Nothing is worse than waking up Saturday or Sunday morning and having no clue where to get your next meal. Don’t worry, we’ve been there, and that’s why we don’t want you to go through the same pain. It’s also why we’ve updated our Brunch Directory to include a bit more information and include all the new spots.
Consider this as a way to jog your memory and inspire new ideas. Think we missed something? Well then, yell at your computer in disbelief, or shoot us an email with some suggestions instead. The goal is for this directory to continually evolve – like a chia pet.
Have fun out there.
A casual River North restaurant that’s full of sunlight and good for both friends and your parents. The pastries are excellent if you only want to pop in for a light bite, but the weekend brunch menu has plenty of hits.
Any meal at Mercadito is best when accompanied by margaritas, so that should be a pre-req to this being your brunch plan. Chilaquiles are always a strong move.
Hub 51 is more laid back on the weekends than it is at night during the week. Either the lemon skinny or cinnamon skinny pancakes should be on the table for sharing, and the breakfast tacos are excellent, too. Who wants 10% off for wearing their pajamas to brunch? Hub will give it to you.
BBQ food for brunch? Sure, why not. Expect the same Southern vibes that are present at Bub City every other day of the week. If you like to brunch late then expect live music, too.
A trendy Italian restaurant that’s also more reserved on the weekend. It’s a pretty standard brunch menu, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Sunda is the River North spot always full of pretty people and consistently serves great food. That mantra still holds true at their Asian inspired brunch.
Peruvian brunch? Yup, Peruvian bunch. Basically the Peruvian version of Sunda.
If you’re looking for an excellent and slightly more upscale Mexican brunch, then you can be sure Rick Bayless will deliver. Frontera is good any time of day.
A nicer seafood restaurant that does a decadent Sunday buffet-style brunch for $55. Makes for a good family meal.
A hotel bar and restaurant with a surprisingly strong brunch menu. It doesn’t feel like a hotel crowd, which is a good thing.
A trendy small plates seafood spot that has more substantial solo items at brunch. Oysters and seafood is still what you want. Or chicken and waffles. We’ll allow that, too.
This mini chain from Colorado has a lovely industrial space. It’s definitely a bit high class for brunch, but not a bad River North move.
One of the few places on Michigan Avenue that’s not a tourist trap. The pig-centric brunch menu is great any time of year.
The hybrid salad bar, burger bar, and coffee shop has now added a buffet style brunch on the weekends, so you can practically live at 3 Greens all week. The brunch buffet has everything from eggs to chilaquiles to pancakes. And of course you can still get a Small Cheval burger and Doughnut Vault old fashioned donuts.
Bernie’s has quickly climbed up the ladder as one of our go-to spots to eat, and that includes brunch on the weekends. Go heavy with the shrimp and grits, or keep it light with a lox plate or seasonal market fruit. Try the Lisa Frank Slushie drink if you need a cold cocktail - it’s perfect.
Oh you fancy, huh? The restaurant that’s part of the Ralph Lauren store is everything you’d expect it to be.
Best reserved for family gatherings or when you need a nicer spot. The Drake Hotel isn’t a place you want to stroll into wearing sweatpants.
Another fancy hotel restaurant that’s good but a bit of an ordeal.
A Chicago staple in the Viagra Triangle that’s always busy no matter the time of year. The food is solid, and there is excellent people watching.
Basically the same as Tavern On Rush, but a little more hip and cool. The food is solid but never amazing. The people watching, however, can’t be beat.
An informal pancake spot that gets the job done.
The chain pancake restaurant delivers the goods when it comes to pancakes. The special Dutch Baby is the star, but any of the pancakes and waffles make for a quality brunch.
BBQ food in a slightly more upscale space. Combine all of your favorite BBQ meats with eggs and potatoes.
A typical 24-hour diner that’s good for eggs and pancakes any time of day. Feel free to get brunch at Tempo at 3 a.m.
An upscale Italian seafood restaurant that we think is best hit for brunch. The open windows make it a lovely place to sit on a nice day, which is doubly true when you can use the patio.
Casual French bistro hiding amongst all the trendy restaurants nearby.
