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Summer House Santa Monica brunch dishes
Photograph: Jordan Johnson

The best brunch in Chicago to try right now

Rise and shine for eggs, waffles and more brunchy goodness at Chicago's best restaurants

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen
Contributor
Samantha Nelson
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Brunch is the perfect way to start your day, giving you the chance to fuel up with coffee and eggs or share a leisurely meal with friends where you enjoy bottomless booze and decadent dishes like stuffed French toast while taking in the views from a rooftop bar. While many restaurants eliminated their brunch menus as they focused on lunch and dinner, some of the best restaurants in Chicago are still serving one of our favorite meals. When you’re considering the best things to do in Chicago this weekend, start your adventures with a fantastic meal by hitting up a spot that serves the best brunch in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Find the best breakfast in Chicago

Best brunch in Chicago

  • Restaurants
  • Eclectic
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

When Lula Cafe opened in 1999, it helped turn Logan Square into a dining destination while fueling the city’s farm-to-table movement. The cafe's brunch menu offers a more laid back way to experience chef Jason Hammel’s cooking, which emphasizes seasonal produce in dishes like a summer squash breakfast sandwich with soft scrambled eggs and brioche French toast with peaches. Add a Bloody Mary or mimosa, or blend your booze with caffeine by ordering an espresso martini made with mezcal and cold brew. And try to get a seat on the patio, assuming it's warm outside.

  • Restaurants
  • River North

When one of the best restaurants in Chicago starts offering brunch, you can rest easy knowing that it's a safe bet. Chef-owner Carlos Gaytán offers a mix of sweet and savory entrées like Belgian waffles served with duck leg carnitas, sweet potato puree, and poached egg, and orange-scented French toast served with Mexican chocolate cream and berries. Share a pitcher of sangria made with brandy, hibiscus and mint or opt for something spicier with a michelada served in a Tajin-rimmed glass with an optional Fernet-Vallet chaser. Finish off your meal with horchata tres leches or blueberry pie.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Bridgeport
  • price 2 of 4

Spend Sunday mornings in Bridgeport, where The Duck Inn is ready and waiting with strawberry and cream French toast, rotisserie duck hash, buttermilk biscuits and a seemingly endless supply of Bloody Mary mix. Ordering for the table? The sticky buns and fried cheese curds with bloody mary ketchup are musts for munching. Psst! You can always order your favorite handhelds from Duck Inn Dogs and Decent Beef.

  • Restaurants
  • Wicker Park

Look, if you want pizza for breakfast, who are we to judge? This buzzy restaurant, with locations in River North and Bucktown, balances out its brunch menu with staples, like avocado toast and huevos rancheros, alongside wood-fired pies topped with pepperoni, 'shrooms and giardiniera. Toss in a basket of breads and pastries for the table, or go boozy with a bottle of bubbles and accompanying juices.

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  • Restaurants
  • Soul and southern American
  • Lincoln Square
  • price 1 of 4

Chef-owner Darnell Reed taps into his great grandmother Luella's southern roots and the recipes he learned as a child with this casual, counter-service Southern restaurant. On the brunch front, that translates to soul-soothing dishes like French toast—with a different flavor offered every month—plus Nashville hot chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and chicken gumbo. Complete your meal with an order of housemade buttermilk biscuits with seasonal jam.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Edgewater
  • price 1 of 4

At this sweet, sunny, daytime-only café, health food is tasty enough to crave. The owners are committed to organics and offer meat-free options, but they’re okay with a little cheese, butter and sugar every now and then. Case in point: thick, dense blackberry pancakes and a heaping breakfast sandwich of fried egg, Gorgonzola, applewood-smoked bacon and fresh thyme. If that’s too good and gooey for you health nuts, there’s always the Vegan Epiphany, an organic tofu scramble that just may live up to its name.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Grand Boulevard

