There’s one reason and one reason only that brunch is the best meal of the week: you have no responsibilities to worry about once you're done eating. At least we hope that's true and you don't have anyone nagging you to run errands. Either way, brunch is a meal that should be savored and enjoyed.
We have our Brunch Directory, which is an encyclopedia of restaurants that serve brunch. But now we offer you The Destination Worthy Brunch Guide. These are places that, you guessed it, are worth going out of the way for on a Saturday or Sunday mid-morning to late-afternoon. Don’t settle for the mediocre café around the corner. We’re sure the french toast there tastes fine, but these restaurants take things to the next level.
If a celebrity chef opened this place up in the West Loop it would be the most talked about brunch in town. Instead, it's near Lincoln Square, and doesn't get nearly enough love. Your brunch game is not strong if you haven't been to Gather.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record...ah f*ck it, we’re a broken record. Southport is the best. From homemade hashes or breakfast sandwiches, to bread pudding or cupcake pancakes, everything is great. Other restaurants might be equal, but not better.
We’re high on this Southern comfort restaurant for a lot of reasons, and their brunch is a big part of it. Start with baked goods like popovers or corn bread muffins and go nuts from there. Spoon bread, shrimp & grits, biscuits and gravy - it’s all great. You’ll question why you don’t live in the South.
Dim sum should always be on the table as a brunch option. You’re not doing life right if it’s not. The new Minghin space is a two-story palace as far as Chinatown restaurants go, but, instead of gold, it’s full of little meat-filled steamed buns. It’ll be cheap no matter how much you order, so order mass quantities of little meat-filled steamed buns. All in all, better than gold.
Baker Miller isn’t the kind of place to gather all your friends and pack a table over an extended period of time. It’s more like a coffee shop that serves food, but the food is so good you need to make an exception to work it into your brunch routine. Biscuit sandwiches, grits, and a full-blown jam bar for toast are can’t miss. Dabble in any available baked goods as well.
Everything we said about Baker Miller? Ya, that applies to Bang Bang too. Partially because it used to be run by the same people, and partially because the current Bang Bang crew still knows what’s up. You can visit the small shop all year long, but the the backyard with picnic benches is a no brainer when it’s warm outside.
People lose their sh*t over the Fruity Pebbles french toast at Flo, but we’re here to fill you in on a little secret. The real reason you need to eat brunch at Flo is for the New Mexican favorites like chorizo-tamale hash and egg dishes covered in Christmas-colored salsas. Of course, you still want an order of Fruity Pebbles french toast as an extra dish to share.
Sometimes, the thought of getting out of bed for brunch is a crippling idea. Sometimes, you just want brunch in sweatpants, or no pants. Fight through the pain and get yourself to Hash if you're having these thoughts. It feels like eating in your living room, if your living room were a friendly hipster commune. You’ll appreciate the BYO policy too, especially if those crippling thoughts are the result of a hangover.
Avec might only serve brunch on Sunday, but a Sunday brunch excursion is holier than time spent in Church. It’s no surprise that when the Avec team decided to do brunch, they started doing it extremely well. Order anything and everything, including the beloved bacon-wrapped, chorizo-stuffed dates.
Beatrix is one of the most versatile restaurants in the entire city. You can grab a coffee and muffin on-the-go in the morning, lunch with friends, do a power business lunch, dinner with your parents, whatever. There’s literally nothing Beatrix can’t cater to, and that means brunch included.
Brunch at Longman & Eagle will make you feel very Midwestern, but in a somewhat refined way. It has something to do with the fancy log cabin feel, plus the fact you feel like you belong. Anything involving meat is a smart way to go. That includes the chicken and waffles, which might not be very Midwestern but is still very good.
Like Avec, Fat Rice is another beloved restaurant that decided to get in the brunch game. And also like Avec, man are we glad they did. The Macanese food here has a lot of influence from both Portugal and China, and it's something different for a change. Don't expect pancakes and omelettes. You'll find familiar ingredients, but they'll be coupled with bold flavors that will make you want to visit the tiny country we generally associate with gambling and not food.
We’re not sure what the time limit is for establishing yourself as a classic, but Lula Cafe is definitely there. It’s the OG restaurant of Logan Square, and if you ask us, brunch is the best part. Basic things like a breakfast burrito will blow your mind, as will the people watching on the patio when it’s warm outside.
The Winchester is the type of neighborhood spot that you may not realize is hiding right under your nose. Although, we’re hoping that’s not true if you live anywhere near Ukrainian Village. The inside is the type of bright and clean space we love hanging at on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. We know you’ll like hanging there too.
If Bill Walton dreamed up a brunch restaurant at a Grateful Dead concert, Bongo Room would be the result. Maybe it’s their rainbow colored Instagram icon, or maybe it’s the white chocolate caramel pretzel pancakes and chocolate tower french toast. Whatever it is, Bongo Room is an over-the-top brunch spot that everyone should experience at least once.
The more we go to Dusek's, the more we like it. It's consistent, reliable, and good for so many occasions. The brunch menu is stellar and the space is comfortable, so you can bring the crew and hang for a while. From basics like eggs and pancakes to more complicated dishes like tete de cochon, nothing will disappoint.
If you’re debating between PQM and The Publican for brunch, go to PQM. We’re not knocking The Publican, we just prefer it for dinner. PQM, on the other hand, is the type of café ideal for day-time. And since it’s only open during the day, we’re requiring you to visit PQM on the weekend if it’s the only time you can go. Get here and go hard in the paint.