The 100 best dishes in Chicago 2014: breakfast and brunch

These 14 plates, from eggs benedict to grits, are the best breakfast and brunch dishes of the year

Brunch in Chicago is practically an art form, with brunch restaurants heaving with people partaking in biscuits and gravy, bacon and a coffee cockail (or two) every weekend. But Chicagoans also love breakfast, and occasionally stop for a fancy pastry or doughnut on the way into the office. The result of all this morning eating? Our list of the 14 best breakfast and brunch dishes this year.

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Best breakfast and brunch dishes

Poached eggs at Avec
1/14

Poached eggs at Avec

This updated eggs benedict swaps the English muffin for sourdough toast and opts for a lemony hollandaise sauce. But the secret is a layer of ‘nduja, a spreadable pork sausage that adds spiciness to the dish. $12.

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West Loop
Honey Badger at Bad Wolf Coffee
2/14

Honey Badger at Bad Wolf Coffee

You won’t go wrong with any pastry Jonathan Ory makes, but right now we’re crazy about his latest offering, the honey badger, a sweet honey almond cake that’s a play on a bear claw. $4.

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Lake View
Grits at Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse
3/14

Grits at Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse

Dave and Megan Miller are grinding these grits in-house from a combination of yellow, red and blue corn, resulting in the freshest, creamiest grits in Chicago. $9.25.

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Lincoln Square
Oatmeal at Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse
4/14

Oatmeal at Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse

You haven’t had oatmeal until you’ve had Baker Miller’s perfect al dente oats, dressed with milk, cultured cream, raw sugar and other rotating toppings. $7.75.

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Lincoln Square
Chicken ‘n a biscuit at the Bristol
5/14

Chicken ‘n a biscuit at the Bristol

Fried chicken, fluffy biscuits, sausage gravy, and a heap of bread and butter pickles—Chris Pandel knows how to make our brunch dreams come true. $13.

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Bucktown
Garlic bagel with sriracha spread at Brobagel
6/14

Garlic bagel with sriracha spread at Brobagel

The soft, garlic-studded bagel is enjoyable, but it’s the sriracha spread—lightly spicy and a little sweet—that elevates this combination to must-eat status. $2.74.

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Wicker Park
Carrot cake doughnut at Do-Rite Donuts
Photograph: Anjali M. PInto
7/14

Carrot cake doughnut at Do-Rite Donuts

With a vanilla-glazed carrot cake base and topped with a hefty spoonful of barely sweet cream cheese frosting, this doughnut is the next best thing to eating cake for breakfast. No longer available, but may come back after the holidays.

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Loop
Portuguese egg tarts at Fat Rice
Photograph: Martha Williams
8/14

Portuguese egg tarts at Fat Rice

Fat Rice launched brunch this spring, adding three additional meal times. It also added these tiny sweet egg tarts, which the menu says are made with “puff pastry, custard, love, secrets.” Oh, Fat Rice. We love you, too. Two for $5.

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Logan Square
Flapjacks at Gather
Photograph: Anthony Soave
9/14

Flapjacks at Gather

At first glance, this tower of pancakes looks rather daunting. But once you start eating the incredibly fluffy pancakes, topped with whipped butter and maple syrup, you’ll wonder how they disappeared so quickly. $10.

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Lincoln Square
Everything monkey bread at GT Fish & Oyster
Photograph: Nick Murway
10/14

Everything monkey bread at GT Fish & Oyster

The soft warm knobs of bread are seasoned exactly like an everything bagel. Pull them apart, dip them in dill buttermilk cream sauce and devour. $7.

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River North
Soft scrambled egg on toast at Kinmont
Photograph: Martha Wiliams
11/14

Soft scrambled egg on toast at Kinmont

Not only are these velvety-soft eggs scrambled with smoked whitefish and topped with salmon roe and crème fraiche, they come with perfect sourdough toast. That the dish is available for both brunch and dinner is just a bonus. $10.

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River North
Assorted pastry abbondanza at Nico Osteria
Photograph: Amy Cavanaugh
12/14

Assorted pastry abbondanza at Nico Osteria

Smile at your server, because she selects the four items on your pastry board. While there are zero misses among Amanda Rockman’s pastries, you absolutely want yours to include the sweet and crumbly chestnut coffee cake and the kouign amann, flaky and buttery with a caramelized edge. $16.

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Gold Coast
Cronut at Table Fifty-Two
Photograph: Martha Williams
13/14

Cronut at Table Fifty-Two

We did not expect to jump on the cronut bandwagon—until we tried Table Fifty-Two’s version. So warm! So buttery! We can see why people were lining up for hours for these in New York. No longer available.

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Rush & Division
Waffle at the Winchester
Photograph: Martha Williams
14/14

Waffle at the Winchester

The Liege waffles are just casually sitting under glass on the counter at the Winchester, waiting for you to notice them. Grab a whole or half size of the yeasty, caramelized treat to go with coffee or tack one onto your brunch order. $2.50/$5.

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East Village

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