Treat Yourself to the Best Brunches in Chicago
Mimosas have missed you.
The relentless unpredictability of 2020 may have thrown your entire concept of the spacetime continuum for a loop, but that’s no reason to skip out on every millenial’s favorite meal: weekend brunch. Whether you’re masking up and venturing out or hunkering down and ordering in, raise your glass to Sunday funday (or is it Saturday caturday?) with a belt-busting helping of lifegiving deliciousness lovingly prepared by these excellent area brunch specialists.
There’s nothing quite like good old-fashioned Southern home cooking -- especially when it’s not actually cooked in your home. This Andersonville darling will gladly take care of the prep and cleanup so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the biscuits (not to mention the creamy Anson Mills grits, crispy rice and corn flour-breaded Alabama catfish, red beans with tangy green tomato relish, Creole-style sourdough beignets, and cinnamon rolls with Sazerac-spiked icing).
Summer House Santa Monica
This sunny Lincoln Park outpost continues to serve up Cali swag via a full bill of brunchtime favorites. Hass avocado BLTs, loaded cobb salads, housemade English muffins, breakfast burritos stuffed with fluffy scrambled eggs and sausage, and Guiliana Prosecco-fueled mimosas keep the grown-ups humming while junior digs into a tall stack of silver dollar pancakes topped with fresh fruit and maple syrup.
The Duck Inn
Buttermilk biscuits slathered in duck fat whipped butter; sopes layered with chili braised duck, salsa verde, refried beans, cotija cheese, and eggs; smoked salmon on toast with curried avocado, spiced mango, and a crisp late summer radish -- these unfathomably enticing creations represent a mere fraction of this famed Bridgeport gastropub’s totally bonkers brunch offerings. A whopping four different gourmet hot dog options (elote corn dog, anyone?) add to the mouthwatering madness.
Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson’s Mediterrainian hotspot has been stepping up and crushing the brunch game since day one, spoiling weekenders with a bounty of housemade hummus, spreads, kebabs, and other mezze shareables. And while curbside pickup and delivery has ushered them through the recent darkness, these handsome West Loop devils have thankfully once again reopened their magical rooftop patio and breezy indoor space so you can enjoy your AM feast in style.
Publican Quality Meats
PQM has quietly been cooking up one of the Chicago’s top all-day menus for years now and after a brief intermission the One Off Hospitality mainstay is back at it with James Beard Award Winning-breads, overstuffed artisan sandwiches, salads, soups, and sides for your lazy morning dining pleasure. Stop in to grab some patio eats or take the party home with your very own Butcher's Breakfast Box, a hefty load of buttermilk biscuits, Tim Burton's maple syrup, Slagel Farm eggs, signature PQM breakfast sausages, and full half pound of hand cut bacon.
Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods
Take a bite out of the Big Easy courtesy of this festive Wicker Park Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient. New Orleans native Chef Brian Jupiter’s weekend lineup showcases his deep love for all things Cajun cuisine with craveworthy dishes like crispy chicken wings and salted praline pancakes, BBQ shrimp with stone ground grits, beignets dusted with powdered sugar, and po’ boys jam packed with tender fried catfish leading the parade.
This cheeky German-inflected West Town hangout has gone full HAM with its hangover-zapping “brunchenhausen” lineup. Breakfast sandwiches overflowing with carved ham and pimento cheese, creamy spaetzle carbonara, and juicy Slagel Farm beef burgers topped with caramelized onions and bacon draw socially-distanced crowds while creative brunch tipples like the refreshing German Staycation in Mexico (tequila, cucumber, lime, basil) and glass boots brimming with bubbly mimosas keep the conversation flowing.
Not even a pandemic can keep this health-conscious Streeterville emporium from supplying Chicagoans with flavorful brunch staples all weekend long. Take your pick of morning delights from spicy egg white sandwiches stacked with shishitos, jalapenos, and pepperjack cheese to pillowy pancakes dressed with blackberries and tart lemon syrup, all available for in-person dining, carry-out, and delivery.
