The Best Breakfast Sandwiches In Chicago16 great sandwiches to start your day in Chicago.
One thing we’re willing to admit NYC has over Chicago is breakfast sandwich accessibility. While we don’t have bodegas overflowing with BECs on every corner, Chicago has a lot of destination breakfast sandwiches—ones that make getting out of bed worth it.
But what qualifies as a breakfast sandwich? Well, our very official definition is that it needs to have eggs and a way of holding all of its ingredients together (no, tortillas don’t count). But other than that, everything else is fair game. From classic sausage, egg, and cheeses to Indian bun omelets, here’s our list of the best breakfast sandwiches in Chicago.
New additions as of 8/2/2023: Allez Cafe
Every aspect of the sausage, egg, and cheese from Loaf Lounge is so perfectly executed, it's the platonic ideal of a breakfast sandwich. This Avondale bakery’s airy English muffin and bright herby mayo balance out the garlic maple sausage, egg, and melted American cheese. Seating is fairly limited in this small bakery and cafe, but whether you’re eating there or getting it to go, the sandwich will seize 100% of your attention the minute you take a bite.
Not only does Kasama in Ukrainian Village have one of the best tasting menu dinners in the city, but it’s one of the best places to grab breakfast. This Filipino spot functions as a cafe in the mornings, and that’s when you can get their breakfast sandwich. It comes with their housemade longanisa, giving each bite plenty of peppery, garlicky, and sweet flavor. It’s complemented by cheese, scrambled eggs, and a potato roll. Add a hashbrown patty for extra crunch.
Though it’s called the Egg on A Roll, this sandwich’s name downplays everything that’s going on here. This massive breakfast sandwich from Steingold's deli in Lakeview is a chunky combination of thick pastrami, melted havarti, and a fried egg between two pieces of pillowy challah. The fluffy bread is the ideal sponge to soak everything up.
River North’s Doma Cafe first got our attention with their fantastic cevapi that we’d run through a wall for. But the breakfast sandwich is also worth doing your best Kool Aid Man impression for. Whether you get it with bacon, maple sausage, or avocado, they all work in perfect harmony with the fluffy scrambled eggs, a pillowy english muffin, and some peppery housemade hot sauce. And if like us you always think, “This would be amazing with a hashbrown in the middle”, well, those crispy potato dreams can and should become a reality. Their hashbrown is perfectly fried with a soft inside, and comes with an almost fruity honey mustard that should definitely join the sandwich party.
The breakfast sandwich is the only savory item at Allez Cafe in Bucktown (everything else is sweet pastries). And as the sole representative of Team Savory, it has a ton of responsibility. But it doesn’t crack under pressure. The texture of crispy bacon and a hashbrown are complemented by a fluffy egg and potato bun, while sweet and spicy jalapeño jam along with ramp aioli balances out the other savory components.
R&A Sourdough is a small carryout-only bakery in Ravenswood, which happens to have the best bagels in Chicago, and one of the best breakfast sandwiches. The Youngster is on R&A’s “special sammies” menu—and it must be special since it takes 10 long minutes to build this masterpiece. The bagel of your choosing comes with perfect layers of plain schmear, a fluffy scrambled egg, thick slices of hot honey bacon, some melty cheddar in case the cream cheese wasn’t enough, and hot sauce to cut through all the richness.
We know we said that these need to have eggs to qualify, but a lot of Peruvian breakfast sandwiches are eggless, and Avenida Peru in Belmont Cragin is too exceptional not to include. Like the pan con relleno. The combination of blood sausage, fried sweet potatoes, and pickled red onions is sweet, tart, and has a pleasant funk. Plus, it has a great airy and crackly texture from a bolillo roll. The only downside is that their breakfast sandwiches are only available Saturdays and Sundays from 9-11:30am. Even if you don't want to deal with anything at 9am, eating these sandwiches is like seeing your favorite band—you’ll want to get there early, and you’ll never want the moment to end.
