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
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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.

RECOMMENDED: The 100 best dishes and drinks in Chicago

Best breakfast and brunch dishes

Restaurants, Mediterranean

Poached eggs at Avec

icon-location-pin West Loop

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.

Restaurants, Cafés

Honey Badger at Bad Wolf Coffee

icon-location-pin Lake View

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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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 bac
Photograph: Anjali M. PInto
Restaurants, Bakeries

Carrot cake doughnut at Do-Rite Donuts

icon-location-pin Loop

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.

Egg tarts - Fat Rice
Photograph: Martha Williams
Restaurants, South Asian

Portuguese egg tarts at Fat Rice

icon-location-pin Logan Square

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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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.
Photograph: Anthony Soave
Restaurants, Contemporary American

Flapjacks at Gather

icon-location-pin Lincoln Square

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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Soft scrambled eggs - Kinmont
Photograph: Martha Wiliams
Restaurants, Seafood

Soft scrambled egg on toast at Kinmont

icon-location-pin River North

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.

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 cof
Photograph: Amy Cavanaugh
Restaurants, Seafood

Assorted pastry abbondanza at Nico Osteria

icon-location-pin Gold Coast

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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Cronut - Table Fifty Two
Photograph: Martha Williams
Restaurants, Soul and southern American

Cronut at Table Fifty-Two

icon-location-pin Rush & Division

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.

Waffles at The Winchester.
Photograph: Martha Williams
Restaurants, American

Waffle at the Winchester

icon-location-pin East Village

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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