GUIDE: Chicago Brunch Checklist

Brunch is the best meal. Sunshine, poached eggs, bacon, lots of coffee, and a Bloody Mary or two -- what more could a girl ask for?

Introducing my Chicago Brunch Checklist: 20 of the best Chicago brunch spots in the city, listed by neighborhood for your benefit and mine (because I need to know the closest brunch spot to me AT. ALL. TIMES.) 

Chicago Brunch Checklist | Best Chicago Brunch Spots by 312food

I hope you all have fun exploring! 

If you have a favorite place that I didn't include, let me know at the bottom of the post. I'd love to check it out.

And finally -- this post contains a TON of images. If you're on mobile, most of the images are hidden to make it better for small screens. If you want to see the full post, just open it on a desktop. Enjoy!

20 BEST CHICAGO BRUNCH SPOTS

ANDERSONVILLE

1. M. Henry

If you just love the perfect sweet brunch dish, then this is the place for you!

M. Henry has the most delicious pancake and french toast dishes -- thoughtfully plated and made with local, seasonal ingredients.

WHAT TO GET:

  • Lemon brioche french toast
  • Shrimp + crab cake eggs benedict
  • Cinnamon roll french toast
  • Bread pudding
  • Mochaccino

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RAVENSWOOD

2. Over Easy Cafe

I've only been here once, but it's easily once of the best Chicago brunch spots in the city. Their Sassy Eggs are TO. DIE. FOR.

Over Easy Cafe is a small spot, and they pretty much almost always have a line on the weekends -- but they won my heart immediately by offering free coffee outside to keep warm during the wait (I went in the winter).

WHAT TO GET:

  • Sassy Eggs: pork chorizo hash topped with two eggs any style, cheddar cheese, ancho ketchup, sour cream, & guacamole
  • Pozole; French Toast; Weekly Specials

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LINCOLN SQUARE

3. Pannenkoeken Cafe

This spot flies a little bit under the radar, and I don't really know why. It's SO worth the trip to Lincoln Square to stuff your face with these epic dutch pancakes.

It's tiny, so plan to wait at Pannenkoeken Cafe. It's worth it!!

WHAT TO GET:

  • Sweet pannenkoeken
  • Savory pannenkoeken
  • Belgian waffles

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LOGAN SQUARE

4. Lula Cafe

You can't go wrong with almost any menu item at Lula Cafe, a super delicious farm-to-table spot in Logan Square.

Like many of the other spots, plan to wait if you go on the weekends -- though if you time it right in the summer, you can wander around the LS Farmers' Market while you wait.

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Steak & eggs; ginger brioche french toast; grits specials; granola
  • Literally anything else (it's all awesome)

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HUMBOLDT PARK

5. Cafe Marie-Jeanne

There are some really creative and inventive dishes at Cafe Marie-Jeanne - like these floral uni scrambled eggs(!!).

They also have a to-go counter with tons of yummy pastries. YES, PLEASE.

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Uni scrambled eggs
  • Steak & eggs; ginger brioche french toast; grits specials; granola

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WICKER PARK

6. Dove's Luncheonette

Eggs on pretty blue plates abound at Dove's Luncheonette in Wicker Park.

It's an all-day breakfast spot with a southern-inspired Mexican menu. Sign me up!! 

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Burnt ends hash
  • Seafood ceviche
  • Chicken fried chicken
  • Cocktails

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7. Mott St

I am OBSESSED with Mott St's Asian-inspired brunch menu -- it's so delicious! Try the Bowl of Awesome if you want something truly unique.

On top of that, they have one of the best burgers in the city -- and you can get it on the brunch menu.

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Bowl of awesome
  • Pork jowl skillet
  • Kalbi & eggs
  • Mott burger 

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WEST TOWN

8. Uncle Mike's Place

My friend Seth introduced me to Uncle Mike's Place, an all-day Filipino breakfast & lunch spot in West Town.

Go hungry!!! It's a LOT of incredible food.

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Anything from the Filipino breakfast section
  • Marinated skirt steak

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9. Flo

It seems like many of the best Chicago brunch spots are still serving cereal in some way -- but not always in the ways you'd expect The Fruity Pebble French Toast is the real stand-out at Flo. That, or the Cocoa Puff French Toast.

