As any city dweller knows, Sunday is the reserved for the major leagues of brunching. But there is one other day each year that warrants the same level of top notch brunching: New Year's Day. Whether you need to rehash the details of the festivities from the night before, catch up with your crowd after you fell asleep before midnight, or simply to ring in the new year, start your year off on the right foot (and a Bloody Mary in hand) with one of these New Year's Day brunch menus.
820 W. Randolph St. 312-888-3455
Eat: The West Loop diner's entire menu will be available and executive chef/co-owner (and former "Top Chef" contestant) Stephanie Izard suggests the grilled cheese ($10), made with smoked gouda, tomato, mont amore cheese and paper-thin pork guanciale.
Drink: The Old Tart ($10). "[It's] our version of an old fashioned made with drinking vinegar," Izard said. "That'll get you going!"
Brunch hours: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
5260 N. Clark St. 773-271-5050
Eat: If this Andersonville eatery's '80s-themed pajama party doesn't set the right tone for your New Year, we don't know what will. Dive into dishes such as the crab cake benedict ($14) or Busy Pancakes ($11) made with blueberries, raspberries and walnuts, and hang around for some stellar 80s tunes.
Drink: Sip on a mimosa made with freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice ($9) or a bloody mary served with a 5-ounce Miller High Life beer back ($8).
Brunch hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
New Year's Day Recovery at the Radisson Blue Aqua & Filini
221 N. Columbus Dr., 800-333-3333
Sleep: It's not too late to spend New Year's Eve in one of Radisson Blu's luxurious hotel room with the Lucky 7 package.
Eat: Better yet, revelers can enjoy an overnight stay in deluxe accommodations and roll out of bed to join Filini's inaugural "Brunch in the Bar" in their pajamas. The package includes late check-out at 2 p.m. and brunch for two so guests can recover from the previous night's festivities with the help of a 33-foot-long Bloody Mary bar, bottomless mimosas, and traditional American brunch offerings complemented by classic Italian dishes.
Drink: Yes, we said 33-foot Bloody Mary Bar.
Rates start at $299 per night, and reservations can be made online at www.radissonbluchicago.com or by calling 800.333.3333. For more on Radisson Blu Aqua, visit Facebook.com/RadissonBluAqua or @RadissonBluAqua.
Nochevieja at Mercat a la Planxa
638 S Michigan Ave, 312-765-0524
Eat: Take your time over a three-course, seven-dish recovery brunch on New Year's Day for just $35 per person. To be sure you get this prix fixe menu, reservations are required and can be made by calling 312-765-0524.
Drink: Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar
3155 N. Broadway, 773-857-3155
Eat: The Cap'n Crunch-coated Captain's French Toast ($9) served with cheesecake sauce and maple bourbon syrup, is "a very good-hair-of-the-dog dish," owner Greg Shuff said.
Drink: It's never too early for a New Year's Day beer, especially when you're sitting in one of Chicago's newest breweries. Be sure to try the Lakeview brewpub's flagship beer, Shark Meets Hipster wheat IPA ($6 for a 16-ounce pour), on tap alongside their seasonal options.
Brunch hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.