If there’s one thing we Chicagoans love (other than pizza, and sports teams, and craft beer, and drinking outdoors in spring), it’s brunch. Especially new brunch, which is why we're rounding up seven of those, featuring everything from pork belly Benedict to stone-cut oatmeal with whiskey raisins.
This Alpana Singh (The Boarding House) joint is both one of Chicago's best new restaurants and also now home to three types of pancakes (caramelized apple and pear Dutch, baby), duck hash, and Green Eggs & Ham Benedict with pork belly and cilantro hollandaise. Wanna go more "unch" than "br"? Try the cheeseburger (which gives Au Cheval a run for its money) or a chicken and duck club sandwich. Wash it all down with a 7L Bloody and a Malt Shoppe donut because this is America.
Between its inviting atmosphere and aggressively awesome offerings, the brunch experience at this new North Shore resto will have you loosening your belt a notch or two, specifically for the jaw-unhinging BLT piled high with thick-cut bacon, steak and eggs, or Hangover Fried Rice. Brunch-y cocktails? They've got those, too, like the frothy Lakefront Fizz (Zaya rum, Carpano vermouth, Montenegro Amaro, egg white, and nutmeg) and the Willy Wonka-themed "You’re Turning Violet, Violet" with Prosecco and crème de violette liquor.
Between 11am and 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays, Wicker Park’s favorite butcher shop/eatery is now serving up your new favorite protein-rich cure to whatever happened last night. Starting with a selection of charcuterie and cheese and a tall Butcher’s Bloody (complete with meaty garnish) is required by brunch law, while dishes like lobster polenta cake Benedict and banger-stuffed portobella put twists you didn't even know you wanted on all your favorites.
Chef Evan Behmer recently introduced a new prix fixe brunch menu entitled “Un Dia a Traves de Catalunya,” aka “A Day in Catalonia,” aka the meal begins with breakfast-y items -- such as toasted brioche with chorizo, a poached egg, truffle hollandaise, and porras with espresso dulce de leche -- then moves on to tapas-style second course options, and finishes with third courses like roasted suckling pig.
The new Sunday brunch service at this popular Italian spot runs between 10:30am and 2:30pm and features an American-informed brunch menu with a hearty dose of Italian flair from Chef Cameron Grant. The chocolate hazelnut-dipped, thick-cut bacon is non-negotiable, and the “Bang Bang” biscuits with carbonara gravy and ciabatta French toast are filling, always on point, and also bang bang.
The brunch menu at this popular new spot promises everything from stone-cut oatmeal with whiskey raisins & pecans, to bananas Foster crepes drizzled in burnt bourbon caramel, to beer-battered cod. Also: five cocktails on draft. Also ALSO: a wallet-friendly brunch special that includes your choice of one pastry item, one entrée under $15, and mimosas for $27.
This new neighborhood joint on Division is now offering brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, 11am-2pm, when they'll be serving awesome-sauce cocktails like the Sting Ray (tequila, tomatillo juice, cucumber juice, marjoram, garlic, lime, and Mexican hot sauce), and breakfast-leaning standouts like fried chicken and waffles doused in bourbon syrup, and a B&B burger on herb focaccia. Pro tip: grab some friends and enjoy a bottle of Champs and your choice of OJ or mango juice for the table -- for just TWELVE BUCKS.
1. Seven Lions130 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago
2. Ten Mile House1700 Central St, Evanston
3. Chop Shop2033 W North Avenue, Chicago
4. Mercat a la Planxa638 S Michigan Ave, Chicago
5. Osteria Langhe2824 W Armitage Ave, Chicago
6. Tippling Hall646 N Franklin St, Chicago
7. Barley & Brass2015 W Division St, Chicago
Elegant yet approachable, this new American clubhouse concept from Master Sommelier Alpana Singh (The Boarding House) is exactly what its Michigan Ave space called for. Chef Chris Curren’s menu is equal parts accessible and inspired, with starters ranging from fried chicken skins and pickles paired with sriracha mustard to Brussels sprout and burrata toast. Entrées run the gamut from comforting short ribs to perfectly flaky black cod with acorn squash, ricotta gnocchi, and Maitake mushrooms. And don't worry, there's alcohol, starting with Singh’s curated list of all-American wines.
Evanston welcomes Ten Mile House: a comfort food specialist inspired by the city’s oldest social gathering point. The inviting atmosphere reflects the equally inviting menu, which is loaded with deliciousness like wood-fired pizzas, a slow-cooked pork shoulder sandwich, poutine, and dry-rubbed baby back ribs.
Wicker Park's hybrid butcher shop/eatery/salumeria serves up stand-out, meat-oriented American fare such as the deli's Porchetta sandwich, a housemade pork loin wrapped in pork belly with asiago, arugula, apricot marmalade, and tomato on your choice of 7" or 12" French, white, or wheat bread. CS is a spacious joint -- a whopping 6,000 square foot event space -- so it's also great for hosting parties or business meetings.
The South Loop’s Mercat a la Planxa brings the Mediterranean to Michigan Ave from its post at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel. The menu is replete with Catalan-inspired tapas and cocktails from famed Spanish Chef Jose Garces. Start with a variety of cured meats (read: Jamón ibérico) and a pitcher of sangria before moving on to tapas like boquerones and pulpo con patatas. Finish with classic large-format items like paella and cochinillo asado (the latter of which must be ordered 72-hours in advance -- it is a whole suckling pig, after all).
This Logan Square spot seamlessly blends slow food (literally, there's snail confit) with fine wines, all while transporting you to the northern Italian countryside. Expect rich dishes like prosciutto-wrapped rabbit loin and hand-pinched ravioli tossed with Parmesan, thyme, and butter. You'll want to grab a table in the Giardino Segreto ("secret garden" in Italian), but heads up: you'll need a reservation to dine on this lovely patio, so be sure to plan ahead.
From the folks behind Mercadito Hospitality, Tippling Hall is a beer hall/cocktail lounge that focuses on "global comfort food" and boasts a highly impressive cocktail menu.
The same people who brought us excellent burger stop 25 Degrees have transformed the former Fame space on Division into a dimly lit, casual bar and eatery sporting plenty of leather seating and exposed brick alongside a marble-topped oak bar. Stop in for kegged cocktails, re-imagined classic cocktails, and an array of bar snacks including poutine, lollipop wings, and Greek-inspired sliders with feta and tzatziki.