Breakfast deals | Cheap eats

Breakfast takes plenty of forms – what for some is just a croissant and coffee is, for others, a five-egg omelette. That's the nature of the meal. But there's one thing breakfast isn't: Brunch. Brunchers wake up hungover so they can wait in line and drop 20 bucks on a plate of hollandaise. They don't just drink coffee throughout their meal-they cradle takeout cups of the stuff in line, liquid courage to help them cope with what they're about to do.


Breakfast is different. Breakfasters wake up early, and get their first taste of coffee about the same time they turn to page A2. They diversify, consuming sweet carbs and salty pork products, and because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day but also the cheapest, they seldom spend more than $10. And yet the meal is still a luxury: It's about newspapers, and about starting somewhere other than a cubicle. It's peace at the front of your day, and armor for the rest of it. Whatever happens after breakfast is out of your hands. But now that you've eaten, you can probably handle it.


Waffles

In our search for the perfect Belgian waffle, we found several contenders. But only one was perfect.

Coffee

These breakfast spots brew a mean cup of joe.

Eggs

A guide to how eggs are done right-and, more important, where.

Bacon

Where to get the best bacon in Chicago.

Sausage

The difference between brunch sausage and breakfast sausage isn't quality. It's availability.

French toast

Four indulgent takes on custard-dipped bread.

Diner deals

How do the city's greasy spoons stack up?

Steak

It's tough to score a decent breakfast steak in Chicago these days, but a few options await those in need of charred flesh in the morning.

Pancakes

The cakes at Tre Kronor, Ina's and m. henry are among the best.

Breakfast breads

When nothing but sugar and fat will get you through the day, it's time to reach for Chicago's best pastries.

We rank Chicago's breakfasts

We ate at dozens of city breakfast spots so you can start your mornings at some of the best.

Maple syrup taste test

With the price of maple syrup reaching an all-time high, which one is worth spending your dough on?

Hash browns versus breakfast potatoes

A Chicago writer decides which potatoes have her heart: hash browns or home fries.