The Absolute Best Brunch Spots in Chicago Right Now
Kick off the weekend with cheffy French Toast, Italian comforts, and all the Bloody Marys.
Thank goodness there’s a meal made just for us late risers—brunch. Whether brunch is your sleepy weekend kickstarter or your hangover salvation, Chicago is filled with morning meal masterminds who are sure to deliver no matter what condition you’re in. And let’s face it, the best part of brunch is the shameless buzz that comes with it, because a loaded Bloody Mary or a bubbly mimosa pairs well with just about anything on the menu. From sticky-sweet donuts to mounds of Barbecue Shrimp and Grits and modern takes on Italian classics, here are the top brunch restaurants in Chicago.
This cozy, sun-drenched outpost slipped into some pretty big shoes when it very recently took over the sadly shuttered industry favorite Cafe Marie Jean space on California Avenue. Thankfully, the team seems to have some substantial feet, as evidenced by a solid roster of Italian fare accented by cheffy twists. Brunch here means Bread Pudding soaked in bittersweet amaro, Hash Browns Deluxe littered with foie gras and truffle creme fraiche, and Gnocchi Sardo with tender pork ragu. Follow their advice and get “spritz-faced” with one or two effervescent selections off the enticing cocktail menu.
This Mediterranean showstopper from the team behind Pilsen’s critically acclaimed S.K.Y. has wasted no time establishing themselves as the best brunch peddlers in the South Loop. The kitchen’s global influences show their stripes via a concise yet sophisticated morning spread, with standouts like Wood Fired Brussels Sprouts with piquillo agridulce, housemade Bucatini Carbonara, Steak and Eggs in Purgatory with fiery Calabrian chili, and Deviled Eggs Florentine leading the charge. Save room for Banana Budino Cake alongside signature espresso drinks courtesy of Sparrow Coffee.
This genre-defying Logan Square hit is back in action for indoor dining, expanding its prowess to a fully loaded Indian-influenced brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm. Supercharge your tastebuds with everything from light-as-a-feather Fruit Salad with mint syrup and candied pistachios and Uttapam with Klug Farm peas and Thai chili to heftier dishes like the Breakfast Dosa Hash and Achari Pulled Pork Sandwich slathered with tamarind chutney. No matter what ends up tickling your fancy, definitely throw in some Chaat Masala Potato Chips for good measure and take advantage of the booze lineup (Chai Coconut Milk Punch is the pro move, with the Cumin Bloody Maria pulling in as a close second).
Luella’s Southern Kitchen
When you're craving some righteous Southern grub, chef Darnell Reed’s brunch is a no brainer. The menu is packed with delightful selections, like crispy chicken plopped over sweet waffles, creamy Skillet Mac n Cheese, steamy and smooth Shrimp and Grits, crunchy Salmon Croquettes, and sweet Beignets dusted in powdered sugar. Without a doubt, this family-friendly soul food specialist knows what’s up.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout via ChowNow.
Spinning J Bakery and Soda Fountain
Brunch is not the only thing drawing folks to this retro soda fountain and bakery—sodas, shakes, floats, and pies are one of the main attractions. But equally as mouthwatering are the sandwiches and quiches offered on the all-day menu. Highlights include a Smoked Trout Cream Cheese and Spicy Giardiniera Bialy and a cheesy scrambled egg smeared with olive pesto and pressed between two pieces of crispy polenta. Classics like BLTs, Egg Sandwiches, Grilled Cheeses, and Tuna Melts are also on hand for those sticking to what they know.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout online.
This tequila-fueled Tex-Mex diner is teeming with all the thoughtful and charming details a respected bruncher is looking for. Apart from eye-opening agave-focused cocktails, favorite options include the queso fresco- and chipotle aioli-drenched Crispy Potato Hash that comes with brisket burnt ends, fried eggs, and a side of Texas toast (because, of course), Buttermilk Fried Chicken topped with a chorizo verde gravy, sweet peas, and pearl onions, and for your sweet tooth, fluffy pancakes laced with a mole-spiced syrup and whipped agave butter.
Summer House Santa Monica
This sunny Lincoln Park mainstay continues to serve up Cali swag via a full bill of brunchtime favorites. Scallion Mascarpone Avo Toast, loaded cobb salads, housemade English muffins, breakfast burritos stuffed with pillowy scrambled eggs and sausage, and Prosecco-fueled Mimosas keep the grown-ups humming while junior takes on a heap of Silver Dollar Pancakes crowned 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 radish—these unfathomably tasty inventions represent a mere fraction of this famed Bridgeport gastropub’s totally bonkers brunch offerings. A whopping four different Chicago-style hot dog variations add to the mouthwatering madness.
