Wake up and step out this weekend! While every hotel in Chicago has their own variety of brunch service, there’s a whole world of restaurants waiting in every neighborhood offering something even more unique and delicious. Here are our top 10 favorite spots to grab the most important meal of the day.
ANDERSONVILLE: Big Jones
Get some southern comfort soul food at this Andersonville hot spot that looks, tastes and feels like New Orleans in the middle of Chicago. Named one of OpenTable’s “best brunch restaurants in America,” the menu includes platters like a Fried Chicken Salad, a Bayou Teche Omelet, Catfish and Grits, Apple Stack French Toast Hot Cakes and the restaurant’s own “Biscuit Art” with homemade flaky biscuits accompanied by a variety of meat and gravies. Brunch served Sa, Sun 9 am-3 pm, 5347 N. Clark
OLD TOWN: Optima
Enjoy your eggs and bacon with a side of music. This newer Modern American depot is inspired by great guitar riffs as much as it is great culinary talent. Plate-toppling platters include a Southwestern Skillet, Breakfast Burger, Avocado Toast and plenty of Benedicts (go for the Chicken and Waffles option) plus sweet options like Funnel Cake and Cinnamon Rolls. Chances are live music will be playing as you dine. Brunch served Sa, Su 10 am-3 pm, 1252 N. Wells
WEST TOWN: Beatnik
As if the boho chic digs at this hot spot aren’t enough to get you in the mood to wake up on a weekend (it’s dripping in lavish candles, lush greenery, Moroccan furniture and ornate chandeliers), the food definitely will. Beatnik’s multi-cultural vibe is extended to its eclectic menu featuring Ricotta Fritters made with blueberry tamarind jam, banana powder, tahini and date syrup; Cardamom Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls; Shakshuka with Duck Eggs; and a Muffaletta Sandwich with grilled pistachio mortadella and olive tapenade. Brunch served Sa, Sun 10 am-3 pm, 1604 W. Chicago Ave.
LOGAN SQUARE: Lula Café
Fair warning—you might have to wait in line at Lula, but it’s time well spent, since you’ll need a lot of time to decide what to eat. The Logan Square spot is one of the early purveyors of farm-to-table cuisine in Chicago with locally sourced menu ingredients that make everything taste super fresh. Choose from a rotating seasonal menu featuring house pastries like a Plum Pistachio Danish and Sweet Corn Brioche; Tamales with braised chicken, cherry tomatoes and queso Oaxaca; Challah French Toast; and Chickpea Panisse. Brunch served Sa, Sun 9 am-2 pm, 2537 N. Kedzie
If you prefer sweet brunch items, this is the place for you. The name says it all at HotChocolate, led by acclaimed pastry chef Mindy Segal. And while there’s delicious mugs a plenty (filled with housemade marshmallows and featuring your choice of milk, dark, spicy Mexican or boozy chocolate), there’s also Brioche Doughnuts and Buttermilk Pancakes. Savory items are available too such as Seasonal Quiche, Short Rib Hash and more. Brunch served Sa, Su 10 am-2 pm, 1747 N. Damen
LINCOLN PARK: Oyster Bah
Don’t hold off on seafood for lunch or dinner; shrimp, clams and crab make delectable brunch dishes, too. At this Lincoln Park mainstay (a sister restaurant to Shaw’s Crab House), you can get unlimited Sunday brunch for under $35 with a DIY Chilled Seafood Buffet that features Oysters On A Half Shell, Deviled Eggs, Coastal Ceviche, Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches and more. There’s also the option for add-on a la carte items like Blueberry French Toast. Brunch served Su 10 am-2 pm, 1962 N. Halsted
One of Chicago’s favorite neighborhoods, Pilsen is bristling with unique boutiques, entertainment venues and one-of-a-kind restaurants. Dusek’s is part of the Thalia Hall renovation that happened in 2013 giving the century-old building a brand-new concert hall and an attached, top rated restaurant. For brunch, Dusek’s staple Juicy Lucy burger is on the menu as are Soup and Bread, Prince Edward Island Mussels and Ricotta Beignets. Brunch served Sa, Sun 9 am-3 pm, 1227 W. 18th St.
SOUTH LOOP: Bongo Room
South Loop is the latest neighborhood destination for this touted brunch palace (there’s also locations in Andersonville and Wicker Park) that offers an extensive menu of “sinful” items like Chocolate Tower French Toast, Deconstructed Lobster Roll Benedict, Shrimp Scampi Benedict and Turkey Chilaquiles Rojos. The restaurant is only open until 2 pm so breakfast and lunch is their specialty and they do it well, also offering a la carte items like single pancake add-ons when you want just a touch of something sweet. Brunch served Sa, Sun 9 am-2 pm, 1152 S. Wabash
LINCOLN PARK: Gemini
If you’re not a regular here, you will still feel like one. The refined diner concept is anchored by a 24-seat U-shaped bar in the center of the restaurant that is inspired by a communal dining experience, which is great since you’ll want to gab with someone about how great the brunch service is. The Lincoln Park Benedict is one of our favorites in the city with a perfectly toasted English muffin and just the right amount of hollandaise sauce (add pulled pork, lobster cake and more to make it your own). Get some sticky cinnamon buns, Mexican chorizo chilaquiles and Greek lamb meatballs for the table, too. Brunch served Sa, Sun 10 am-2 pm, 2075 N. Lincoln Ave.
WEST LOOP: The Publican
This Euro-centric beer hall has meat, meat and more meat. Since ingredients are sourced from local farms, the menu is always changing but staples include Weisswurst, Pastrami Toast Grilled Country Ribs, Cajun Sausage and Ham Chop. Sides are also tasty including Pecan Sticky Bun, Buttermilk Biscuits and Maple-Braised Bacon. Brunch served Sa 10 am-2 pm and Su 9 am-2 pm, 837 W. Fulton Market