Bongo Room is permanently closed

Bongo Room review image

Bongo Room


Bongo Room is like the Candy Land of breakfast and brunch restaurants, which is a good thing if you're trying to make Buddy The Elf proud by sticking to the four major food groups: candy, candy corn, candy cane, and syrup. It's not the best brunch spot in town, but go with the expectations that the sweet stuff will be big, over the top, and delicious.

The Bongo Room cranks out breakfast, brunch, and lunch at three separate Chicago locations, including Wicker Park, Andersonville, and the South Loop, the last of which is the topic of today's discussion. Three locations doesn't necessarily mean you won't have to wait on the weekends though, because you probably will. We don't like waiting either, but sometimes when you're in the mood, it is what it is. And Bongo Room is a place you have to be in the mood for, since it's so over the top and decadent, it's not a meal you're going to want all the time. But like Michael Jordan once said, you miss gaining 100% of the pounds of food you don't eat, and every now and then you just need white chocolate and caramel pretzel pancakes in your life.

The menu is filled with absolute ridiculousness, including items from the breakfast, brunch, and specials menu. If white chocolate and caramel pretzel pancakes don't sound crazy enough, opt for chocolate tower french toast, which is in fact a respectable sized tower. And if you still don't think Bongo Room is pushing the edge, we're not sure how you can argue with Oreo and praline flapjacks, complete with crushed Oreo cookies, warm praline sauce, and chocolate creme anglaise.

We recently visited the South Loop digs, and aside from walking past the door ten times before realizing where it was (northwest corner of the intersection), you can expect a similar experience at each location. The outrageous pancakes and French toast are what everyone comes for, but you probably want to mix in some savory eats. Even though the sweet stuff is better, a whole order of those Oreo flapjacks is too much to handle. You'll end up with entirely too much food, but that's just the way Bongo Room rolls. And don't plan on having a productive day afterwards, because you won't. Unless it's the Fall, and productivity to you involves crawling back into bed to watch football, because then we are super productive.

Food Rundown


If there is lobster benedict on the menu, that's our first choice. We like any of the benedicts though because they are doing something right with a couple variations of superb hollandaise sauce.

Croissant Sandwich

Egg, bacon, and muenster cheese on a grilled croissant with potatoes. Simple, yet tough to mess up, and an easy order if you're looking to mix it up with some sweet stuff too.

Chocolate Tower French Toast

Chocolate chunk bread stuffed with maple mascarpone, a banana crème brulee sauce, and fresh bananas. It's good, but also large and sugary, which is why we like to split the sweets.

White Chocolate and Caramel Pretzel Pancakes

Say that fifty times fast with these pancakes staring you in the face. We give you until the third try before you give up and take a bite.

Red Velvet Hot Cakes

Red velvet chocolaty hot cocoa hot cakes topped with vanilla creme and toasted walnuts. Basically red velvet cupcakes disguised in breakfast form.

Suggested Reading

Hub 51 review image
Hub 51

Utilize Hub 51 for its strengths. Disclaimer: that doesn’t include full course dinners.

Southport Grocery and Cafe review image
Southport Grocery and Cafe

The Magna Carta Holy Grail of the brunch scene. Get involved.

HASH review image

Hash is like a casual hipster commune that serves delicious and cheap breakfast.

Tempo Cafe review image
Tempo Cafe

Tempo Cafe is the local Gold Coast diner open 24 hours a day. It's also exactly what we assume the coffee shop from Seinfeld is like.