Food & Drink

The Best New Brunches in Chicago

Published On 09/14/2016 Published On 09/14/2016
Mity Nice Bar & Grill
Corn Cake Eggs Benedict at Mity Nice Bar & Grill | Anjali Pinto
Courtesy of Coda di Volpe

Coda di Volpe

Lakeview

On the heels of its mid-summer arrival, this new Southern Italian spot has launched a brunch program that promises to be one of Southport Corridor's hottest weekend reservations. Dig in to a Neapolitan-style brunch pizza crowned with pancetta, potatoes, a fried farm egg, smoked mozzarella, and Grana Padano, risotto "oatmeal" tossed with roasted peaches and caramelized honey milk, and a prosciutto breakfast sandwich, and team it with an extra punchy Sicilian Bloody Mary comprised of Calabrian chili spicy tomato, lemon, pickled pepper, Sicilian oil cured olive, pecorino, and soppressata.

Marcin Cymmer

Nosh & Booze

West Loop

This buzzy pop-up may not be sticking around indefinitely, but its hangover-annihilating comfort food-driven brunch menu is indubitably going to make you wish it was. Bananas Foster French toast and biscuits and gravy will hook you, but its the fried chicken Benedict with a scallion and white cheddar biscuit, poached eggs, and habanero-ranch sauce that'll keep you coming back for more -- while you can.

Kailley Lindman/Courtesy of The Dearborn

The Dearborn

Loop

As the Loop's overall culinary scene continues to grow, so too does its roster of brunch options. One of the newest is this sweeping American tavern on the ground level of the Block 37 building, which serves up literal breakfast-meets-lunch stunners like bananas Foster French toast with seared foie gras and chantilly, duck confit with a sous vide egg, a 50-day dry-aged ribeye with two "you call it" eggs, and a ham and Gruyere sandwich on a pearl sugar waffle.

Katie Papp

SteakBar

Old Town

Four Corners Tavern Group (Ranalli's, Gaslight) and Brendan Sodikoff (Au Cheval, Bavette's Bar & Boeuf) have proven to be a culinary dream team with their recent collaborations (Federales, Fremont), and the brunch game at their trendy Old Town concept is no exception. Choose from dishes like steak and eggs, hardwood smoked salmon, and avocado toast, or, if the mood suits you, a pastrami burger with a fried egg and a hefty side of truffle mac -- because it's the weekend and you do what you want.

Son of a Butcher by WHISK

Logan Square

After closing and opening under the new management of popular brunch spot Whisk, Son of a Butcher is back, new and improved, and brandishes a newly minted brunch menu loaded with weekend-ready indulgences. S'mOreos pancakes, pineapple upside-down cakes, and nutty croissant French toast cure a sugar craving, while chilaquiles verde, BBQ brisket hash, and the Tex-Mex "Lone Star" Benedict anchor the savory side of the menu.

Forno Rosso Randolph

Forno Rosso

West Loop

Swing by one of our favorite new pizza joints on Sundays between 10am and 4pm for a brunch that promises much more than just Neapolitan breakfast pizza. The wood-fired oven pulls double duty for wood fired pancakes decked in mascarpone, amarena cherries, and dusting of powdered sugar; eggs in Purgatory and prosciutto frittata pair well with a little hair of the dog in the form of frosé and a Bloody or three.

Anjali Pinto

Mity Nice Bar & Grill

Gold Coast

With newly extended hours (now through 3pm!) and a revamped menu, there are more reasons than ever to visit this Lettuce Entertain You mainstay for a leisurely brunch outing. Kickstart your appetite with a "fork and knife" cinnamon roll slathered in thick cream cheese frosting, and march on like the weekend warrior that you are through sweet corn cake eggs Benedict doused in avocado hollandaise and wild berry French toast topped with bright, citrusy lemon yogurt that cuts through the richness of the toast.

Kailley Lindman

Imperial Lamian

River North

When the usual brunch suspects simply won't cut it (we're lookin' at you, ubiquitous pancakes and omelets), swing by this impeccably designed Chinese resto and make all your dim sum dreams come true. The alternative brunch program runs weekends, 10am to 3pm, and touts everything from truffle xiao long bao and pumpkin puffs packed with roast duck and butternut squash to jasmine tea smoked baby back ribs and the restaurant's signature hand-pulled noodles.