Whether you're dining in or ordering to go, the menu at Peach's is a study in southern indulgence. The garlicky shrimp and grits is a Day One favorite, while the peach-bourbon French toast offers a sweet fix. Regulars will tell you that the salmon croquettes are a non-negotiable, so go ahead and add those to your order, too.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • North Center

The restaurant and cider bar’s brunch menu is small but filled with winning dishes from executive chef Michael McCloud that celebrate owner Dr. Markus Chwajol’s Czech heritage—delicacies like crispy pork schnitzel served atop a lemon poppyseed waffle and a puffed pancake baked in a cast-iron skillet with apples and topped with whipped cinnamon cream. A mimosa flight served on a paddle offers variations on the beloved morning cocktail made with rosé or prosecco and various fruit juices. It’s perfect for sipping on Cobblestone's shaded plant-lined patio.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Sheffield & DePaul
  • price 1 of 4

The name of this restaurant alone makes us crave brunch—no matter the time of day. That feeling isn't unfounded, as Batter & Berries deals in omelets, pancakes, waffles and breakfast sandwiches. But the star of this menu is the French toast, which comes in four distinct flavors: blueberry, strawberry, caramel and lemon. Regulars know that the best way to order is through the French Toast Flight, which affords you a taste of each.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Lower West Side

Named after a bygone lumberyard in the area, Pilsen Yards replaces Monnie Burke's with a casual, music-fueled concept that specializes in tacos and other Mexican eats plus a long list of cocktails and beer. For brunch, go sweet with the tres leches concha toast or savory with the chilaquiles drenched in salsa roja. If you can, grab a spot on the covered outdoor patio that's festooned with heated cement floors and overhead heaters for maximum coziness.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Lincoln Park

Bridging the gap between Mediterranean flavors and traditional Mexican eats, Evette's is one of the only places in town where you'll find loaded pita nachos and halloumi tacos. The bright storefront is the brainchild of Mitchell AbouJamra (DMK Group) and named for his grandmother (or teta in Lebanese). The menu explores Lebanon's many influences on Mexican cuisine through easy-to-love breakfast dishes like a spin on huevos rancheros made with fried pita and lamb bacon hash fries made with pickled jalapenos, feta, and Za’atar mayo.

  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Greektown

Offering a modern take on old-school deli traditions and flavors, Rye Deli & Drink cranks out a menu of quality eats that are crafted by hand using sustainably sourced ingredients. Bagels are made in-house daily and come in flavors like blueberry, za'atar and blue masa with cinnamon. Try them as part of a bagel sandwich like the Turtles in a Half Shell, a Za’atar bagel with melted leek labneh, roasted tomatoes, eggs and gruyere. Looking for something that'll really pad your belly? Spring for the Brik House, a crispy crepe shell stuffed with eggs, fingerling potatoes, fresh herbs and house-made pastrami.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Logan Square
  • price 2 of 4

If you prefer savory to sweet and whiskey to bubbles, Longman & Eagle is the Holy Grail of Chicago's brunch offerings. The all-day menu boasts a few dishes that skew breakfast-y, like the baked eggs with tomato and pepper sauce or the smoked whitefish toast with olive tapenade. Purists will appreciate the Old Mil breakfast, with eggs, bacon, potatoes and an ice-cold can of Old Milwaukee. That's one way to start the day!

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • Lake View

Just like everything else on offer here, Farm Bar’s brunch menu features seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients including fruit and honey from owner TJ Callahan’s Brown Dog Farm in Wisconsin. Favorites include monkey bread with honey caramel sauce and powdered sugar or an open-faced breakfast sandwich featuring French toast covered in slow-roasted pork belly, a sunnyside egg, strawberry jam, melted Monterey Jack cheese and spicy potatoes. Perk up with an espresso martini or try a glass of Farm Bar's house cider.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • West Loop
  • price 2 of 4

Just like there's no need for an alarm on the weekends, there's no reason to be counting calories at brunch. This West Loop institution offers in-person and to-go dining for pigging out on steak ‘n eggs, burrata toast and green chili sausage. Promote yourself to hero status when you order the maple-braised bacon for the table to share.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Lincoln Park
  • price 2 of 4

No matter what the forecast looks like outside, this Lincoln Park restaurant from Lettuce Entertain You transports diners to sunny California through a bright and spacious dining room that's dotted with greenery. Choose from avocado toast loaded with tomatoes and scallion mascarpone, breakfast tostadas with pulled chicken and black beans, or the ahi tuna and watermelon tartare served with guacamole and housemade chips.

