It’s that time again, folks: our quarterly round-up of the best new/revamped brunches to hit Chicago’s ever-bourgeoning brunch scene. Whether you like your afternoons with an Argentinean lean, covered in Nutella, or paired with a hair-of-the-dog Champagne, here’s the scoop on the nine latest and greatest places for getting your brunch on this summer.
River North What you’re getting: Pork schnitzel sandwich Chef Jimmy Papadopoulos adds his signature Czech flair to a variety of sweet and savory brunchtime favorites for BoHo’s new weekends-only brunch service. Soak up the remnants of a wild night out with the gargantuan, stick-to-your-ribs pork schnitzel sandwich on rye with horseradish cream, sauerkraut, Emmentaler cheese, and a runny fried egg, or go the sweet route with a bevy of house-made pastries like apricot kolacky and almond poppy seed cake coated in a citrus glaze and streusel.
Lincoln Park What you’re getting: The Brunch Burger Farm-to-fork fare is the name of the game for White Oak Tavern’s brunch, and if the Brunch Burger -- laden with kimchi aioli, house bacon, aged cheddar, butterkase, lettuce, and spicy pickles -- is any indication, said game is on point. Executive Chef John Asbaty’s menu highlights the restaurant’s commitment to Midwestern farms and purveyors, and includes dishes with local grains, nuts, and fruits (oats, purple barley, farro, Earl Grey crema-infused milk, seasonal fruit, and candied pecans), and options like an open-faced Cuban sandwich with crispy pork shoulder, ham hock, fried egg, cheese sauce, and spicy pickles on a mustard-drenched slice of house brioche.
Bucktown What you’re getting: Lobster Benedict Drop everything you’re doing and swing by this California-informed lounge and restaurant for one of the prettiest (read: Instagrammable) takes on eggs Benny in town: lobster Benedict with poached farm eggs and asparagus served atop brioche and drenched in poppy seed-flecked Maltaise sauce. Like your brunch best with a buzz? Presidio has traditional pisco punch (Peruvian pisco, pineapple gum, lemon, and distilled water served on the rocks) for that.
Logan Square What you’re getting: The Bedazzled Enterprise and a Brunch Burger This Logan Square burger joint adds a deep lineup of breakfast-appropriate cocktails to its weekend brunch service, including some usual suspects, like Bloodies, mimosas, and Bellinis, as well as some creative sips, like the Bedazzled Enterprise (Absolut, elderflower liqueur, cranberry, and Champagne) and the J’s Sweet Nothing (Solerno, Aperol, orange, and Champagne). Order an open-faced Brunch Burger with a fried egg, bacon, and veggies plucked fresh from the Logan Square Farmers Market for a real-deal breakfast of champions.
Old Town, Lakeview, & Wicker Park What you’re getting: Nutella S’mores Waffle This multi-location favorite recently unveiled a revamped brunch menu, and things are looking seriously delicious. Among the new menu items are knockout chicken & waffles with Sriracha honey sauce and fried eggs, and a Nutella S’mores (!) Waffle layered with the famous hazelnut spread, crushed graham crackers, caramelized marshmallows, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce poised to go down in Chicago brunch history.
Wicker Park What you’re getting: Steak and eggs Stylish, yet approachable, this Wicker Park eatery from owner/Chef Michael Taus features a Sunday brunch program that promises to annihilate hunger (and, sorry, your North Ave Beach-ready physique) with creamed eggs with truffle mornay sauce and house brioche; Houska French Toast coated in Nutella and lemon mascarpone; roasted shallot-drizzled flat iron steak and eggs, and more. Oh, and did we mention the Allagash White Beermosas?
Little Italy What you’re getting: Wild Boar Benedict Think wine bars are one-trick-ponies? Think again. This Taylor St destination surprises with an impressive brunch menu packed with all kinds of sweet and savory delectables. Stone Ground Corn Flapjacks with spiced honey and pink lady apple & bacon compote are a welcome change from standard pancake stacks, and let’s be real -- the Wild Boar Benedict pretty much speaks for itself.
Streeterville What you’re getting: House-made chorizo con queso and an Argentine omelet Opt for either an a la carte or a two-course prix fiex “Buenos Aires Brunch” experience at this new Argentinian concept from celebrity Chef Jose Garces (of Mercat a la Planxa) and Chef Cory Morris. House-made sausages, such as chorizo con queso and morcilla, are non-negotiable, and the blackberry jam-filled crèmes with wood-roasted pecans, Rural Society Burger, and Argentine omelet stuffed with Serrano ham don’t disappoint.
West Town What you’re getting: Avocado toast Chicago’s go-to for whole, crispy roasted pig’s head offers an Italian-leaning brunch menu loaded with ordinary-turned-extraordinary offers. Case in point: Hardly #basic avocado toast topped with breakfast radish, micro scallion, calabrian pistou, and a splash of lemon juice for acidity. Feeling something sweet? Get your fix with apple polenta cake French toast stacked with caramel apples, cardamom whip, salted pecans, and saba.
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