Top Chef alum CJ Jacobson’s Mediterranean stunner has been stepping up and crushing the brunch game since day one, spoiling weekenders with a bounty of hummus, spreads, kebabs, and other mezze shareables. And while their takeout and delivery program remains solid as ever, these handsome West Loop devils have officially reopened their magical rooftop patio and breezy dining room so you can enjoy your morning feast in style.
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 extravaganza showcases his deep love for all things Cajun cuisine with craveworthy dishes like Crispy Chicken Wings and Salted Praline Pancakes, Barbecue Shrimp with Stone Ground Grits, and a Grand Slam Platter stacked with eggs, alligator sausage, fruit, and homestyle grits setting the standard.
How to book: Reserve via Tock or order takeout and delivery via Toast.
Beatnik On The River
Kick back and soak up the BoHo vibes at this loungey greenery-strewn eatery where updated takes on international fixtures and sweeping waterfront views woo boisterous brunch crowds on the regular. Expect colorful shareables like Fried Rice loaded with pork belly, housemade kimchi, edamame, shitake, and seaweed, 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.
Take your brunch poolside at all-star chef Stephanie Izard’s vibrant Peruvian-inspired oasis 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, signature Goat Empanadas with huacatay mayo, and hangover-blasting Salchipapas piled high with thick-cut frites, fried chorizo, amarillo mayo, and poached eggs will have your head spinning before a second round of “I'm Your Huckleberry” cocktails (Luna azul tequila, huckleberry, cardamom, lime, ginger ale) handily cools things down.
Everyone is thankful that this farm-to-table pioneer has fully reopened, serving their award-winning brunch essentials. Stop by for specialties like their classic Breakfast Burrito, seasonal quesadillas stuffed with butternut squash, cascabel chile, and fontina, and Chilled Peanut Noodles with marinated tofu and veggies. A kid’s menu, specialty blends from Metric coffee, and a bounty of day drinking-friendly craft cocktails sweeten the deal.
This Ukrainian Village gem is coming in hot with an ambitious all-day menu of cheffed-up Filipino comforts like housemade Longganisa Sausage with garlic fried rice and fried eggs and plump pork-stuffed Lumpia Shanghai complemented by deliciously offbeat pastries like palm-sized Basque Cakes laden with ube and huckleberry and aromatic cardamom Kouign-Amann. Throw in some locally roasted coffee, handpicked natural wines, and picturesque sidewalk seating and you’ve got yourself one quality Sunday hang.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating, order takeout via Toast, or get delivery via Tock.
Chef-owner Carlos Gaytán pulls out all the stops when it comes to this swank River North destination’s full-service weekend brunch. Rev up with inspired starters like a Chorizo Crepe bubbling over with Chihuahua cheese, pico de gallo, and creamy chipotle, or an order of orange-infused French Toast topped with spiced Mexican chocolate before embarking on the joint’s famous Duck Waffle, a clever take on the fried fowl standard layered with unctuous duck leg carnitas, chipotle-hibiscus glaze, sweet potato purée, and a soft poached egg. Toss in a fiery Bloody Mary made with zesty ancho and guajillo peppers and consider your cipher complete.
Robust Lebanese flavors breathe new life into expertly prepared Mexican fare inside this splashy Lincoln Park spot where each dish arrives just as Instagram-ready as their sunny, pastel-hued decor. Brunch, of course, is primetime here, a never ending cascade of belly-warmers like the inimitable Hashbrown Sandwich (two waffle hashbrowns slathered with chipotle mayo, salsa verde, gooey cheese, and bacon) alongside dantier offerings like the Pretty Salad, where pomegranates, onions, carrots, cucumbers, fetta, and pita perches atop a bed of crunchy romaine.
How to book: Stop by for first come, first served seating or order takeout and delivery online.
This newish kid on the South Side block has officially taken over departed neighborhood institution Monnie Burke’s as Pilsen’s latest Latin-inspired charmer. The patio is even more welcoming this time, a mass of exposed brick, soft lighting, and rustic exposed beams setting the tone while the poured cement floor radiates heat beneath diners’ feet. Food-wise, you’re looking at equally warm and cozy options like Concha Toast jazzed up with tres leches cream and strawberry-mezcal compote, nachos laced with cheddar and mango-braised beef, and Steak and Eggs topped with snappy chimichurri.
Real ones know: It doesn’t get much better than a big ol’ order of Salmon Croquettes from this inviting South Side legend. Bursting with wild caught salmon, the crisp, flaky, heavenly medallions come cradled in a pool of warm cheese grits, just as the brunch gods—and everybody’s Southern grandma—intended it. Everything else, from fluffy 7-Up Pancakes drizzled with tangy lemon cream cheese frosting to decadent Shrimp and Grits with garlic cream sauce and bacon, is icing on the proverbial cake.