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6 COOL CHICAGO BRUNCH SPOTS

Start your morning off right at one of Chicago's coolest brunch spots.

In Chicago, weekends mean one thing — brunch. But sometimes you need more than the typical bacon-and-eggs breakfast. These hip hangouts offer a little something extra, like French toast with fire-roasted blueberries and poppy seed mascarpone or an omelet with trout roe and Spanish Tetilla cheese. Plus, the vibe at these trendy restaurants are just as cool as what's on your plate.

DUSEK’S

People dining in Dusek's Board & Beer in Chicago

This hot Pilsen storefront spot exudes both hip and homey — and its gourmet pub fare has earned it a one-star Michelin rating. Housed in the same historic building Thalia Hall, Dusek's serves up interesting brunch options like shrimp and grits with whole red prawns and white corn grits served with hunter gravy. Or go for the extraordinary French toast, a decadent combination of fire-roasted blueberries and almond granola layered with tart blueberry jam and marshmallow. Pair your meal with the Board & Beer Bloody: vodka, house bloody mix, pickled vegetables and a Miller High Life pony.

LONGMAN & EAGLE

Dining room interior of Longman & Eagle in Chicago

Eat, sleep, whiskey. You can do all three at this Logan Square favorite, which serves their creative brunch daily. The menu of regional American fare changes with the seasonal ingredients available, but recent options included the sunnyside duck egg hash with duck confit, Yukon Gold potatoes, and shallots in a black truffle vinaigrette. For a real wake-up call, try the PBR Breakfast: two eggs any style with bacon or house-made sausage, potatoes, and an ice-cold can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Or choose a pour from their extensive rare whiskey collection. Need a nap after brunch? Longman & Eagle has six eclectic rooms for rent upstairs.

NANA

Nanadict dish at Nana in Chicago

Looking for a truly local brunch option? Look no further than the Bridgeport neighborhood for an organic, local, and sustainable meal. The family-run Nana is a charming little brick-walled eatery located on Halsted Street, Bridgeport’s main boulevard. Nana’s uses the full bounty of regional Midwest farms and orchards to create their delicious brunch dishes. Try the signature Nanadict: two house-made corn tortillas with chorizo, poached eggs, and poblano cream sauce, served with farm greens and home fries. If you have a sweet tooth, you won’t be able to resist the taffy apple pancakes made with candied apples, gooey caramel, and peanuts. 

BEATNIK

Interior of Beatnik restaurant in Chicago

This Bohemian-inspired West Town restaurant and cocktail bar features a lush, dreamy design. See if you can spot the antique elements, like crystal chandeliers from the historic Century Plaza Hotel and carved wood doors salvaged from a 1900s Egyptian home. If you can tear your eyes away from the interior, check the menu for the Spanish tortilla omelet with Tetilla cheese and trout roe, or the fried chicken with pumpkin seed hummus and lentil salad. Be sure to sample one of the boozy slushies, like the Eaaaaasy Tiger made with absinthe, coconut, lime, honey, and pineapple.

SPLIT-RAIL

Dining room of the Split-Rail restaurant in Chicago

Settle in for a spell at this welcoming West Town restaurant. Antique rugs, brick walls, and artwork depicting Americana scenes are the perfect backdrop for the seasonal comfort food. Dubbing her cuisine New Americana, Chef Zoe Schor takes diners on a nostalgic culinary trip, offering chicken nuggets with honey-mustard sauce as a side dish, along with maple syrup-drizzled French toast bread pudding that’s crowned with whipped cream. Sip a fanciful drink like The Purple Rose of Cairo, a delightful mix of cranberry puree, grapefruit, lemon and hibiscus. The restaurant’s soundtrack is mined from Chef Schor’s own vinyl collection, so expect to hear the likes of Miles Davis and Regina Spektor.

CLEVER RABBIT

Pankcakes at Clever Rabbit restaurant in Chicago

Vegetarians should hop on over to this veggie-centric Wicker Park restaurant. Snag a seat on a purple tufted banquette and be surrounded by modern artwork, like a Ziggy Stardust portrait. Garden-fresh vegetables are the star of the show here, although there are some non-vegetarian dishes on the menu (like The Fat Rabbit double cheeseburger). Sample the Butternut Farms Scramble, made with egg whites, butternut squash, avocado, marinated eggplant and quinoa. The sweet potato pancakes are layered with spiced mascarpone and candied pecans. Keep with the rabbit theme and order a carrot margarita, mixed with tequila, carrot and agave, garnished with sage.

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