We’ve rounded up some of our favorite brunch spots in town and you have the Olio City guarantee (not a real thing, don’t @ us) that you won’t be disappointed. The only advice we can give you is to wear stretchy or baggy clothes.
If a trip to ol’ Paris isn't in the cards, this all-day European café is your next bet bet, right in Humboldt Park. Cozy up over a shot of espresso and choose from brunch delicacies à la France, like caviar toast, sautéed calf brains, and duck frites with foie gras, or be boring and get a breakfast sandwich or pastry. This no-frills French cafe also makes a mean burger. Go on a Thursday afternoon and get a burger, beer, and fries for just $20.
The fave cafe of Francophile foodies
No-frills French cafe.
Photo courtesy of Café Marie-Jeanne
Since the reclamation of historic Thalia Hall in 2013, this Michelin Star restaurant has been serving up brunch-y dishes like fried chicken and waffles, ricotta beignets, and brioche French toast, served with a refreshing selection of beermosas. This casual award-winning should be your go-to in Pilsen for brunch or a Juicy Lucy burger.
Warm and cozy, with exposed brick and a tin ceiling, lots of Edison bulbs, and wrought iron tables topped with reclaimed wood.
The Minnesota classic not often found in Chicago: the Juicy Lucy. Made with a thick Slagel Family Farm beef patty, stuffed with American cheese, topped with red onion bacon marmalade, lettuce, and tomato on a brioche bun, served with beef fat fries.
Photo courtesy of Dusek's Board & Beer
Lula Cafe has long been one of Chicago's dazzling brunch stars, and this bustling hot spot is still very popular in the mornings. Owner/Chef Jason Hammel helped start the farm-to-table movement in the city, and the menu is still exemplary of seasonal, locally-sourced fare. There’s a reason it’s a perennial favorite among local chefs and regular folk. Breakfast and brunch are available daily (except Tuesday), with sinful offerings like house-made pastries, French toast with a spin, and the ever-evolving "Royale" breakfast sandwich. Vegetarian diners won’t be left out in the cold, but vegans might have trouble finding suitable options.
This sunny eatery is worth the wait on the weekend.
House-made pastries, unique French toast amalgamations, and an inventive cocktail list.
Photo courtesy of Lula Cafe
One of Chicago's most prominent organic and sustainable restaurants, this Mexican-influenced Bridgeport farm-to-table spot has a menu that changes with the seasons, highlighting the freshest local products, nearly all of which are prepared in-house, from cured and smoked meats to house-baked pastries and housemade preserves. However, the popular avocado fries, nanadict (house made sopes, poached eggs, chorizo, poblano cream sauce), and huevos rancheros are always on the menu.
Warm, rustic, elegant, and proudly organic restaurant in a cozy exposed-brick space.
Local, organic, sustainable and seasonal products.
Photo courtesy of Nana
One Off Hospitality Group's European-inspired beer hall has been a must-try for almost a decade. The West Loop spot is an homage to oysters, pork and beer, with hand-selected and sustainably-raised fish, seafood, and pork anchoring the rustic menu. At brunch, you can count on freshly-shucked oysters, maple syrup-braised bacon, and Belgian waffles with honey butter to appear on the eclectic daily rotating menu. Pair your choice with a Publican mimosa made with with Belgian witbier and orange juice or the bottomless coffee, or go crazy and order off the extensive international beer list, featuring modern and historical beer styles, brewery collaborations, and a focused cider selection. The secret is undeniably out, so make sure to make a reservation as bunch and every other meal get very crowded even with plenty of space to sit.
Part farmhouse, part beer hall, with strong architectural lines and rustic décor that reflects the restaurant’s hearty fare. A large walnut communal banquet table dominates the spacious interior, with views of the partially open kitchen.
Simple farmhouse fare in a space evocative of a European beer hall.
Photo courtesy of The Publican
Looking for a luxurious brunch? Look no further than Roister. Alinea Group is responsible for this Michelin-starred restaurant-in-a-kitchen that is both casual and boisterous. Find a spot at the bustling kitchen bar, order up a cocktail (bourbon at brunch? Don’t mind if we do.), and choose from the open-faced egg sandwich, cinnamon toast smeared with foie gras mousse, strawberry jam, and a sprinkling of black pepper, or the fried chicken, which is already superb as a sandwich, but absolutely divine served up with a fluffy waffle, rich honey butter, and whiskey syrup.
Intimate, chill, and much more casual than Alinea.
The open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant where you can watch talented chefs prepare, cook, and plate your meal.
Photo courtesy of Roister Restaurant
The world’s first Michelin-starred brewpub has no problem living up to its reputation, with interesting beers, globally-inspired plates, and delightfully unexpected flavors throughout the menu. Start with a Morning Daiquiri (Plantation rum, pineapple, grapefruit, lime), a Gin and Tonic on Draft (Ford's gin, grapefruit, elderflower), or go for a flight of beer and nap it off later. And whatever you order, sweet or savory, make sure to get a Bohemian creme donut topped with chocolate stout glaze and stuffed with decadent malted cream as a starter or dessert.
Culinary brewhouse with a chic and funky dining room that shouts bohemian glam.
The first Michelin Starred brewpub
Photo courtesy of Band of Bohemia
This Southern-tinged Tex-Mex spot in Wicker Park is not your average greasy spoon. The diner is home to bold and hearty mashups of Southern and Mexican cuisine, like buttermilk-fried chicken blanketed in chorizo verde gravy paired with a Dark Matter nitro coffee on draft.
Soulful, intimate all-day diner.
The "Back to Life" cocktail: Marinated seafood and peppers stuffed into a sundae glass that will give your hangover a run for its money.
Photo courtesy of Dove's Luncheonette