In Chicago, weekends mean one thing — brunch. But sometimes you need more than the typical bacon-and-eggs breakfast. These local hangouts offer a little something extra — like creative dishes from an award-winning chef, a French toast flight filled with creative flavor combos, or soul food favorites that will warm your soul — that are worthy of the most important meal of the day. Plus, the vibe at these top brunch restaurants are just as cool as what’s on your plate.
avec river north
Helmed by James Beard award-winning chef Paul Kahan, avec river north showcases Mediterranean-inspired dishes and creative libations. From the wood oven-baked bread board to the popular chorizo-stuffed dates, many of avec’s brunch offerings are shareable, making it the perfect spot for a group meal.
Bring your appetite to Nellie’s in Humboldt Park for their weekend brunch buffet showcasing Puerto Rican fare and traditional American breakfast. In addition to classic pancakes and made-to-order omelets, you can get your fill of pastelón de huevo (egg and sweet plantain casserole), avena de coco (coconut oatmeal), arroz con gandules (seasoned rice and pigeon peas), and more.
Spice up your usual brunch routine with Tabu’s fresh and flavorful pan-Latin cuisine and colorful settings. Located in the West Loop, this vibrant spot is a delight for the senses — take in the funky murals and eye-catching design while you dig into lobster flautas, passionfruit buñuelos, and pork belly breakfast tacos.
In the heart of hip Wicker Park, Cafe Robey is a modern retro diner serving up all-day brunch. With an emphasis on seasonal comfort food, the menu includes classics like shrimp and grits, avocado toast, duck hash, and a full roster of pastries. Finish off your meal with breakfast cocktails like bellinis and housemade mimosas.
Batter & Berries
Known as one of the city’s best brunches, Batter & Berries is a colorful BYOB brunch spot in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. This upbeat Black-owned eatery is famous for its French toast flight, which includes a sampling of their top-selling flavors. And don’t miss out on their hearty deconstructed omelets and house specialties like the Cluck-N-Gaufre — a stuffed sweet potato waffle served with buttermilk herb fried chicken.
With multiple locations throughout the city, from Fulton Market to Streeterville, Beatrix has become a Chicago brunch staple. Amid the neighborhood coffeehouse’s rustic-chic atmosphere, you’ll find plenty of made-in-house pastries and hearty health-conscious dishes — try the oven-baked brioche French toast or fluffy lemon pancakes topped with fresh blackberries.
In the buzzing center of Wicker Park, Dove’s Luncheonette is a one-of-a-kind neighborhood diner serving up flavor-packed dishes inspired by Southern and Mexican cuisine. Decked out in vinyl records and mid-century decor, this retro brunch spot provides a nostalgic setting where you can chow down on patty melts and smoked brisket tacos while sipping fruity cocktails and mezcal.
Offering bold flavors and Southern hospitality, Big Jones in Andersonville remains a local favorite. Get your fix of sweet griddle cakes, fried green tomatoes, Cajun boudin balls, and rich gumbo made with house-cured Andouille sausage.
Duck Duck Goat
Set in an eclectic and stylish West Loop space, Duck Duck Goat will fulfill your cravings for soul-satisfying Chinese food. Available on weekends, the dim sum-inspired brunch menu features Cantonese and Sichuan-style plates, including char siu bao and spicy mapo tofu, in addition to playful interpretations of classics, such as bacon and egg moo shu.
Chef Art Smith’s Reunion
It’s all about simple, comforting, flavorful food at Chef Art Smith’s Reunion. Helmed by the acclaimed chef, Reunion brings contemporary Southern-inspired cuisine to lakefront Navy Pier. The brunch menu includes dishes like fried green tomatoes, goat cheese biscuits, chicken and waffles, hummingbird French toast, short rib hash, plus a full array of cocktails.
Unwind with bottomless cocktails and classic American brunch favorites at neighborhood bistro Gemini. Dine indoors or on the patio at this relaxed Lincoln Park eatery, which boasts a partially covered patio space where guests are welcome to bring their fur babies.
Longman & Eagle
Eat, sleep, whiskey. You can do all three at Longman & Eagle, which serves their creative brunch of regional American dishes with an emphasis on local ingredients. Favorites include the wild boar sloppy Joe, house-cured salmon on potato pancakes, and classic steak and eggs. Need a nap after brunch? Longman & Eagle has six eclectic rooms for rent upstairs.
Luella’s Southern Kitchen
After moving to Chicago from Mississippi, the chef and owner of Luella’s Southern Kitchen decided to share his love of Southern fare with the community. This homey restaurant in Lincoln Square offers a wealth of home-style comfort foods, including baked mac and cheese, heartwarming chicken gumbo, and perfectly seasoned shrimp and grits, just to name a few.
Nestled in the historic neighborhood of Bronzeville, Pearl’s Place has deep roots in the community. With a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, this neighborhood gem nourishes guests with down-home Southern cooking. You can choose a full breakfast plate with all the fixings, or sample a bit of everything with the soul food breakfast and lunch buffets.
For special-occasion brunch outings, head to the Gold Coast’s Bistronomic for a sophisticated French bistro menu and setting. Enjoy refined dishs like chicken confit crepes, brioche French toast, or quiche Lorraine with the option of bottomless mimosas or sangria.
Tucked inside the trendy Sophy Hotel, Mesler has a contemporary library vibe and artfully composed dishes. The menu is made up of new American takes on classic dishes, with local influences. Choose from “brunch on plates” like shrimp and grits or sweet potato hash or “brunch in hand” like a BLT with basil remoulade and rustic bread. The cocktails are made with thoughtfully selected ingredients, like the old fashioned made with the hotel’s own house bourbon.