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Don't mind us, we're just drooling at the Pochos steak skillet
Photograph: Courtesy Pochos

The 26 best brunch in Chicago to try right now

Rise and shine! The best brunch in Chicago includes delicious eggs, syrup-covered waffles, bottomless mimosas and more

Written by
Morgan Olsen
Contributors
Samantha Nelson
&
Allison Yates
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The origins of this late morning meal may be contested, but there’s no questioning Chicago’s admiration for brunch. From standards like pancakes and French toast to creative fusions like schnitzels and waffles or za’atar and blue corn bagels, you’ll find brunch at the best Chicago restaurants for whatever craving—or hangover cure—you’re after. And whether it’s to cozy up with close friends inside on a cold winter day, turn with a bottomless brunch or fuel up before exploring the city, there's a spot that has exactly what you need. Here’s where you’ll find 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 house-made buttermilk biscuits with seasonal jam.

  • Restaurants
  • Mckinley Park

This laid-back McKinley Park brunch spot welcomes dedicated local patrons and customers in search of homemade Mexican-American specialties. With hundreds sold each day, chilaquiles are the most popular at Pochos, but you can’t go wrong with any of the other menu items. For an interesting twist on classic brunch delicacies, try the honey butter chicken and waffles with habanero maple or the biscuit and chorizo gravy topped with a fried egg and jalapenos.

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  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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.

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

Just hearing the name of this restaurant 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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  • 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 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.

  • 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 and named for his grandmother (or teta in Arabic 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.

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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 house-cured salmon with a potato pancake. 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 chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, and the Wisconsin pimento sandwich with egg, chili-infused honey, Pimento 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
  • 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.

  • 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, ricotta tartine and green chili sausage. Promote yourself to hero status when you order the maple-braised bacon for the table to share.

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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. 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
  • Soul and southern American
  • Grand Boulevard
  • price 1 of 4

You’ll find a lot more than the namesake dish at this acclaimed Bronzeville spot. Celebrities like Chance the Rapper and Derrick Rose often stop in for made-from-scratch Southern favorites⁠—made with the help of top-secret family recipes, according to owner Tonya Johnson⁠—like catfish, candied yams, cornbread, mac and cheese, as well as chicken and waffles. Favorites include Monique’s Love, a classic chicken and waffles dish that includes a fried chicken breast and two waffles, or the Jimmy L, which is served with gizzards, livers, or giblets accompanying your waffle.

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  • 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).

  • 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 salmon poke 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.

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  • Restaurants
  • Filipino
  • River West/West Town

Though Uncle Mike’s Place is known as one of the best Filipino breakfast spots in the city, favorites like longanisa, Filipino sausage, and bangus (the unofficial national fish of the Philippines) didn’t make it to the menu until around 2008. When the economic recession pushed them to innovate, owners Michael Grajewski (the Uncle Mike) and Lucie Grajewski leaned on Lucie’s Filipino heritage. Among old-school leather seats and steaming griddles, you’ll find both American and Filipino dishes, including tocino with eggs and spam and egg sandwiches.

  • Restaurants
  • Lake View

Want a little CBD with your 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
  • Bakeries
  • West Loop
  • price 2 of 4

Located a short walk from other restaurants in celebrity chef Stephanie Izard’s culinary empire (Girl & the Goat, Duck Duck Goat), the menu at this trendy West Loop diner is comforting, familiar, and anything but standard. Globally inspired brunch items include a savory Japanese pancake, a scallion cheddar biscuit with eggs, and Sichuan pork sausage and smoked blueberries. Don't forget the Paratha Burrito, which fills Indian flatbread with eggs, cheese, chili pepper sauce, and avocado-bean salad. 

  • Restaurants
  • Puerto Rican
  • Wicker Park
  • price 1 of 4

A family-run, BYOB Puerto Rican staple in Humboldt Park’s Paseo Boricua, this bright, naturally-lit restaurant serves Chicago creations like the jibarito breakfast sandwich—a fried plantain sandwich with eggs, ham, lettuce, tomato, and garlic served with a side of coconut oatmeal. Breakfast is available daily, but you can head here Saturdays and Sundays for the city’s only Puerto Rican brunch buffet. Grab a café con Leche and savor the pastelon de huevo, a Puerto Rican egg casserole, along with pancakes, sweet plantains, and breakfast potatoes. 

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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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