Brunch is one of the best reasons to put on pants on weekend mornings, and luckily Chicago is full of great options. But in case your go-to spots are starting to feel a little tired, or you just want to try something new, check out one of the restaurants on this guide. All of these places have either recently opened, reopened, or just started serving brunch. Go forth and enjoy some pancakes.
Research shows that brunch is more fun on a rooftop, so in keeping with science, you should know about Bar Avec. It’s is the rooftop bar on the eighth floor above Avec River North and has a Spanish-inspired menu. They just started serving brunch, which includes things like tortilla española, brandade omelettes, Spanish baked beans, and fried French toast. The space is shaded and full of plants and trees, and has a great view of downtown. And it’s also low-key, making it a rooftop option downtown that won’t involve a gazillion tourists.
If you’re looking for a casual brunch option that’s great for groups, put Time Out Market on your list. This food hall in the West Loop now has bottomless brunch with live jazz. How does brunch work in a food hall you ask? Each vendor has a few dishes (for example, Cleo’s French toast souffle and Bill Kim Ramen’s hangover ramen) and you get pitchers of mimosas at the bar. Then you can either sit inside the giant food hall, on the rooftop, or out on the large sidewalk patio.
Cobblestone is a restaurant in North Center that took over the former Northman space, and has closed twice since the start of the pandemic. But they just re-re-reopened, and now have weekend brunch. The menu is European pub food, and you’ll find things schnitzel and waffles, pecan pie French toast, and Dutch baby pancakes. They also have cider-based brunch cocktails and a nice patio. Also, we think there should be a buddy cop show called, “Schnitzel & Waffles,” so if you need us, we’ll be over here working on the pilot.
This Mexican restaurant in the West Loop is from a former chef of Mi Tocaya (one of our favorite spots in the city), and has just started serving weekend brunch. You can get churro French toast, sopes benidictos, and cocktails like spiked horchata and café de olla. Chikatana also has a big sidewalk patio with large covered tables perfect for groups, and lots of plants to help you forget that you’re practically eating in the middle of Fulton (which, thankfully, is still closed to traffic).
Diver At The Park
The Diver at the Park is a Tulum-inspired restaurant in Wrigleyville with a large fenced-in beer garden. And this spot is perfect if you’re looking to have unlimited mimosas out on a patio. The outdoor (and dog-friendly) space is huge, has picnic tables, swings, a vintage camper bar, and serves brunch dishes like breakfast tacos, chilaquiles, and scrambled eggs with shrimp, bacon, and cheese.
We really like S.K.Y. in Pilsen, so it’s not too surprising that we also like the food at Apolonia - a Mediterranean restaurant in the South Loop from the same team. Like its sibling, the brunch menu is wide-ranging with a bunch of influences. They have dishes like deviled eggs, brioche french toast, seared mortadella with a sunnyside-up egg, and everyone’s favorite breakfast pasta: carbonara. Come here with friends for an upbeat though refined (as in: no live DJs or shot trees) brunch. This is also a great place to start if you’re planning on spending the day walking around the Museum Campus.
The Duplex serves food from different chefs and restaurants every six months, and right now the menu has Mexican food from Lime and Radish and fried chicken sandwiches from The Kluckerz. For brunch, the two have dishes like chilaquilas, shrimp and grits, French toast, and mimosa kits. Plus, they have a long cocktail list and a great sidewalk patio.
This is an upscale French restaurant that just opened inside the Pendry in the Loop. And during weekend brunch they serve things like a pancake souffle with foie gras and black walnut syrup, duck and waffles with honey and butter, and a croque monsieur. They also offer bottomless mimosas and kir royale, and have a variety of brunch cocktails. So if you have out-of-towners visiting, consider meeting them here for a fancy brunch before taking them around the city for some boozy sightseeing.
This 20-year-old Chinatown staple was recently bought by the owner of Strings Ramen, and both the space and menu have been overhauled. Now the two-story restaurant is full of neon signs and pop art, and the menu has been pared-down to Hong Kong-style cart noodles, street food, and entrees like chow mein. One of their specialties is congee, and their rice porridge is an excellent choice when you’re here for brunch. They have about eleven different kinds, ranging from pork with preserved egg, beef with egg, and fried dough.
