A Guide to Brunching in Chicago

Brunch used to fall on a typical day and time: Sundays between breakfast and lunch. Now, many Chicago restaurants offer brunch on Saturdays too and often much earlier and later, meaning you can enjoy your favorite weekend meal any time. Plus, brunch menus have been popping up in places not typically equated with breakfast-type food, so the choices go way past mere eggs and toast these days, though the staples have not been forgotten, rather elevated to new heights of delicious. We've gathered restaurants all around town that offer a diverse range of options, most a la carte and some with the good, old-fashioned, all-you-can-eat smorgasbord. Hope you're hungry.

The Duck Inn

Among other accolades, this cozy Bridgeport offering from the Rockit Ranch folks (Billy Dec, et.al) earned a 2016 Michelin Bib Gourmand for Chef Kevin Hickey who grew up nearby. The must-try menu item is the rotisserie duck, but the less pricey duck fat dog and duck wings are equally craved. D (Tu-Su), L (Sa), Br (Su).

Nana

This family-run Bridgeport favorite focuses on comforting organic fare like handmade gnocchi and cherry French toast. D (W-Su), Br (daily).

The Hampton Social

It’s always summer vacay at The Hampton Social. White wood furnishings, burlap-textured walls, and maritime props that nod to the East Coast’s most elite community. The menu’s heavy on seafood like a "boat" of oysters, king crab legs and poached shrimp. L, D (daily), Br (Sa-Su). 

River Roast

This riverside restaurant celebrates the food (and drink) that warms the soul, from roast beef carved tableside to fire-roasted fish. The restaurant curates Midwestern beer, craft cocktails and gluten-free options. L (M-F), D (daily), Br (Sa-Su). 

Travelle

Inspired by the variety of seasonal American cuisine, this chic resto highlights inventive dishes from Chef Ricardo Jarquin. There’s no doubt that Mies van der Rohe—who designed the building—would have approved of the minimalist, mid-century modern interior, featuring a glass-enclosed kitchen.

Tanta

Chef Gastón Acurio is the international face of Peruvian cuisine. Food like traditional tiraditos (fish dressed in citrus) are a low-calorie/high-protein option that look and taste great.

Fig & Olive

This small, exclusive chain has locations including New York and Newport Beach. The Oak Street branch is an elegant, 10,000-square-foot space with open kitchen and light color scheme, meant to feel a bit like the French Riviera.

Big Jones

“Contemporary Coastal” Southern cuisine is the focus of this casual Andersonville hangout, which features catfish and grits, fried chicken and more. L (M-F), D (daily), Br (Sa-Su).

The Bongo Room

This always-packed neighborhood fave serves whimsical morning fare like seasonally changing pancakes and French toast (favorites include the white chocolate and caramel pretzel pancakes) alongside classic favorites such as the guac stuffed breakfast burrito. B (daily), L (M-F); Br (Sa-Su).

The Publican

From the folks behind Randolph Street hits Avec and Blackbird comes this beer-centric restaurant, with a focus on Belgian brews and a smart, creative menu to go along with them—think oysters, charcuterie, mussels and aged hams. D (daily), Br (Sa-Su).

Zed451

Though it has much in common with the neighborhood’s trendy Brazilian steakhouses—think deluxe salad bar and an assortment of all-you-can-eat meats brought by chefs to your table—this River North destination goes for a more varied menu, with dishes like citrus salmon and goat cheese-encrusted rack of lamb.

Shaw's Crab House

Two restaurants in one: Shaw’s Oyster Bar offers a buzzing after-work scene, a casual menu of oysters, sushi and crab cakes, and regular live music; the main dining room features a more extensive menu of fresh fish specials, Alaskan king crab and prime steaks.