benedict to drunken stuffed poblano pepper, peach and rhubarb brioche French toast and dandelion, shallot and leek omelet, there’s not a dull dish to be found here. 5707 N. Clark St.
Maple & Ash
One of the sexiest steakhouses in the city, this Gold Coast see-and-be-seen spot offers a truly elevated brunch experience, from mimosa service (tableside sabered Champagne anyone?) to sumptuous plates like an omelet with black truffle, Alaskan king crab eggs Benedict and lobster avocado toast. 8 W. Maple St.
With six locations across the city and suburbs—each of them open 365 days a year—this is the ultimate Chicagoland spot for traditional Chinese dim sum. Opt for take-out standards like dumplings, spare ribs with black bean sauce and BBQ pork buns, or go all in with less typical offerings like chicken feet with abalone sauce, baby cuttlefish with curry sauce and beef tripe with ginger onion. Multiple locations
Brunch is an everyday treat at this renowned Bronzeville spot, which has been serving classic, reliably delicious down-home all-day breakfast fare—omelets, pancakes, waffles, shrimp and cheesy grits, country fried steak, salmon croquettes and more—to a crowd of locals for decades. 3901 S. Michigan Ave.
Manny’s Cafeteria & Delicatessen
A true Chicago legend, this South Loop standby has been drawing a loyal crowd of politicians, police officers and neighborhood regulars since 1942. The renowned corned beef sandwich is the best you may ever have, but don’t sleep on the daily breakfast menu, which offers up corned beef hash and eggs, challah French toast, omelets, egg sandwiches, and classic Jewish deli fare like cheese blintzes, matzo brei, potato pancakes and more. 1141 S. Jefferson St.
This recently opened all-day cafe and wine bar has become an immediate hit. The classic breakfast (with cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and potatoes), Dutch Baby (brown butter, granola, creme fraiche and strawberries) and apple coffee cake from the bakery are all standouts. 1960 N. Damen Ave.
Breakfast sandwiches with ginger-sage sausage and local butterkäse cheese; grilled cinnamon-walnut-sour cream coffee cake; and roasted squash and bacon omelets are just a few of the dishes that have made this Southport Corridor cafe and gourmet grocer a beloved stop for brunch lovers. 3552 N. Southport Ave.
Summer House Santa Monica
This Lincoln Park destination oozes a breezy, oh-so-chill SoCal vibe, and the weekend brunch follow suit with refreshing fare like ahi tuna and watermelon tartare, shaved Brussels sprout salad and Hass avocado toast with scallion mascarpone. But don’t worry—hearty Midwestern appetites can find plenty to like here too, from prime beef meatballs and parmesan truffle fries to buttermilk pancakes and short rib hash. 1954 N. Halsted St.
Despite launching mid-pandemic in summer 2020, this intimate Roman-inspired Logan Square spot from the owner of Osteria Langhe is building genuine buzz with brunch-goers. Executive chef Jacob Solomon has experience at fine-dining stalwarts NoMI and The Peninsula; here he crafts crave-worthy brunch items like wood-oven-cooked breakfast pizza with black trumpet mushrooms and a sunny-side hen egg; porchetta tartine with spicy mayo and giardinera; and cured salmon with fennel pollen crackers, all washed down with creative cocktails like a cider spritz and a G&T with plum bitters. 2456 N. California Ave.
Tweet Let’s Eat
The sister restaurant to iconic Uptown gay bar Big Chicks (Get it? Chicks? Tweet?), Tweet is a beloved weekend staple for its massive menu—think nine different Benedicts and eight different breakfast burritos, plus bountiful meatless offerings—not to mention impeccable service and world-class bloody Marys served in vintage-style tiki glasses with Absolut peppar vodka (don’t miss the Ecstasy, a mix of wasabi, sriracha and habanero that makes even the most spice-tolerant of palates stand at attention. The verdict? This might just be the best brunch in Chicago. 5024 N. Sheridan Road
At this sophisticated River North destination, chef Carlos Gaytan turns out stunningly creative Mexican fare accented by his fine French culinary training. That extends to the restaurant’s brunch menu, which offers exciting plates ranging from Belgian waffle with duck leg carnitas to Acapulco-style shrimp ceviche, fish tacos with Brussels sprouts relish, lump crab meat-topped avocado flatbread and decadent horchata tres leches cake. 720 N. State St.
Photography by: Rebecca Piplinski; Jeff Marini; Galdones Photography; Oscar Castillio; Meghan Leigh; Lula, Anjali Pinto; Rachel Bires