Uproar is a new-ish bar in Old Town, and has bottomless brunch on Saturdays and Sundays for $50 a person. You can choose from dishes like Fruit Loop pancakes, biscuits and gravy, or a chicken and waffle sandwich. Unlimited drink options include mimosas, Bloody Marys, margaritas, White Claw, along with several other options to encourage an alcohol-induced nap. The space has loud music, a garage-style window that opens all the way, and a sidewalk patio with heaters.
You go to Azul Mariscos when you’re in the mood for the kind of brunch spot that has a live DJ, bottle service, a view of the water, and gives you the option to order cocktails for the table in a $150 clay pot. This seafood restaurant recently opened along the Chicago River in Goose Island, and the food is Latin-inspired. They have a long brunch menu, with dishes like churro French toast, huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, shrimp queso fundido, ceviche, tacos, and more.
Last spring, Funkenhausen, a German-inspired restaurant in West Town, relaunched their Funkenbrunchen (we have always loved that name). You’ll find dishes like pretzel French toast, spaetzle carbonara, and you can get your mimosa served in a boot too. God, we really missed this place.
This Italian restaurant in Logan Square opened late last summer, and now you can enjoy brunch on their cute back patio. The brunch menu is relatively short, with a few pastries, dishes like prosciutto and melon, sweet potato hash, a breakfast pizza, and some tartines. The food here is great, the space is lovely, and if you’re looking for a low-key brunch to catch up with friends, come here.
Land & Lake
The original Land & Lake is in the London House hotel downtown, but this is the Andersonville location. On the weekend they serve bottomless lunch. However, in our opinion, the option to have unlimited mimosas for $18 makes this a brunch, and that’s why it’s on this guide. So, no eggs - but they do have dishes like mac and cheese, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and pasta. Right now they’re open for carryout, indoor, and outdoor dining on their covered back patio.
This Greek restaurant in Logan Square is on our Hit List, and they also serve brunch. They have dishes like strapatsada, scrambled eggs with tomatoes and feta, spanakopita, and most importantly (to us at least) delicious pastries, like pistachio and olive danishes, chocolate halva croissants, and an olive oil lemon cake.
We recently added Three House to the Hit List thanks to their delicious smashburger and curried chicken empanada. But they also serve a brunch menu that’s available every day, with dishes like french toast topped with coffee anglaise and jam, fried chicken biscuit with chorizo gravy, and a very good BEC. Grab a smoothie to go with it and prepare to take over the world. Or, watch five episodes of Drag Race back-to-back. Either way, you’re being productive.
Wake 'N Bacon
Wake ’N Bacon is a somewhat 4/20-friendly brunch spot in Lakeview that opened last October, and recently started offering dine-in service. The menu has things like breakfast burritos (called “the phatty”), ube pancakes, chicken and waffles, and peach crepes. There’s a long cocktail list, and you can add CBD to anything on the menu.
PB & J
PB & J (which stands for pizza, beer, and jukebox) opened last summer in the West Loop, a neighborhood that isn’t suffering from a shortage of brunch options. But if you’ve already run through them all, or are in the market for a Bloody Mary garnished with candied bacon and a slice of cheese pizza, go ahead and check this place out. They also have things like biscuits and gravy pizza, a shakshuka-inspired pizza, and peanut butter french toast with berry jam, apple butter, white chocolate, and whipped cream. Basically, lots of tasty hangover food.
The secluded outdoor space at the now-closed Monty Burke’s in Pilsen was fantastic, so we were happy when we heard that a new restaurant recently took over the space. Pilsen Yards added heated floors and a covering, and hosts “hangover vinyl brunches,” which include vinyl, brunch dishes like chilaquiles and tres leches concha toast, and (presumably) hangovers.
This is a brand new cereal bar and soul food-inspired restaurant in Chatham. In addition to over 75 types of cereal, Ooh Wee It Is also serves dishes like shrimp and grits, pot roast cupcakes, salads, and burgers. Right now they’re open for dine-in only, with plans for patio seating in the future.
After closing two years ago, Ms. Biscuit just reopened in Washington Park. This classic South Side breakfast spot originally opened in the late ’70s, so this is good news for anyone who remembers their buttery biscuits. Along with the famous biscuits, they have dishes like pancakes, waffles, breakfast sandwiches, and steak and eggs. Ms. Biscuit is open for takeout, dine-in, and they have a large front patio where you can eat outside.