In Chicago, brunch is two things: a chance to replenish and a mandatory social experience. Whether you're catching up over short stacks or battling a nasty hangover with more booze, the beloved morning meal has something for everyone. Chicago's top restaurants pull double duty to offer decadent morning dishes that are sure to perk you up—no matter what time you roll out of bed. Looking for bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys? Check. A good mix of savory and sweet options? Check, check. Instagram-worthy surrounds? Got it. We rounded up our favorite brunch options—the ones we return to weekend after weekend for excellent service and restorative bites. If you're planning a weekend brunch in Chicago, check out our go-to spots.
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Best Chicago brunch restaurants
If there is a lovelier place to grab brunch in all of Chicago, we have yet to find it. Cellar Door Provisions is so tiny that if you blink, you might just miss it. We recommend keeping your eyes wide open so that you can taste the delicious treats coming out of the kitchen. The menu changes daily, but expect loads of super seasonal ingredients, soul-warming preparations and some of the most daring fare in the city.
For a touch of bohemian glam for brunch, this is the Sunday revival you need. Start with a spicy Bloody Mary or go for a flight of beer and order a doughnut immediately—it’s warm and doughy on the inside with a crunchy sugary crust that’s making us second guess what our favorite doughnut in the city is. From there you have a few choices to make, but we’ll try to make it simple: The duck confit hash and a big bowl of crunchy and tender fried kennebec potatoes with béarnaise. The hash comes with a huge amount of confit that’s amazingly tender and the potatoes are the perfect side bar none.
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.
This no-frills Humboldt Park café is serious about its French-inspired eats, and brunch is the best time to dabble in a little bit of everything. We recommend ordering from the a la carte menu, where you can piece together a well-rounded spread of caviar toast, sauteed calf brains, griddle cakes and seared foie gras. If you're looking for something of the Americana variety, there's a customizable breakfast sandwich on the menu, too. Do save room for the expertly crafted pastries or take a few to go.
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.
It's time to change up your brunch routine, and Mott St. is the perfect place to do it. The West Town restaurant offers an enticing lineup of Asian-remixed brunch classics. Try the kimchi fried rice, black bean shrimp and grits or the eggplant Benedict. Looking to hit the reset button after an indulgent weekend? Our favorite menu item is the Bowl of Awesome, a serving of creamy yogurt topped with all kind of healthy goodies including raw honey, bee pollen, hemp seeds and seasonal fruit.
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.
When calories don't count (every Sunday), book it to Bridgeport for hearty English-influenced eats at Pleasant House Pub. Craving something savory? Opt for the Royal Breakfast Butty, house-cured pork belly topped with a sunny-side up egg, cheddar, arugula and special sauce on a brioche bun. Or cure your sweet tooth with the vanilla bread pudding French toast, which is soaked in custard and adorned with seasonal fruit, maple syrup and chantilly cream.
By now, you've probably visited Sarah Grueneberg's pasta palace for dinner. (If not, stop whatever you're doing and make a reservation already.) Now it's time to venture back to the West Loop spot to try the lunch menu, which is available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 11:30am. You'll be able to enjoy many of the same dishes that appear on the dinner menu—octopus spiedino, 'nduja arancini and egg yolk raviolo—and try Grueneberg's take on brunch fare. The ricotta crespelle with roasted peach, cashew milk and oat granola is a good place to start, but purists will love the tigelle egg sandwich with bacon, broccoli schmear, tomato and parm fonduta.
At this adorable, sunny, daytime-only café, health food is tasty enough to eat. 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 breakfast bread pudding 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.
Live large and head to Bridgeport for Sunday brunch at chef Kevin Hickey's neighborhood spot. The Duck Inn specializes in all things savory with menu items like chiliquelles with scallion crema, duck confit hash and fried cheese curds served with Bloody Mary ketchup. If you must, toss in a side order of beignets or a sticky bun to satisfy your sweet tooth. There's a short list of brunch cocktails to choose from, too—from mimosas and Bloody Marys to The Devil's Tongue, a mix of cachaça, blackberry liqueur, habanero shrub, lime and ginger beer.
This Logan Square whiskey bar 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.
Brunch at Soho House? While it sounds uber exclusive, locals know that the hotel's lobby is open to the public and serves fantastic brunch bites. Grab a seat at a long communal table or settle into a cozy nook and order a round of breakfast-friendly cocktail. From there, you'll peruse menu options like house-made pastries, basil-studded avocado toast, breakfast pizza and house granola with Greek yogurt and berries. Bring your laptop and plug in or get lost a copy of the day's paper, which are scattered throughout the space.
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.
If you prefer your brunch with a side of scene, there's no better spot than 3 Arts Club Cafe inside Restoration Hardware in the Gold Coast. The tree-filled, glass-topped space is decked out in chandeliers, expensive furniture (of course) and an epic fountain. Be prepared to wait it out before you're able to get your hands on proper bites like a lobster roll, toast and jam, granola and a pristine scramble. A glass of champagne makes the perfect accessory here.
This is the brunch to save for an extra special occasion (or when mom's in town), but rest assured it's worth every penny. Guests are treated to four courses that regularly change, and you’ll see some of chef Iliana Regan’s signature items throughout the meal—think whiskey-glazed doughnuts, boules and owl-shaped foie gras. Drinks can be ordered a la carte or as a pairing (three full cocktails if you’re looking to get your morning going). We loved the rosewater mimosa concoction and their take on a Bloody Mary with tomatillo and jalapeño.
Find a pre- or post-brunch drink
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.