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  • Restaurants
  • Loop

For brunch with a view, you can't get much better than the skyline vistas that surround LondonHouse Chicago's rooftop, a tables or the couches. Perk up with a Cold Fashioned, a blend of bourbon, cold brew coffee and rum-barrel aged maple syrup and the banana split parfait which features fresh banana, Greek yogurt, honey, berries and edible flowers. For more substantial fare, opt for the chicken and waffles served with sides of hot sauce, maple syrup and truffled jalapeno honey butter.

  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Lower West Side
  • price 1 of 4

On the weekends, this sweet Pilsen pub serves a superb royal breakfast pie that's loaded with sausage, egg and melty cheese. It pairs nicely with a gin Bloody Mary and a pilsner beer back. Round out your meal with an order of curry chips or a Scotch egg, the latter of which comes wrapped in pork sausage, coated in breadcrumbs and fried to perfection. If you’re really hungry, order the English royal breakfast featuring fried eggs, bangers, rashers, black pudding, baked beans, grilled tomato, roasted mushrooms, sourdough toast, butter and jam (yes, that's a lot of food).

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • River North
  • price 4 of 4

Enjoy a luxurious brunch in the Langham Hotel’s second floor restaurant where you can take in the Chicago River views while dining on crispy skinned roasted king salmon and cauliflower spiced with harissa and tahini or the messy but delicious signature eight-ounce wagyu burger topped with truffle aioli, cheddar, bacon jam and pickles. Make sure to take a look at the cocktail menu, which offers complex but refreshing sippers like the Monet-inspired Water Lily Pond made with cucumber-mint vodka, elderflower liqueur and prosecco.

  • Restaurants
  • Lake View

We could all use a little CBD in our coffee. At Lakeview brunch spot Wake 'n Bacon, you can get the cannabis-derived compound added to just about everything on the menu. With the help of chef Will Silas, husband-and-wife team Gabriel and Sarah Ayala pulled from their respective heritages to build the food lineup, spotlighting dishes from Taiwan, Argentina, El Salvador, the Philippines and beyond. The purple-hued ube pancakes are topped with bacon, fried eggs, breakfast potatoes, pickled peppers, cheddar and spicy maple syrup. Craving something sweet? The Berry Bliss Crepes are stuffed with vanilla-lemon cream cheese and covered in sauteed berries and granola.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • East Village

Mornings are an otherworldly experience at this trendy West Town hideaway from the folks behind Celeste and Porto. Nab a spot in the front of the restaurant, where you’ll feel like you’re in the tropics thanks to the retractable roof and lush greenery, or head further in to be closer to the DJs and percussionists performing. The weekend brunch menu is a global affair with dishes like shakshuka, ceviche, and Moroccan pastilla plus equally globetrotting cocktails such as cardamom-infused Turkish coffee spiked with bourbon and walnut liqueur.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • Loop

Stop in before catching a matinee in the Theater District or taking a stroll through Grant Park and enjoy a brunch-friendly take on The Dearborn’s tavern-style pizza—a crispy crust topped with asparagus, goat cheese, prosciutto, grilled scallions, poached egg and truffle oil. You’ll also want to try pastry chef Julianna Westgor’s cinnamon roll monkey bread and beignets served with Nutella dip and raspberry jam. If you’ve got nowhere to be, take some time to sip an Irish coffee while you relax in one of the leather booths inspired by old school Chicago elegance.

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