If you're looking for a place to get your brunch on, you might hop on the Brown Line to the Damen stop. You've got a fine troika right on Damen Avenue and as soon as you walk down from the platform, you're right up front with your first offering.
The Perfect Cup is a neighborhood standby with high ceilings, sofas, window-side seats and an atmosphere that is quite inviting. The breakfast options here are modest, so it might be best to get a cup of coffee to get started before you head north on Damen Avenue. If you stick around for a bit, my nod goes to the yogurt parfait. There's usually a nice buzz with interesting conversation, folks talking about neighborhood activities, and a congenial staff.
Walking two blocks north you'll come to the Over Easy Cafe, which is distinguished by its rotating menu of omelets and bright interior. Executive chef and owner Jon Cignarale is at the helm and recent specials have included Blackberry Bliss French Toast and their always excellent sweet n' salty pancake platter, which brings applewood-smoked bacon into the mix along with eggs and three pork sausage links.
They also have lunch offerings and it's worth noting that they are closed on Mondays. And by the way: when folks come out to brunch hard on the weekend, they offer complimentary Julius Meinl coffee to those hearty souls braving the line. Not bad, indeed.
Conveniently located right next door is Dolce Casa Cafe, which is distinguished by the art on the walls by local artists and the interior which includes a rather nice fireplace. On any given day, you might encounter a writing group talking about their work, students hard at work, or folks talking about a new business venture. The entire enterprise is guided by Ross Outten, a chef from New York who cut his teeth cooking at nearby Bistro Campagne and Sola in North Center.
If you're looking for a place that's good for a bit of relaxation and food, Dolce Casa is your best bet on this tour. My personal favorites here include the buongiorno panini with scrambled eggs and bacon or the salmon affumicato, which features smoked salmon with sour cream, capers, and salad.
After all this, you can walk (or maybe waddle?) back to the Damen stop and jump back on the Brown Line. Of course, you'd do well to wander around the neighborhood to check out some of the boutiques and other stores that line this fine corner of the Lincoln Square neighborhood.