Beatnik On The River
Kick back and soak up the BoHo vibes at this loungey greenery-strewn eatery where updated takes on global fixtures like watermelon gazpacho with feta and sumac, delicate hamachi ceviche in coconut Leche De Tigre, steamy shakshuka served in a Berber tagine, and mezze platters stocked with avocado shatta, harissa carrot hummus, Aleppo pepper-spiked tzatziki, and more dominate the brunch bill. The sweeping waterfront views off the open-air patio ain’t too shabby, either.
St Lou's Assembly
This West Loop escape’s sundrenched patio is tailor made for late morning brunching. Think: cannoli pancakes slathered in sweet ricotta, chocolate chips, and pistachios, fried chicken benedict with fiery Buffalo hollandaise, and a melt-in-your-mouth burger experience complete with caramelized onions, gooey Swiss cheese, and the specialist of all special sauces plus boozy slushies and housemade soft serve. Chill onsite or get yours to-go with Saint Lou’s uber-convenient brunch box, a preordered French toast, sausage, and pastry ensemble bound to drastically improve your breakfast in bed routine.
Take your brunch poolside at all star chef Stephanie Izard’s vibrant Peruvian-inspired stunner perched atop the West Loop’s ever-hip Hoxton Hotel. Perfect ceviche, addictive avocado dip served with a spread of yuzu-tomato, taro, and sweet potato chips, aji de gallina empanadas with spiced pecan chimichurri, and savory black plantain waffles drenched in hoisin-espresso maple syrup will have your head spinning before a second a round of No Prob-Llamas cocktails (Flor de Caña 4 year rum, cilantro, soursop, lime, soda) inevitably cools things down.
While this Logan Square farm-to-table pioneer hasn’t yet fully reopened, you can sleep well knowing they’re now hawking all their award-winning brunch essentials from their walk-up window. Order ahead to get in on take-out specialties like the classic breakfast burrito, sweet corn brioche laden with pork sausage, scrambled eggs, and pepper romesco, and chilled peanut satay noodles. A kid’s menu, signature Metric coffee blends, and a full roster of day drink-friendly craft cocktails make the cycle complete.
Medici on 57th
This Hyde Park hideout has been pleasing palates since 1962 and, much like the fine draft wines they serve, they’ve only grown better with age. Cinnamon roll French toast, eggs benedict with smoked salmon, ooey-gooey huevos rancheros, and a huge list of fragrant housemade baked goods barely scratches the surface when it comes to this Southside staple’s brunch offerings and don’t even get us started on their excellent Bellini with its substantial dollop of fluffy, frothy peach puree -- that’s heaven in a flute glass, right there.
The tried-and-true craft brewpub concept gets the upmarket white tablecloth treatment inside this South Loop standout from Chicago micro legends Moody Tongue. The more casual Bar menu’s Sunday Brunch agenda ranges from playful seasonal touches like smoked beet and charred strawberry tartare with spruce-infused ricotta to sturdier fare like Catalpa Grove pork shoulder with pea hummus and preserved lemon labneh, all prepared with cheffy flair. The beers, namely experimental one-offs, beloved flagships, and rare reserve bottles, hold up their end of the bargain.
Brunch will have you basking in the glow of shimmering Lake Michigan at this expansive Navy Pier newcomer, a massive open-air space dedicated to celebrating the good life Chicago-style. Options include Latin-tinged shareables like morita chile stewed chicken thighs, spicy tomato and chickpea jumble with baked eggs, and avocado toast plus large-format cocktails and a few tasty treats for the kiddos, too.
This Ukrainian Village new kid on the block is coming in hot with an ambitious all-day menu of Filipino breakfast classics like housemade longganisa with garlic fried rice, fried eggs, and atchara complemented by deliciously offbeat pastries like foie gras danish, ube and huckleberry Basque cake, and aromatic cardamom Kouign-Amann. Throw in some locally roasted coffee, handpicked natural wines, and picturesque patio seating and you’ve got yourself one quality Sunday hang.