Top spots for Chicago brunches

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The Publican

  • Price band: 2/4

Diners come to this megaproject from Paul Kahan and crew for three things: to sample the massive list of brews while basking in the golden-hued, beer hall–like space; run through the current

  1. 837 W Fulton Market, (at Green St)
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Birchwood Kitchen

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

No matter what the weather’s like outside, it is always cheery at this café. Lunch sandwiches—wine-braised pot roast on a baguette, grilled goat cheese with curried cauliflower on

  1. 2211 W North Ave, (between Leavitt St and Bell Ave)
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HotChocolate

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Mindy Segal rehabbed her Bucktown restaurant in the spring of 2012, making it sunnier and adding a huge garage door that opens to let in warm weather. Segal—first and foremost a pastry chef—also

  1. 1747 N Damen Ave, (at Willow St)
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Trenchermen

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Brothers Mike and Pat Sheerin opened their long-awaited restaurant in 2012, and despite Mike's departure to pursue his new projects in 2013, the menu has remained just as strong. Sheerin's dishes are

  1. 2039 W North Ave, (between Damen and Hoyne Aves)
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Lula Cafe

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

For more than a decade, “consciously sourced,” “thoughtfully prepared” and “sustainable” have been traits of food that one could fairly describe as being “so Lula.” But these

  1. 2537 N Kedzie Blvd, (between Linden Pl and Logan Blvd)
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Café Selmarie

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

You might have stopped by this Lincoln Square bakery for a croissant to go and missed the dining room hidden in back. The first-come, first-served policy means you’ll have a half-hour wait for

  1. 4729 N Lincoln Ave, (between Leland and Lawrence Aves)
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Jam

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Just as at breakfast, which often starts with an amuse-bouche, dinner at the recently relocated Jam is a high-low experience. The soups (a homey vegetable chili on one visit) are poured tableside

  1. 3057 W Logan Blvd, (between Albany Ave and Whipple St)
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Big Jones

  • Price band: 2/4

Chef-owner Paul Fehribach brings the coastal South to Andersonville at this homey (and, frankly, bizarrely decorated) spot. But this is not simply jambalaya and gumbo—Fehribach approaches his food

  1. 5347 N Clark St, (between Summerdale and Balmoral Aves)
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Nightwood

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4

There are exactly four bad seats at Nightwood. Anyone seated in the front dining room, along the open-kitchen countertop or at the intimate downstairs communal tables might never notice this pair of

  1. 2119 S Halsted St, (between 21st St and Cermak Rd)
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Southport Grocery and Café

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Go ahead and believe the hype about the cupcake here: It’s moist, it’s substantial but not heavy, and the thick, sugary icing hides deep flavors of chocolate and vanilla. If you’re going to

  1. 3552 N Southport Ave, (at Eddy St)
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