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6 COZY CHICAGO BRUNCH SPOTS

Start (or end) your weekend right with a morning meal at one of Chicago's cozy brunch spots.

Weekends call for brunch. But in Chicago, you better believe that you’ll find anything but the typical bacon and eggs or pancakes. French toast is a feast when it’s layered with fire-roasted blueberries and poppy seed mascarpone. The ordinary omelet becomes a culinary masterpiece folded with trout roe and Spanish Tetilla cheese. And best of all, you can dig into all of these eye-opening dishes in a warm and cozy environment that will make you glad you decided to set the alarm early!

BEATNIK

Beatnik

This Bohemian-influenced West Town restaurant and cocktail bar features a lush, dreamy design with global elements, including crystal chandeliers from the ballroom of Los Angeles’ historic Century Plaza Hotel and carved wood doors salvaged from a 1900s Egyptian home. Groove to the sounds of Brazilian soul and ‘60s French pop as you dive into the weekend brunch. Try 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.

DUSEK’S

Dusek's

This hot Pilsen storefront spot may exude hip and homey, but its gourmet pub fare has earned it a one-star Michelin rating. And while weekend nights may be for dinner and catching an indie band upstairs at Thalia Hall, the mornings are all about brunch. Grab a cozy table near the bar and sample the shrimp and grits: whole red prawns and white corn grits served with a 90-minute egg and hunter gravy. Or go for the extraordinary French toast, a decadent combination of fire-roasted blueberries, poppy seed mascarpone cheese and almond granola layered with tart blueberry jam and marshmallow. Side your meal with the Board & Beer Bloody: vodka, house bloody mix, pickled vegetables and a Miller High Life pony.

LONGMAN & EAGLE

Longman & Eagle

This Logan Square favorite serves brunch daily in its warm, woody interiors (seriously, both the floors and ceilings are planked with wood). 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 North Country bacon or house-made sausage, potatoes and an ice-cold can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Need a nap after brunch? Longman & Eagle has six eclectic rooms for rent upstairs.

NANA

Nana

Look no further than the Bridgeport neighborhood for an organic, local and sustainable weekend brunch. The family-run Nana is a charming little brick-walled eatery located on Halsted Street, Bridgeport’s main boulevard. The bounty of regional Midwest farms and orchards are used to create Nana’s delicious brunch dishes. Try the signature Nanadict: two house-made sopes (corn tortillas) with chorizo, poached eggs and poblano cream sauce, served with farm greens and home fries. Sweet lovers won’t be able to resist the taffy apple pancakes made with candied apples, gooey caramel and peanuts. Pair your meal with fresh orange or grapefruit juice.

SPLIT-RAIL

Split-Rail

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 served up by Chef Zoe Schor. Dubbing her cuisine New Americana, Chef 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

Clever Rabbit

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 – including 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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