They're both pretty epic. But you'll just have to try for yourself. 🙂

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Fruity pebble french toast
  • Cocoa puff french toast
  • Skirt steak eggs benedict
  • Ranchero burrito

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PILSEN

10. Dusek's

If you haven't been to Dusek's, you really should go. There's so much good food here -- and you'll want to bring some friends with you so you can try it all. Here are a few favorites--

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Chilaquiles
  • Chicken & waffles
  • Eggs benedict
  • Shakshouka
  • Breakfast flatbread

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BRIDGEPORT

11. Duck Inn

Duck Inn has a local, sustainable, seasonal menu and also an epic back patio. This is another spot where you'll want to bring a group -- it's hard to pick a favorite on this menu (or their dinner menu!).

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Duck hash
  • Nashville hot biscuit
  • Horchata french toast
  • Any grits dish

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CHINATOWN

12. Phoenix Restaurant

My friend Karen is THE go-to for all of the best Chinese food in the city, and I'm not going to pretend I don't ask her advice every single time I go to Chinatown, because I most certainly do (uhh.. sorry about that, Karen).

Her favorite is Phoenix Restaurant, and with good reason -- their dim sum brunch is incredible, and the most authentic to her family and friends from Hong Kong.

WHAT TO GET: 

  • KAREN'S MUST TRY: baked molten egg yolk bun - talk about #yolkporn!
  • Hom Sui Gok (saltwater dumpling)
  • Shiu Mai (open faced steamed dumplings)
  • Whole shrimp steamed rice crepes
  • Wu Gok (fried taro dumplings)
  • Sweet mini egg custard tots
  • Tip: ask for their house-made hot chili oil!

LITTLE ITALY

13. Stax Cafe

My friend Erica introduced me to Stax Cafe a few years ago, and I'm so glad she did.

It's a family business serving made-from-scratch breakfast dishes with fresh ingredients. Nothing super fancy here, just yummy breakfast food with quality ingredients.

WHAT TO GET: 

  • BBQ eggs benedict
  • French toast and crepes with fresh fruit
  • Adult grilled cheese
  • Fresh squeezed juices

WEST LOOP

14. The Publican

The Publican is on EVERY "best Chicago brunch" list because it is the best of the best. They have some of the most creative brunch dishes you'll find, and the thickest bacon on top of that.

I don't get there too often, but it is one of my favorite spots in the city for brunch OR dinner. Be sure to make a reservation if you go -- there's almost always a wait.

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Crab eggs
  • Thick cut bacon
  • Red wine poached eggs benedict
  • Dough baby
  • Literally anything else on the menu

BRONZEVILLE

15. Peach's Restaurant

My friend Ashley from Clean Plate Club introduced me to Peach's, a delicious breakfast and brunch spot in Bronzeville.

Go for the biscuits with peach compote and some amazing grits; stay for the fruity pebble pancakes. 

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Biscuits
  • Grits
  • Fried chicken
  • Fruity pebble pancakes

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THE LOOP

16. Heaven on Seven

Heaven on Seven is a neighborhood cajun spot tucked away on the 7th floor of a downtown office building with a SUPER delicious brunch.

Heads up: their brunch is on Saturdays only (they're closed all day on Sundays), and they're cash only - so bring your $!

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Bananas foster french toast
  • Shrimp + beef debris on parmesan grits
  • Gumbo + jalapeño cheddar cornbread
  • Bloody marys + hurricanes

RIVER NORTH

17. Baptiste & Bottle

Baptiste & Bottle is another somewhat hidden downtown spot, on the 20th floor of the Conrad Hotel.

They have some of the most beautiful, delicious dishes and inventive cocktails for brunch -- as well as dinner.

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Belgian waffle with berries
  • Huevos rancheros
  • Insane cocktails 

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LINCOLN PARK

18. Summer House Santa Monica

You didn't think I'd write a brunch list without avocado toast, did you?? Not only that, but no brunch list would be complete without a Summer House mention -- especially during the Chicago winter, when it's the perfect (momentary!) escape to a warmer, brighter place.

