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Photograph: Marzena AbrahamikLe Chet Noir at Avec
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Photograph: Martha WilliamsCarriage House Red Eye
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Photograph: Martha WilliamsBreakfast of Champions at Fat Rice
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Photograph: Martha WilliamsMillionaire's Coffee at Kingsbury Street Cafe
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Photograph: Martha WilliamsCoffee Drank at Stella Barra
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Photograph: Johnny AuerWake & Bake at Trenchermen

6 coffee cocktails to try at brunch

Move over, Bloody Mary. This spring, Chicago brunch spots are all about coffee cocktails


Which brunch beverage to order always seems to present a challenge. Bloody Marys don’t work with sweet dishes. Just ordering coffee means you’re missing out on booze, one of the best parts of brunch.

Enter the coffee cocktail. Not only do you get a jolt of caffeine, you get some booze, too, whether it’s in the form of brandy, bourbon or RumChata. We've seen more and more lately (including some at our 20 best brunch restaurants). Here are six coffee cocktails to try at brunch this weekend.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to brunch in Chicago

Coffee cocktails to drink at brunch

Le Chet Noir at Avec
Photograph: Marzena Abrahamik


Restaurants Mediterranean West Loop

Le Chet Noir
Most brunch cocktails are upfront with their spiciness or sweetness, but not Avec’s elegant Le Chet Noir. Chilled coffee is spiked with a bit of bourbon, then there’s vanilla syrup for sweetness and a cherry garnish. You barely notice the alcohol in here, and it just tastes like a perfect iced latte.—Amy Cavanaugh

Carriage House
Photograph: Martha Williams

Carriage House

Restaurants Creole Wicker Park

Carriage House Red Eye
This combination of our two greatest vices (booze and caffeine) is heavy on the alcohol, but still way too sweet. The La Colombe cold press coffee would better balanced with a little less creme de cacao, but we certainly won't complain about the ratio of El Dorado 5 year rum. Order the Bloody Mary—which packs a lot of heat—as well, and alternate between the two.—Erin Delahanty

Breakfast of champions cocktail at Fat Rice.
Photograph: Martha Williams

Fat Rice

Restaurants South Asian Logan Square

Breakfast of Champions
Fat Rice’s coffee cocktail would be delicious beyond brunch hours. Made with coffee, brandy, an egg white, lemon and chocolate bitters, it’s smooth and dry, with a frothy cap and bitter notes running through it. Its dryness means it works even when paired with main courses like shrimp lacassa, and especially with the custard egg tarts.—AC

Kingsbury Street Cafe
Photograph: Martha Williams

Kingsbury Street Cafe

Restaurants Contemporary American River North

Millionaire’s Coffee
Yes, this coffee cocktail (coffee, RumChata, Kahlua, Frangelico, whipped cream) is something your mom would order, but for a different reason. Hers: because she loves Kahlua (the coffee liqueur is quite overpowering in this drink). Yours: because you are both hungover and tired.—Laura Baginski

Coffee Drank at Stella Barra.
Photograph: Martha Williams

Stella Barra

Restaurants Pizza Lincoln Park

Coffee Drank
Served in a pint glass, this cocktail is made with Dark Matter cold brew, rum, bourbon, cream and vanilla, with nutmeg on top. It’s boozy, yes, but there’s enough coffee in here to skip a cup and it’s not so sweet that you can’t drink it while eating breakfast pizza.–AC

Coffee cocktail at Trencherman
Photograph: Johnny Auer


Restaurants Contemporary American Wicker Park

The Wake & Bake
The Wake & Bake—yes, that's the real name—tasted a lot like what we'd imagine a Frappuccino would taste like if you added booze to it (both coffee liqueur and Kringle cream). It's nice for those mornings when you need a coffee boost but still want to start drinking before noon. Plus, we can't complain whenever we have the opportunity to eat—or in this case, drink—Kringle.—ED


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