A classic Chicago steakhouse that you might not realize has a rather cheap brunch menu. Eggs benedict for $10.50 is a better deal than you’ll get at most other places, and Gibson’s is always a nice place to sit.
A cute little cafe serving typical American brunch staples.
A modern take on the traditional French bistro. Not quite the same charm as a typical French bistro, but the same rich flavors. Plus, there’s an hour and a half bottomless mimosa deal for $16.95 with the purchase of food.
The stunningly beautiful space inside of a giant Restoration Hardware is an excellent place to hang and eat brunch. Expect a wait on the weekends and expect a lot of ladies sitting around drinking champagne with their meals.
Greek-inspired breakfast that’s become a local mini chain. The Old Town location is in an area where there’s not a lot of other options for brunch, which makes this Kanela a valuable place.
An Old Town staple for a casual meal any time of day.
An easy, simple, typical cafe. Relatively cheap eats in a casual spot.
We have a soft spot for the West Egg because we’ve been eating here for literally 20 years. It’s a pretty standard breakfast diner that serves anything and everything. There are better breakfast restaurants around, but the West Egg is easy and filling.
The second Beatrix location in Streeterville is a nice addition to the neighborhood. It has a good pastry counter and is a solid weekend brunch spot just like its twin restaurant in River North.
A reliable breakfast spot just off Michigan Avenue near The Bean. There’s not much else like it in the area, so if you’re around these parts, Wildberry is a good spot.
The Gage is like an upscale restaurant bar that pours a great Guinness and has good food, too. It’s in an old building from the 1800s that’s now a Chicago landmark, and it’s one of our favorite options for something next to Millennium Park.
A pretty restaurant with high ceilings and a sleek look. The space is better than the food, but it’s not bad.
Bongo Room is all about ridiculousness in the pancakes and waffles department. You want to order things like white chocolate and caramel pretzel pancakes and chocolate tower french toast.
A classic Jewish deli with a bit of a modern flare. We lament the lack of Jewish delis in the city, and Eleven City diner offers the kind of comfort food you might crave.
A Spanish spot that has pretty good food, but it’s a strange crowd. It’s because of the location in a hotel, but if you need something in this area, then the food plays.
The last remaining old-school Chicago deli was given a facelift, and the new space is bigger and better than ever. A corned beef or pastrami sandwich with a potato pancake on the side is the veteran move, or check out the new deli counter with a great fish selection.
One of the few quality brunch spots in Bridgeport. Nana serves all kinds of delicious Mexican-inspired cuisine. This is a good field trip if you don’t make it over here very much.
We’re big fans of everything The Duck Inn does, including brunch. The duck confit hash is an obvious choice, but get whatever sounds good. The patio is perfect when it’s nice outside.
A newer restaurant in Pilsen that took over the old Thalia Hall. Dusek’s has range, meaning it’s ideal any time of day.
You might not think pork carnitas are a good brunch option, but mornings on the weekend is when Don Pedro is most crowded with regulars. If the regulars are going then it means you should, too.
An old school diner on the original beginnings of Route 66. Lou Mitchell’s has historical significance to Chicago, and it’s historically made a great early morning and afternoon meal. Always a strong choice.
Mad Social is bringing more warehouse vibes to the West Loop, but the food, including brunch, is actually interesting and good. Try the Mad Shakshuka or the Short Rib Benedict.
You could spend all day in the public spaces at Soho House if you’d like. Start in The Allis for a coffee, work your way to Chicken Shop for brunch, and stick around for drinks at Foxbar. It makes for a nice little day.
When Avec started serving brunch, it was one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind. The West Loop staple and favorite does a great job at brunch, which includes an excellent breakfast pizza. You want a breakfast pizza.
For those of you unable to make it to PQM during the week since they aren’t open for dinner, you’re really missing out. It’s the more casual cafe version of The Publican, and it’s a great meal. Don’t sleep on the butcher’s breakfast.
If you want a more formal experience than PQM, then hit up its sister restaurant The Publican for Sunday brunch. They’re doing the type of brunch creations you won’t see other places, like red wine-poached eggs.
The best burger in town, hands down. If you’re getting it for brunch, then you obviously need to add the thick-cut bacon and a sunny side egg, too. Consider splitting the burger and the duck heart hash with a friend - the hash is the sleeper item on the menu.
