Brunch used to fall on a typical day and time: Sundays between breakfast and lunch. Now, many Chicago restaurants offer brunch on Saturdays too and often much earlier and later, meaning you can enjoy your favorite weekend meal any time. Plus, brunch menus have been popping up in places not typically equated with breakfast-type food, so the choices go way past mere eggs and toast these days, though the staples have not been forgotten, rather elevated to new heights of delicious. We've gathered restaurants all around town that offer a diverse range of options, most a la carte and some with the good, old-fashioned, all-you-can-eat smorgasbord. Hope you're hungry.
Chef Kevin Hickey has fun at brunch with funnel cake drizzled with blueberry sauce, as well as cheese curds, perhaps the best we’ve ever had. Of course, there are also a number of duck-centric dishes, including duck confit hash.
A certain star of ABC TV's "Chicago P.D." (Jon Seda) says he's a frequent diner here. No wonder. Gingerbread pancakes share the menu with grilled tofu, and we dare you to stay away from the Nanadict, a couple of heart-unhealthy breakfast pupusas topped with chorizo, poached eggs and poblano cream sauce.
Healthy choices come with creative twists here, like the quinoa bowl with avocado, arugula and feta, and several seafood dishes, including the open-faced lobster BLT. There are a number of craft brunch cocktails, including a type of Pimm’s cup called The Cure (sounds right for a Sunday).
Popular items for a late morning meal include the rabbit and waffles and hangover soup (you’re probably noticing a theme with these brunches). The Blues & Brews Brunch gives you something to listen to while you chow down.
Diners can travel around the world on a plate of eggs Benedict—done in the style of Florence with spinach and artichoke, with lamb and mint a la Morocco, and others with country-appropriate ingredients. If you have meat on the mind, there’s a half-chicken or hangar steak.
In the Latin American food tradition, and in the brunch tradition of “morning after” remedies, Tanta serves a “Hangover Cure,” a shot of protein-rich Leche de Tigre (a citrusy marinade and alleged aphrodisiac). For a different kind of brunch meal, try Pulpo Criollo, octopus braised in garlic and chilies, an eye-opener.
Though Fig & Olive offers brunch specials like quiche Lorraine and poached eggs with prosciutto and mushroom, the menu also includes appetizers from the dinner menu, so you can enjoy signature bites, like the crostini. Sweet breakfast cravers, head to the waffles with vanilla whipped cream.
We love this Southern-flavored Andersonville spot for its expertly done cocktails, even at brunch with a few selections including the Right Place, Wrong Time (gin, black currant syrup, lemon, Fernet Branca, cava). You want to eat too? Try Eugene's Breakfast in Mobile, Circa 1930. Catfish never tasted so good in the morning.
The cult favorite since 1993 has expanded over the years with four locations now. That doesn't mean they're any less crowded, but there's a trick to a shorter wait time: Show up before they open or at the tail end of brunch service. It can get noisy with all the people there, but it's all good when your breakfast burrito arrives.
Nothing wrong with slurping up some oysters at brunch. On Saturdays, this West Loop spot offers eight types of them. Pair a dozen with a Bloody Mary (choice of three beer backs comes with that) or a bottomless $3 cup of Intelligentsia. Sundays the oysters are gone, but the brunch suffers not, with fried quail, crab scramble and the like.
Fahrenheit 451, get it? It's fired-grilled fare that takes the spotlight at this River North date-night spot, but on the weekends, brunch is an extravagant experience. The all-you-can-eat spread includes buffalo chicken 'n' waffles, roasted turkey, sirloin, housemade cinnamon rolls, duck confit hash browns and so on. Don't expect to rush.
This solid seafood mainstay pulls out the stops for weekend brunch with signature Alaskan king crab legs and lobster bisque; a buffet of items such as scrambled eggs and French toast, along with seafood specialties like crab cakes and fried shrimp; omelet, waffle and cold seafood stations; and laden sweets table. $55; 12 and under free.