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1. Coda Di Volpe 3335 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 (Lakeview)

Serving Southern Italian fare like wood-fired Neapolitan pizza, grilled octopus, and squid ink garganelli (among other house-made pastas), Coda Di Volpe will transport you to Sicily without ever having to leave the confines of its 100-seat space on Southport. Helmed by Chef Chris Thompson -- formerly of A16 in San Francisco -- and backed by regional restaurateurs Billy Lawless and Ryan O'Donnell, Coda Di Volpe is a sophisticated addition to a neighborhood otherwise saturated with sports bars. The Sicilian-leaning cuisine is matched by a rustic ambience -- mid-century decor, a pizza counter with wood-oven on display, cozy banquettes -- that is reminiscent of the region itself.

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2. The Dearborn 108 N State St, Chicago, IL 60602

The Dearborn is a behemoth project: run by hospitality all-stars the Lawless sisters and helmed by chef Aaron Cushieri (Alinea, Takashi), the 8,000sqft restaurant defines itself as an urban American tavern. The upmarket menu is truly a product of the Midwest with hearty, farmers market-driven items like a local burrata appetizer, butcher block cuts, a house burger, and a giardiniera-topped hot dog. The Block37 space caters to the after-work crowd, and the bar is open late every night.

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3. SteakBar 1500 N Wells, Chicago, IL (Old Town)

Restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff’s Hogsalt Hospitality and the prolific Four Corners Tavern Group are behind this trendy concept that appeals to the nightlife set, gastronomes, and just about everyone in between. The 9,000sqft space boasts a cool atmosphere and an amazing charred New York strip steak. Grab a seat at the bar and browse the inventive draft cocktails, available by both the glass and the pitcher.

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4. Son of a Butcher 2934 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 (Logan Square)

After closing for renovations in Spring 2016 and re-opening under new management from popular brunch locale WHISK, Son of Butcher touts a new, industrial-chic look and a revamped food menu. Meat still reigns supreme here, with highlights ranging from braised brisket barbeque sliders and full racks of St. Louis ribs, but there's a new smattering of salads, sandwiches, vegetarian light bites, and a solid brunch menu (pro tip: get the decadent and Instagram-worthy S'mOreos pancakes). Bar offerings focus on craft beers, but the specialty cocktails boast quirky names and eclectic liquors ("Brexit Strategy," anyone?), with the added bonus of curated wines by the glass and regional ciders.

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5. Forno Rosso 1048 Randolph Street, Chicago, IL 60607

The same people who brought authentic Italian pizza to Harlem Ave. keep expanding with this Near West Side spot. The hand-made, crisp dough with a chewy center, fresh chunks of mozzarella, and sauce made form San Marzano tomatoes rightfully earned this place its VPN (that's Vera Pizza Napoletana, an international pizza delegation that really exists) certification. Between it's pizza, other Italian staples like hand-made pasta, and rustic atmosphere, eating here feels less like Chicago and more like the Italian coast.

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6. Mity Nice 835 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611 (Gold Coast)

Nestled behind Water Tower Place, this sleek eatery puts a refined spin on time-honored American dishes like deviled eggs, mac n' cheese, salads, burgers, meatloaf, and filet mignon. The wide-reaching food menu emphasizes local ingredients and features an array of gluten-free offerings, as well as a solid brunch selection (pro tip: try the sweet corn eggs benedict with avocado hollandaise). Mity Nice is a popular lunch locale, but don't worry -- between the full bar, center tables, and booths, there's ample seating in this cafeteria-like space.

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7. Imperial Lamian 6 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL (River North)

Set on a prominent corner in River North, this stunning upscale Chinese resto balances a chic, trendy atmosphere with authentic fare. The space boasts a cozy bar, semi-private and private dining areas, and a sweeping main dining room with an open kitchen focal point, as well as vibrant murals painted by a local artist and eye-catching design details like birdcages suspended above the entry and abacus partitions between booths. The menu is similarly intricate, and spans from hand-pulled lamian, dim sum, and bao packed with duck, crab, and more.

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