You’re probably trying to have mimosas if brunch is at Nellcôte. Or a bellini. Bottom line is this plate is meant to feel like a French chateau, so champagne should be involved.
Latin flavors with a space full of bright colors. The brunch menu has everything from chilaquiles to smoked salmon flatbread to a Spanish benedict with serrano ham. No complaints about that.
Sunday brunch, South American-style. La Sirena is all about Argentinian and Brazilian flavors in a cool Fulton Market space.
Want to feel like a West Loop local? Eat at Morgan Street Cafe. It’s not the kind of place anyone will talk about, but that’s because the people nearby probably don’t want you to know.
A 1950′s-era meat and three style diner that applies the same concept to brunch. Want pancakes or chicken fried steak with three sides like a fruit cup, sausage patty, potatoes, or eggs? St Lou’s Assembly is your spot, and there’s also an awesome outdoor patio in the back.
Little Goat has a crazy menu with things like “kimchee & bacon & eggs & pancakes asian style breakfast tasty thing” and “bull’s eye french toast” with fried chicken on it. Sometimes the dishes are so crazy they don’t actually work, but it’s something you should try for yourself. The space is great, so there’s that.
Gaudi Cafe is a cute little West Town spot serving tapas and Mexican favorites. A chorizo breakfast burrito never hurt anyone.
The Breakfast Club is the restaurant your grandma would run if your grandma ran a restaurant. You can’t miss it – just look for the white and pink house.
Cool looking two-story space with an eclectic menu, good outdoor space, and great cocktails.
This casual BYOB spot on Western has all kinds of good stuff. Ashland isn’t a street you would just wander down for brunch, so make it a point to hit Bite Cafe. Nobody ever said no to breakfast poutine.
Another BYOB brunch spot serving classic American dishes with some Mexican flare thrown in, too. They have a bunch of Ron Swanson pictures on the wall, which in our opinion is reason enough to come.
Flo is all about New Mexican favorites like huevos verdes with Christmas-colored chili. But you’ll undoubtedly get distracted by both their french toast which comes covered in Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles. Get one to share for the table, but make sure to try the New Mexican classics.
A good excuse to eat a lot of meat and not necessarily brunch dishes. If pork belly carbonara has an egg on it then it’s brunch, right? Right.
The Winchester was closed down awhile because of a fire, but luckily the neighborhood cafe is back again. Brunch is the best time to hang in this bright and welcoming space.
Tex-Mex food meets ’60s counter-style diner meets blues music on repeat. Dove’s is one of the more unique place you can eat.
Chop Shop is a fun zone of restaurant, bar, butcher shop, and event space all built into one. They’re serving brunch now, too, because why wouldn’t they? It’s a solid spot.
We complain about the bagel options in this city a lot. Bro Bagel might not be New York bagel good, but it’s good. Definitely as good as you’ll get around here.
Presidio is part cocktail lounge, part restaurant. Hangout in the front area if you’re more concerned with mimosas, or take a seat in the back dining room if the focus is food.
Let’s be honest, everyone wants to go to Mindy’s as an excuse to get hot chocolate and dessert. The good news is Mindy’s has good brunch, and then you can get hot chocolate and dessert.
There are a few Bongo Room locations around, and they are all virtually the same. You still want crazy sweet concoctions like chocolate tower french toast and red velvet hot cakes.
A cool space with a minimal brunch menu, but one where everything is executed well. The cinnamon roll has extra icing, the burger is extra thick, and the Basque cake is an all-time great pastry as either an appetizer or dessert.
The Logan Square staple is always a strong choice. No reservations, but the food is great and the drinks are just as good. It’s a cozy setting that’s perfect for holing up in the winter, or sit on their small patio outside when it’s hot.
A must visit for Macanese food, and, as far as we know, the only place serving Macanese food. The hip space is cool any time of day, including Sunday brunch.
Think modern, sophisticated German beer hall. A lot of meat will be involved and probably a beer or six.
Upscale British pub food, good for dinner or weekend brunch. Great burger.
Reno makes their own bagels, which are pretty good. Get involved with their breakfast sandwiches like The Nando, with homemade chorizo, eggs, and cheddar on their wood-fired bagels. A breakfast pizza isn’t a bad choice, either.