The Bun Omelet from this casual Indian spot in Logan Square looks simple: eggs, cheese, and two toasted slices of bread. But don’t let its appearance fool you. The egg has a light texture, and has plenty of flavor from chopped spicy chiles and tomato folded into its cloudlike layers. Melted amul cheese adds saltiness and tang, and the thick pieces of toast are griddled to perfection, giving each bite a fantastic crunch.
The Potato-nator is not some weird Arnold Schwarzenegger parody, but rather a fantastic breakfast sandwich from Tempesta Market in West Town. It comes loaded with a hash brown, bacon, 'nduja aioli, fried egg, and American cheese. With so much packed into this sandwich, things can get messy—you’ll want some napkins at the ready, and maybe some Tide To Go.
Steak and eggs might be a popular NASA astronaut breakfast, but we don’t have to go to space to get it. Instead, we like grabbing a steak, egg, and cheese from either of Bia’s Cafe Marianao two locations (one in Irving Park and another in Dunning). The highlight of this casual Cuban spot’s breakfast sandwich is the steak—thinly sliced, juicy, and peppery. But it wouldn’t be complete without a great supporting cast of grilled onions, tomato, melted cheese, and a crackly long roll. Feel free to also order a colada for the perfect morning pick-me-up.
Sauce and Bread Kitchen is a small Edgewater cafe from local hot sauce maker and bakery, Co-op Sauce and Crumb. They have pastries and occasional prix fixe dinners, but they also have great bagel sandwiches. The Bagel Du Jour uses an everything pretzel bagel as a foundation for all sorts of things—fried chicken, smoked brisket, or krautchi: their hybrid of sauerkraut and kimchi. Go as over-the-top or as simple as you want, but our order is maple sausage, pimento cheese spread, scrambled eggs, and a dash of housemade garlic chili crisp. Make sure to utilize the dozen different hot sauces on every table.
La Luna in Pilsen is always busy during their Sunday brunch, full of people drinking mimosas and eating great Mexican food. And one of their best brunch dishes is the El Sanguichon. This loaded breakfast sandwich is filled with chorizo and fatty porchetta, a fried egg, and molten chihuahua cheese. It’s topped with spinach and a spicy chipotle aioli that adds enough brightness to keep it from feeling too heavy.
Located right on campus, Roux Diner in Hyde Park is a popular spot for University of Chicago students and faculty. But whether you’re here solely to eat, or to leech wifi while cramming for finals, you should order their sausage biscuit. The patty is juicy and topped with melted American cheese and scrambled eggs. But our favorite part is the biscuit—it’s buttery and just the right amount of crumbly.
Tribecca’s is a place that takes sandwich making seriously, rightfully earning a spot on our guide to the best sandwich places in the city. And their attention to detail is just as apparent in their weekend-only breakfast sandwiches. Dubbed the “Golden Girls”, at first glance these four BECs on an English muffin all seem the same. But like their namesakes, each one has a distinct personality, distinguished by toppings like fontina cheese, pickled jalapeños, or tater tots. We like the Rose, which gets a nice crisp from fried potato, and a pleasant hint of tart sweetness from lemon maple butter.
You can replace the brioche bun that normally comes with every breakfast sandwich with a glazed donut at this donut and fried chicken spot in Wrigley. This may sound like a gimmicky social media trend, but it’s a substitution that you should make. We like going with Do-Rite’s simple crispy bacon, egg, and melty cheese—a classic combination of savory breakfast flavors with a glazed donut to add just the right amount of sweetness.
Unless you can unhinge your jaw like an anaconda, plan to use a fork and knife when eating the Bestest Seller from Smack Dab. This sandwich is a towering stack of pork sausage, scrambled eggs, cheese, and thick cheesy biscuits. There’s plenty of savoriness, but sweet bacon jam and tangy mayo help keep things balanced.