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Wake 'n Bake Chicago
Photograph: Neil Burger

The best brunch in Chicago to try right now

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

By Morgan Olsen
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Brunch all but disappeared from our weekend itineraries in 2020, when Chicago restaurants shut down and city-dwellers stayed home. But now, it seems, the leisurely tradition is back with plenty of ways to enjoy, including dine-in service as well as takeout and delivery. The best brunch in Chicago offers a stacked menu of morning favorites—from breakfast burritos and French toast to eggs benedict and hash browns. If you're looking to drink as much as you eat, you might want to check out our list of the finest bottomless brunches Chicago has to offer. Next time you're searching for things to do in Chicago this weekend, consider eating your way through the best brunch in Chicago.

RECOMMENDED: Find the best breakfast in Chicago

Best brunch in Chicago

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

1. Lula Cafe

Restaurants Eclectic Logan Square

Lula Cafe's dining room and patio are still closed to dine-in guests, but that doesn't mean you're barred from getting your breakfast burrito fix. Reserve a to-go brunch box that comes packed with a pastry, leafy salad and—of course—the fan-favorite classic breakfast burrito. For vegan and gluten-free diners, there's the tofu market vegetable scramble, granola and greens. Toss in coffee, a mimosa kit or a bottled Bloody Mary. Once you've claimed your box, find a quiet place to lounge in Logan Square Park, a stone's throw from Lula Cafe.

2. Batter & Berries

Restaurants American Sheffield & DePaul

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.

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Tzuco
Photograph: Diego Padilla

3. Tzuco

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 uses his morning menu to showcase a lineup of house-made Mexican pastries, including conchas, banana and Nutella rolls and chocolate croissants imbued with traditional spices. Of course, you should save room for delectable entrées like the chorizo crepe, steak-studded chilaquiles and the orange-scented French toast. A round of micheladas for the table is a must.

Duck fat dog at The Duck Inn
Photograph: Martha Williams

4. The Duck Inn

Restaurants American Bridgeport

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

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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

5. m. henry

Restaurants American Edgewater

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.

Peach's
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

6. Peach’s Restaurant

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.

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Blood sausage hash and roe scramble at The Publican.
Photograph: Martha Williams

7. The Publican

Restaurants American West Loop

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 stacked biscuit sandwiches, whitefish-topped bagels and pork schnitzel sandwiches. Promote yourself to hero status when you order the maple-braised bacon for the table to share.

Luella's Southern Kitchen
Photograph: John Khuu

8. Luella’s Southern Kitchen

Restaurants Soul and southern American Lincoln Square

Chef-owner Darnell Reed taps into his grandmother Luella's southern roots and the recipes he learned as a child with this Southern restaurant. On the brunch front, that translates to soul-soothing dishes like brown sugar and bourbon French toast, Nashville hot chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and kale ambrosia—all available when you dine in or grab and go.

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etta, jaclyn rivas, wicker park, food, restaurant
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

9. etta

Restaurants Wicker Park

Look, if you want pizza for breakfast, who are we to judge? This buzzy Wicker Park restaurant 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.

Pilsen Yards
Photograph: Sammy Faze Photography

10. Pilsen Yards

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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Evette's
Photograph: Max Kilibarda / Waypost Creative

11. Evette’s

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, no-reservations storefront is the brainchild of Mitchell AbouJamra (DMK Group) and Rafa Esparza (Finom), who named the restaurant after AbouJamra's grandmother (or teta in Lebanese). The menu explores Lebanon's many influences on Mexican cuisine through easy-to-love breakfast dishes like Teta's eggs, which finds ground kefta-style hamburger and scrambled eggs cradled inside a Lebanese pita.

summer house, summer house santa monica, brunch, breakfast, pancakes, Jordan Johnson
Photograph: Jordan Johnson

12. Summer House Santa Monica

Restaurants American Lincoln Park

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, chicken tinga tacos with guac, or the charred summer corn elotes that's imbued with jalapeños and queso fresco. Oh, and don't forget your winter cooat on your way out.

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Rye Deli & Drink
Photograph: Neil Burger

13. Rye Deli & Drink

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; they're upgraded with labneh shmear to create the ideal morning handheld. 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.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

14. Pleasant House Pub

Restaurants British Lower West Side

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 Hopewell Lil Buddy 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.

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Wake 'n Bake Chicago
Photograph: Neil Burger

15. Wake ’n Bacon

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 peach crumble crepes are stuffed with vanilla-lemon cream cheese and covered in stone fruit and granola.

Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

16. Beatnik

Restaurants Mediterranean East Village

Mornings are an otherworldly experience at this trendy West Town hideaway from the folks behind Celeste. If you can, nab a spot toward the front of the restaurant, where sunlight pours in from the atrium-style ceiling and lush greenery fills the room. The morning menu is a global affair with dishes like bulgogi fried rice, smoked baba ghanoush and arepas stuffed with pork cheek.

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Marie-Jeanne
Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

The best breakfast restaurants in Chicago

Restaurants

The only thing that makes getting out of bed enjoyable is the best breakfast in Chicago—fluffy eggs, a mug of piping-hot coffee, a stack of pancakes and a pile of greasy bacon. Your mother was right: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

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