Who doesn’t want to eat brunch at a brewhouse that’s making their own beer?
Another long-time Logan Square favorite on the heart of the square. A friendly place that always has a mix of people and a mix of great food.
Meat free since ’83. The Chicago Diner is the most well known vegan restaurant in the city. Breakfast and brunch is the best way to ease yourself into vegan food, and we advocate for everyone giving it at least a try.
Pretty standard stuff, and you can usually find a seat. Except for on the patio in the summers, that’s prime real estate.
Johnny’s Grill used to be a longtime favorite on the square, then it closed, and now it’s back again. The menu is a little more sophisticated than it used to be but with the same diner vibes.
Excellent biscuits and breakfast sandwiches, and excellent pie. That’s breakfast heaven right there. The small shop is one of the best places around, and the outdoor area feels like you’re sitting in a friend’s backyard.
A tiny, 20-seat restaurant that is making fancy toast and other small batch goodies.
A versatile Italian restaurant in Lincoln Park that pulls through in the brunch department. It’s nicer than your average breakfast diner but definitely not formal. Eat anything from a pizza or burger to a crispy polenta hash or frittata.
Nookies Too, the follow up to Nookies one in Old Town. The second outpost of this local go-to serves the same great breakfast food and is BYOB.
You can literally escape to California in here. Or at least it’ll feel that way. Make sure to check out the pastry counter, particularly the cookies.
With its proximity to DePaul, Toast is the kind of place you have college brunches at. Hungover brunches, is what we mean.
The cozy French bistro inside the fancy Belden Stratford apartment building is now serving brunch. The French menu is way more low-key than the apartment building it sits in.
Typical breakfast spot that likes to serve you things made from batter with berries on top.
A slightly Americanized version of a classic Spanish tapas spot. Pancake tapas are the perfect fusion of Spanish and American cuisine.
CBA is all about their bagel steamwiches - sandwiches on a bagel that are steamed as their method of heating. A good carry out spot that also has a few tables if you want to eat there.
A pretty typical Lakeview breakfast spot with one caveat – a bacon flight. Tastings of maple pepper bacon, jalapeno bacon, cherry smoked bacon, and mesquite bacon. You need that.
Hutch serves brunch all week long. That’s important to know.
Our favorite brunch spot in Chicago, no question. It’s a hybrid restaurant and small shop, and everything is exceptional. We love the bread pudding pancakes.
Uncommon Ground supports the farm fresh, local, organic movement to the fullest. They’re serious about providing local goods, and it’s a good local spot to hang.
A daytime only spot that serves breakfast and lunch every day of the week but Tuesday. Mortar and Pestle doesn’t only serve standard breakfast food - it has some edge. Try something interesting like the foie gras and eggs or the muesli with brûléed bananas.
A little Ravenswood breakfast spot that’ll serve you coffee in line. That’s customer service.
The original Bang Bang Pie owners left in order to start Baker Miller, and it’s just as awesome. Toast never tasted so good, plus you’ll want to eat all of the pastries and pie on the menu.
Swedish specialties like your grandma used to make if you were Swedish, or like the Ikea cafeteria serves (better, really) if you’re not. Food here is the real deal, and this neighborhood cafe showcases both traditional and modern takes on Swedish food.
In need of a good restaurant in Lincoln Square? This is the spot right here. Sit at the bar and watch the chefs at work in the open kitchen at this light and homey space, or sit on their back patio when it’s nice out. The pastries are great.
Southern cooking at its finest. We’re all about the shrimp and grits at Big Jones, and the weekend beignets are a strong move.
Another Bongo Room, but the story here remains the same. Chocolate tower french toast and caramel apple pancakes is what you want, or at least something like that.
A cozy spot that’s great for a date if you need a good brunch spot. It’s not romantic though, just cozy. Consider one of their brunch sandwiches.
An eclectic Uptown spot that’s kind of a crazy place inside. All sorts of stuff on the walls and a happening bar make for a lot of activity and fun. People like to boozy brunch here.
Our sleeper pick for the best Mexican brunch you don’t know about. Tiztal Cafe is a cozy little place, and the chilaquiles here are so, so good. Make sure to get a horchata milkshake.