If you're like us and can't resist a great Bloody Mary, you're probably going out to brunch all the time. Whether you're battling a hangover or just crave cup after cup of coffee and crazy French toasts, it's a meal that almost always manages to get you through the day. Thankfully, Chicago restaurant do brunch damn well, offering dishes that are sure to perk you up, no matter when you manage to roll out of bed. If you're planning a weekend brunch in Chicago, check out some of our go-tos.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to brunch in Chicago
Best Chicago brunch restaurants
Lula Cafe isn’t a vegetarian restaurant, but with dishes like a tofu-veggie scramble with ginger-miso sauce and a grain bowl with hazelnut vinaigrette, Jason Hammel’s menu appeals to vegetarian diners. Breakfast and brunch are available daily (except Tuesday), which means if you’re an ambitious Logan Square–ite, you can pop in for coffee and a vegetarian burrito before work. On weekends you’ll likely wait, but the house-made pastries, gingerbread French toast and a gin Bloody Mary are worth the trouble.
Technically, you're here for lunch, but lunch on the weekend feels like brunch, am I right? Plus, anywhere that's serving up biscuits and gravy for lunch is serving the dish to start your day off (the day just starts at 11:45am for Roister). Yes, you can get a variety of lunch dishes here—hot and sour soup, a juicy fried chicken sandwich with chamomile mayo—but you can also get steak and eggs (a splurge at $49) and grits with shrimp, crab curry and Thai basil. It's all the comforts that Roister in the evening has, but while the sun is still shining.
This West Loop spot is crowded during every meal, so you should probably make a reservation to cut the wait time and get right down to sharing orders of thick maple-syrup-braised bacon, egg scrambles and brunch pastries like coffee cake. Round out your meal by splitting orders of egg-topped frites and spicy pork rinds. The drinks, like a chipotle-tequila Bloody Mary and a $5 blend of Montenegro, beer and grapefruit juice, turn brunch into a party.
Brunch is served daily at Cherry Circle Room, where food from Peter Coenen and cocktails from Paul McGee combine for a wonderfully delicious meal. While you peruse the menu, start with the CCR Milk Punch—coffee mixed with bourbon, rum and milk—then try a smoky Red Snapper alongside baked eggs with prosciutto. By the time the egg-topped ham sandwich with gruyere or gooey triple cheeseburger arrives, you’ll be ready for a refreshing gin fizz made with Earl Grey tea. Once you’re done, spend the afternoon playing bocce and, yes, sipping cocktails in the adjacent Game Room.
This Logan Square whiskey bar and Michelin-starred restaurant already blends high- and lowbrow with its menu of whiskey shots and fancy plates. The brunch menu does, too—you can dig into a plate of eggs and bacon with a cold PBR on the side, while your date noshes on granola with smoked blueberries and horchata gel. But no matter what you get to eat, you can come together over Dark Matter coffee and excellent drinks. If you still have room after your meal, go next door to the OSB and grab one of Longman's gourmet doughnuts.
When was the last time you had eggplant enchiladas, avocado toast accented with green almond vinaigrette or Dark Matter nitro coffee on draft at a diner? Dove’s Luncheonette, the Southern-tinged Tex-Mex spot in Wicker Park, is not your average greasy spoon. If you overdid it last night, make your first order the Back to Life cocktail, a sundae glass crammed with marinated seafood and peppers, a.k.a. your magical hangover cure.
This celebration of Southern food in Andersonville is an idyllic place to brunch on Saturday and Sunday. With hearty dishes like biscuits and derbis gravy or corn griddle cakes, there's no chance you'll leave hungry. A curated list of brunch cocktails offer quick hair-of-the-dog remedies for the hungover (you can't go wrong with the Bloody Mary Jones).
John Manion's West Loop Latin American gem offers a delightful brunch menu with options like buttermilk doughnuts with coffee anglaise (drool), chilaquiles with fried plantains, soft shell crab Benedict and boozy brunch cocktails. In other words, you won't want to leave.
Brunching doesn’t have to derail your commitment to healthy eating—Beatrix offers dishes that are flavorful but light. Quinoa cakes with poached eggs come with a fresh tomato-basil sauce, 10-grain oatmeal gets a boost from dried cherries, and a menu of fresh-squeezed juices includes energizing power greens like kale, plus add-ins like pineapple and mint. After such a virtuous meal, reward yourself with a stop at the cookie bar for a perfectly sinful chocolate chip treat.
This River North seafood haven offers a sunny, reliable weekend brunch with a variety of sweet and savory menu items. If you can, grab a table near the window to catch some rays and enjoy ample people-watching. Don't skip the fried chicken and waffles—they're light, crispy and perfectly balanced. Seafood lovers should opt for the crab Benedict, clam chowder or shrimp and grits.
For those days when you don’t want to wait in line or just want a light brunch, head to Baker Miller for freshly milled grain dishes and biscuits. Think perfect grits topped with seasonal ingredients, oatmeal with sweet-cherry jam and cream, and warm sourdough cinnamon rolls. Be a peach and take some sprinkle sandwich-cookies home to your roommates.
During the week, we head to this British bar for burgers and pub fare, but on Sundays, we go for its wonderfully elegant brunch. Slather crumpets with butter and house-made jam while sipping Owen & Engine’s stout-coffee blend. Then move on to the savory Dutch baby, beef hash with duck egg or, for the very hungry, a steak and eggs paired with a potato and onion hash.
When you’ve had one too many Malört shots the night before, hangover grub is the quickest way to recover. Au Cheval is your best bet—try the English breakfast (creamy scrambled eggs, Texas toast, bacon and baked beans) or the chilaquiles (big enough for two, with warm salsa, guac and pickled onions). Oh, you just want the famous Au Cheval burger? You can get that, too, of course.
Beer lovers will fawn over this brunch, where you can sip brews, order a Bloody Mary with Purple Pils or opted for a kolsch beermosa. But the fun doesn't stop there. On the food front, there's coconut milk French toast with vanilla bean gelato and huckleberry jam (dessert for breakfast is totally acceptable here) or the Savoury Pancake, which is stuffed with baby kale, kimchi, cheese curds and a poached egg.
This eatery gets a lot of (much-deserved) love for its malted-custard French toast, but when we go to Jam, it’s for the inventive daily waffle, which is ever-changing. It may be a buckwheat waffle with whitefish and a quail egg in cremini-mushroom sauce or a blue cheese waffle with fried chicken. The chorizo omelet, packed with onions and piquillo peppers, is another worthy order.
With locally made products, house-made jams and baking mixes on the shelves, Southport Grocery and Cafe isn’t your run-of-the-mill grocery store. That’s because it also has a café that serves famous cupcake batter pancakes (that are surprisingly gluten free), an omelet filled with pimiento cheese, and biscuits and gravy with house-smoked brisket. When you’re done, pick up the ingredients to replicate these dishes at home.
Chicago kicks ass when it comes to Bloody Marys—clearly, because we're also stellar at brunch. Whether you're looking for a light cocktail to help slowly cure your hangover alongside a cup of coffee or need a big Bloody Mary that could practically function as its own dinner to go with a side of fries, Chicago's got you covered.