People are always in search of a great restaurant to get their fill of eggs, bacon, mimosas, and all other manner of brunch fare. Throughout Chicago there is a plethora of great options to fill this need, so why not go for the best? Here's a list of Michelin-recommended restaurant options to help make your brunch plans this weekend.
What It Is: Referencing the chicken and fish joints popular throughout the South and West sides of the city, this Logan Square spot focuses on locally-sourced ingredients while still serving food at an affordable price.
What Our Inspectors Say: A lively but low-key hangout that hits all the bases. It's equally appropriate for a midday snack with the kids or a late-night munchies run, and the stay-and-play vibe extends to on-site activities like a winter ice skating rink or summer ping pong tables.
What to Order: The obvious choice is to opt for the chicken and waffle that is a chicken thigh atop a Belgian Waffle served with maple brown butter and a sunny-side up egg. Other options include migas with chicken and bacon chorizo, guajillo salsa, tortillas, eggs, chihuahua cheese and avocado. For the hangover crowd, the loaded hash browns with bacon, griddle onions, American cheese, crème fraîche, scallions, hot sauce, and an optional egg is sure to cure the previous night's afflictions.
What It Is: This West Loop favorite is likely more known for other parts of the day, when "bartenders work just as hard as line cooks until the wee hours," inspectors say.
What Our Inspectors Say: This corner bar on Randolph Street’s restaurant row may be dim, but it’s got a few glittering edges. [...] The kitchen puts a highfalutin spin on simple bar eats.
What to Order: It's hard to go wrong with options like a full English breakfast, foie gras and scrambled eggs, or a crispy potato hash with duck heart gravy. Plus, there's always the famous cheeseburger for those not quite in the mood for breakfast. Wash it all down with one of their bright-eyed cocktails or "breakfast beers" to truly make the most of your meal.
What It Is: This cozy storefront led by chef Victor Morenz features an eclectic menu with global influences.
What Our Inspectors Say: Home Bistro dishes up loads of charm with a healthy dash of humor in the heart of Boystown. Flickering tea lights on the closely packed bistro-style tables faintly illuminate cozy orange walls painted with food-related quotes.
What to Order: With a menu that changes weekly, sample dishes include Spanish chorizo hash with potato, confit peppers, tomato, garlic, onion, Parmesan, and a fried egg; house-smoked lamb belly tacos with potato, shaved cabbage, radish, queso, salsa verde and crema; and cinnamon and sugar bread pudding French toast with whipped cream.
What It Is: This spot is a bar, restaurant and music venue all rolled into one and "brings a much-needed gathering place to the Hyde Park community," according to inspectors.
What Our Inspectors Say: Under lofty ceilings trimmed with black iron beams and sleek wood accents, urbanites sip hand-crafted cocktails around a central bar. A white-hot fire blazes away in the open kitchen, providing the "hearth to table" food trumpeted on the menu.
What to Order: From the breakfast side of the menu you can go either sweet or savory, with dishes such as dulce de leche French toast with toasted pecans, hearth grilled banana and chocolate, or the fried oyster Benedict with hot sauce hollandaise and a strawberry citrus salad. For those looking for more lunch-y options, you can choose from dishes such as the fried chicken thigh sandwich with pickled slaw and fries, or the avocado shrimp salad with a preserved lemon vinaigrette.
What It Is: This Lincoln Park establishment channels the West Coast in its aesthetic and food offerings.
What Our Inspectors Say: Sunny days and southern California come to Lincoln Park in the form of this bright and breezy restaurant that resembles a beach house, albeit an enormous one with lots of house guests. It’s the perfect choice for a summer’s day—and not a bad one in the colder months either, if you’re having a quick bite before the theater or want to shake off those winter blues for a while.
What to Order: Breakfast options include a chocolate chip waffle with cocoa whipped cream and warm fudge syrup; roasted vegetable hash with tarragon aioli and poached eggs; and Mexican hash browns with two sunny-side up eggs, charred tomato salsa, Oaxaca cheese, avocado and cilantro. There are also a number of lunch options available, including a number of salads, sandwiches and—true to its Californian ethos—tacos.
What It Is: This recently relocated brunch favorite has been a Bib Gourmand designee since 2013.
What Our Inspectors Say: Hiding in plain sight, Jam remains the sweetheart of brunch-o-philes who won't settle for some greasy spoon. White walls and stone tables punctuated by lime-green placemats give a gallery-like feel to the space; while a friendly welcome and open kitchen keep things homey.
What to Order: There's something for just about everyone on Jam's menu. Options include lamb and grits featuring braised lamb neck, Merguez sausage, a poached egg, pickled harissa relish and American Grana; a wild boar B.L.T. with boar bacon, confit tomato, charred habanero aïoli, romaine heart, polenta fries and artichoke gribiche; and a waffle of the day. If you visit on the weekend, be sure to try out the maple pecan cinnamon roll or churro that are only available Saturdays and Sundays.
What It Is: Breakfast is served all day at this diner located near Museum Campus.
What Our Inspectors Say: Nosh on a mile-high sandwich or chocolate malt at Eleven City Diner, a modern revival of the classic Jewish deli. Gleaming subway tiles play off retro leather booths and swiveling barstools, while jazz in the background keeps things moving with chutzpah and finesse.
What to Order: In true diner fashion, there are pages upon pages of dishes to choose from. There's everything from fried matzo brie with your choice of maple syrup or salami to challah French toast with an assortment of toppings available to a smoked fish platter. Oh, and let's not forget the choose-your-own-adventure style mac and cheese with optional mix-ins like bacon, pastrami, or jalapeño.
What It Is: This carriage house showcases Southern food from celebrity chef Art Smith, often highlighting seasonal produce on its menu.
What Our Inspectors Say: Thank chef-to-the-stars Art Smith for raising the stakes of the local dining scene with this relaxed bistro, which replaces his former success, Table 52. [...] The cozy and well-appointed dining room makes the most of its parquet floors, Louis XV-style chairs, welcoming bar, and open kitchen where Southern-leaning fare is prepared in full view.
What to Order: Our eyes are drawn to the milk-braised pork belly with sorghum glaze, sunny-side up eggs and sweet potato hash. Under the "Carriage House Classics" section of the menu, there's a s'mores waffle with marshmallow fluff, chocolate ganache and graham cookie crumble. Chef Smith is perhaps best known for his fried chicken, which can be order with waffles and rosemary maple syrup or as a Benedict with biscuits and sausage gravy.
Hero image courtesy of Parson's Chicken & Fish. (Photo Credit: Clayton Hauck.)