Sometimes, you don’t want to “brunch.” You don’t want numerous variations of avocado toast perfectly Instagrammed over decorative tile floors. You don’t even want other humans to recognize your existence. You just want a greasy ass bagel sandwich in your belly. Enter, Chicago Bagel Authority.
CBA makes delicious, meaty steamed bagel sandwiches. Yes, they’re steamed, so they’re soft, moist, and lack the traditional consistency of traditional bagels. Bagel purists are going to whine. Get out of here bagel purists. We don’t need your kind at CBA, or at least recognize that's not what CBA is about. Their bagel sandwiches are hefty and piled high with various meats, cheeses, eggs, and other toppings. Stick to a classic BEC, or get real weird with some of their more creative concoctions like the Hot Carl (meatballs, feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, ranch dressing) or the Crunch and Munch (Nacho Cheese Doritos with turkey, cheese, and the fixings).
With college sports on TV and groups of friends reminiscing about the night before at high tops, it’s the equivalent of a breakfast sports bar, minus the booze. CBA is loud and raucous with no real method to ordering. The menu is huge, categorized by meat (Turkey, Bacon, Ham, etc.), and written on a giant chalkboard. It’s slightly overwhelming, but you’ll be surprised at how easily you acclimate to throwing bows to get your order in. The staff is friendly, but they’re not really here to chat with you. They got bagels to steam, son.
You can't go wrong with any of the bagel sandwiches, but check out some of our favorite combinations in the Food Rundown below for some ideas. We normally hit up the Lincoln Park location, but the newer Lakeview spot on Belmont is basically the same. And if you can't get your sh*t together on the weekend to make it out in public, CBA will deliver. Sure, you have to hit a $20 minimum, but between three Gatorades, an iced coffee, bagel sandwich, and chocolate chip cookie, you should be just fine.
Your classic scrambled egg with American cheese. Because it’s steamed, the American cheese gets ooey gooey in the best kind of way. Toss on some extra bacon, and you’ve got yourself a nice little breakfast.
No longer must you choose between sweet and savory because The Belmont throws in everything plus the kitchen sink: ham, syrup, scrambled egg, chive cream cheese, jalapeños, gouda, and pepper jack cheese on an everything bagel. It’s sweet, salty, meaty, and cheesy.
Turkey, cream cheese, colby, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, avocado, and honey mustard on a bialy. They warn you it’s messy.
This is our go-to bagel sandwich. Corned beef, bacon, hard boiled egg, pepperjack cheese, jalapeños, cheddar, black pepper, lettuce, and habanero on a rye bagel. Heads up, this is a Level 10 on the spicy scale.
In the mood for something a little sweeter? The Atheist’s Nightmare has peanut butter, banana slices, and cinnamon sugar on a wheat bagel. Fun fact: some people believe that bananas are proof of intelligent design by God because it’s so perfectly designed for human holding, consumption, and disposal. CBA is educational too!