The Best Breakfast Sandwiches In Chicago
Our favorite breakfast sandwiches in Chicago
One thing we’re willing to admit NYC has over Chicago is ease of breakfast sandwich accessibility. But while we don’t have bodegas overflowing with BECs on every corner, Chicago has a lot of destination breakfast sandwiches—ones that make it worth getting out of bed and traveling to.
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, tacos 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.
photo credit: Kim Kovacik
Every aspect of the sausage, egg, and cheese from Loaf Lounge is so perfectly executed, it feels like the platonic ideal of a breakfast sandwich. This Avondale bakery’s airy English muffin and bright herby mayo deftly balance out the sweet and savory garlic maple sausage, gooey 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, it will seize 100% of your attention the minute you take a bite.
photo credit: Jack X Li
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 must-order breakfast sandwich. It comes with their housemade longanisa, giving each bite plenty of peppery, garlicky, and sweet flavor. It’s perfectly complemented by melty American cheese, scrambled eggs, and a classic Martin’s potato roll. Make sure to upgrade yours with a hashbrown patty to add a little extra crunch.
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Steingold's of Chicago
Though it’s called the Egg on A Roll, this sandwich’s name significantly 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. Alone, the savory combination of smoky meat with eggs and buttery cheese might seem too salty. But the fluffy bread is not only the ideal sponge to soak everything up, it adds just enough sweetness to balance everything out.
Okay. We know we said that these need to have eggs to qualify, but a lot of Peruvian breakfast sandwiches are eggless, and the ones at Avenida Peru in Belmont Cragin are too exceptional not to include. Like their pan con relleno. The combination of blood sausage, fried sweet potatoes, and pickled red onions is peppery, 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 on the weekend, these sandwiches are the culinary equivalent of 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 an incredibly light texture, and has plenty of flavor from chopped spicy chiles and tomato folded into its cloudlike layers, while melted amul cheese adds saltiness and tang. The thick pieces of toast are rich, buttery, and griddled to perfection, giving each bite a fantastic crunch.
photo credit: Kim Kovacik
The sad thing about most breakfast sandwiches is that, well, you can only eat them at breakfast. But if you have an insatiable urge to eat eggs and bread at 7pm, Second Generation has you covered. Available both during brunch and dinner, the Freeman Torta is a fun play on lox and cream cheese. It’s packed with salmon pastrami, scrambled egg, avocado, and a drizzle of dill crema on top of a buttery brioche bun. The herby crema perfectly complements the peppery smoked salmon, and it comes with a side of tart cornichons to snack on between bites.
The Potato-nator is not some weird Arnold Schwarzenegger parody, but rather a fantastic breakfast sandwich from Tempesta Market in West Town. This monstrous sandwich comes loaded with a hash brown, bacon, 'nduja aioli, fried egg, and American cheese. Each bite is savory, smoky, and a bit refreshing courtesy of crisp lettuce, tomato, and bright pickled red onions. 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.
Sol Cafe in Rogers Park is a great spot to camp out and get some work done with a bottomless cup of coffee. But aside from getting over-caffeinated, we also like coming here for their sausage egg and cheese sandwich. Served on a soft brioche bun, their juicy housemade pork sausage patty is accompanied by some airy scrambled eggs and a massive blanket of cheese with crispy fried edges. To bring it all together, there’s a dollop of whole grain mustard for some zing and housemade jam for sweetness.
Sauce and Bread Kitchen
Sauce and Bread Kitchen is a small Edgewater cafe from local hot sauce maker and bakery, Co-op Sauce and Crumb. We like coming here for pastries and their occasional prix fixe dinners, but they also have great bagel sandwiches. The Bagel Du Jour uses their everything pretzel bagel as a foundation for all sorts of things like 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 sweet maple sausage, pimento cheese spread, fluffy scrambled eggs, and a dash of their 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 a dynamic combination of chorizo and fatty porchetta, a fried egg with creamy yolk, and molten chihuahua cheese. It’s topped with spinach and a spicy chipotle aioli which has enough brightness to keep it from feeling too heavy.
photo credit: Jack X Li
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 some wifi while cramming for finals, you should order their sausage biscuit. The patty is juicy and gets added savoriness from melted American cheese and scrambled eggs, while a dollop of mayo adds some tanginess. 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 it 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.
Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken
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 food trend made for camera consumption (rather than human consumption), 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.
Smack Dab Chicago
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, bacon jam, chive mayo, and two thick cheesy biscuits. But regardless of your desired method, it’s always delicious. There’s plenty of savoriness from the pork sausage, eggs, and cheesy biscuits, but the sweet bacon jam and tangy mayo helps keep things balanced.