I've already mentioned one of their brunch dishes on my list of fancy smoked salmon dishes in Chicago, and here are a few other equally great brunch dishes.

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Avo toast
  • Shortrib hash // roasted vegetable hash
  • Lots of rosé
  • Cookies to go!

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LAKEVIEW

19. Mortar and Pestle

After a nice little lap around the city, we've finally made it to my home turf, Lakeview.

Mortar and Pestle serves weekday and weekend brunch and lunch. They don't take reservations, so try to come before or after peak brunch hours (or plan to wait a bit!).

WHAT TO GET: 

  • King crab benedict
  • Deviled eggs (specials rotate daily)
  • Truffle, foie, and creme fraiche scramble

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20. The Gundis

Last, but certainly not least is The Gundis. To my knowledge, this is the only Kurdish spot in the city -- and you've never had a brunch like their Breakfast for Two. 

It's a Kurdish FEAST, with a huge soft scramble in the center and countless plates of cheeses, olives, veggies, breads and sauces, and unlimited Kurdish tea surrounding it. If you go, you won't be disappointed. And, it's <$40 for two!

WHAT TO GET: 

  • Kurdish breakfast for two with soujouk
  • Kurdish baklawa crepes

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BEST CHICAGO BRUNCH SPOTS BY 312FOOD

I hope you enjoyed my Chicago Brunch Checklist. If you did, please help me out by sharing it using the buttons below or to the side.

OTHER CHICAGO GUIDES

And finally, see the links at the bottom of this post for some of my other Chicago guides. I hope you enjoyed! -Erin

20 Best Chicago Brunches - Neighborhood Brunch Guide by 312food.com

14 Comments

  1. August 23, 2017 / 3:14 pm

    OMG I haven’t been to so many of the places on this list. Adding to my must-visit list ASAP!

    Xoxo,

    Ashley || Sed Bona

    • 312food
      August 24, 2017 / 5:27 pm

      Let’s go together. Where first??

  2. John V. Karavitis
    August 24, 2017 / 3:00 am

    Great list! Looking forward to visiting some of these places! John V. Karavitis

    • 312food
      August 24, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      Thanks, John! Let me know how you like them!

  3. August 24, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    I highly recommend you try Batter and Berries! The wait is crazy, but it’s worth it and you can wait at a coffee shop nearby.

    • 312food
      August 24, 2017 / 5:26 pm

      Great suggestion, thank you! I have passed it and have seen the crazy line but have yet to make it in. It’s on the list! <3

  4. Kayla
    August 25, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    New to Chicago and very excited to try ALL of these. Do you have a guide to BYOB brunch/dinner spots around the city?

    • 312food
      August 29, 2017 / 4:12 am

      Hi Kayla, welcome to Chicago! Not yet, but it’s a good idea for a list, so I’m gonna write one soon now. In the meantime — I really like Chilam Bilam, 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, Big & Little’s. For sushi, I like Toro and Sumo (the one on Broadway). For Indian, Hema’s Kitchen!

  5. Molly
    August 26, 2017 / 1:08 am

    Please let me know the next 20-day stretch you have open on your calendar and I’ll come for a visit. 🙂

    • 312food
      August 26, 2017 / 9:00 pm

      We’re gonna need 20 weekend days, so you’d better come for at least 2.5 months.

  6. Abby
    August 26, 2017 / 12:50 pm

    You forgot the South Loop.

    • 312food
      August 26, 2017 / 8:58 pm

      You’re right! These are just my 20 favorites and where they are, but I’m always looking for new spots to try. Which brunch spots would you recommend in the South Loop? <3

  7. Michael
    August 26, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    Awesome list, taking it as a challenge now to get out to these places. Here a few of my favorites:

    – Takito Kitchen (Division/Wicker Park)
    – West Town Bakery (West Town)
    – Grange Hall Burger Bar (West Loop)

    • 312food
      August 26, 2017 / 8:54 pm

      Oooh, I love Grange Hall and almost put it on this list! I have it on a different upcoming list, though. Thanks for the other suggestions! <3

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