You either love mornings or you don’t, but breakfast is a good idea no matter what time it is.
Everyone loves a good brunch, and Chicago has some seriously good morning eats. Here are 10 of our favorite brunch spots you can start (or end #breakfastfordinner) your day on the right foot.
1. Ann Sather, Multiple locations on the North Side
This is by far our favorite brunch spot. Ann Sather has a delicious menu of breakfast entrees, most of which come with a side of their famous cinnamon rolls. These pastries are huge, doughy bites of happiness slathered with thick powdered sugar icing and served piping hot. Ann Sather has multiple locations on the north side, all of which are extremely busy during weekend breakfast and brunch. They also don’t take reservations, so be sure to arrive early and be prepared to wait. Trust us, it’s worth it. More information.
2. Pick Me Up Cafe, Wrigleyville
This funky Wrigleyville cafe is open practically all hours, but we love it for its breakfast and brunch menu. Pick Me Up Cafe is a popular hangout in the LGBTQ+ community and has a fun, quirky vibe with brightly colored decor, mismatch tables, and a cozy atmosphere. Its breakfast and weekend brunch menus feature tons of vegetarian and vegan options, so it’s a great place for anyone’s diet. Our favorite dish is the Florentine Benedict which comes with two poached eggs, sauteed spinach, fresh goat cheese, and a homemade hollandaise sauce. More information.
3. River Roast, River North
This gorgeous riverside enclave is perfect for cozying up while enjoying some soul-warming bites! As the name suggests, River Roast offers a New American take on British classics with its wide variety of meat, fish and veggies that are roasted and carved tableside. If you choose to go for brunch on the weekends, you’ll also be able to catch a live show by some of Chicago’s finest Blues musicians!
4. Tre Kronor, North Park
This Nordic Bistro is a favorite among North Park residents, especially for breakfast and brunch. The decor is adorably Scandinavian with a mural of Swedish gnomes, beautiful posters, and ceramic plates hung up on the wall. Tre Kronor’s reasonably priced breakfast menu has a diverse selection of Scandinavian treats such as Swedish pancakes, Belgian waffles, and omelets featuring ingredients from several different Scandinavian and Nordic countries. If you fall in love with the hygge atmosphere, pop next door to the Swedish Shop for a souvenir! More information.
5. Lou Mitchell’s, West Loop
This restaurant and bakery has been serving up breakfast, brunch, and lunch in Chicago for 94 years. “We’ve poured enough cups of our signature coffee to fill the Chicago River…” they gloat on their website. This popular breakfast spot has a classic diner feel and their menu is huge. The diner has six different types of pancakes (including a gluten-free option!), four different waffles, over 20 omelets, and a ton of country fresh egg options. Stop by its location downtown right at the start of Route 66 for a magnificent breakfast. More information.
6. Tiztal Cafe, Ravenswood (Takeout only)
Here at Secret Chicago we absolutely love Mexican breakfast food, so we had to add Tiztal Cafe to our list of great places to start your morning. Tiztal Cafe is known for its amazing chilaquiles made with delicious green salsa, freshly fried chips, and the egg style of your choice. The cafe also has a great selection of omelets, smoothies, and its famous Oatmeal Shakes. In the summer, Tiztal has a lovely patio for getting some morning sun when it’s warm out. More information.
7. Cozy Corner Restaurant & Pancake House, Multiple Locations
This restaurant & pancake house is a favorite among many Chicagoans. Its diner-style atmosphere and menu of classic breakfast favorites makes it a good, sturdy place to fuel up for the day ahead. We particularly love the Mexican section of its menu, especially the Huevos Rancheros served with an option of red or green chile. Pro tip: ask for both. In New Mexico, they call this Christmas style and it’s delicious. Add a Santa’s beard of sour cream for a creamy yet spicy start to your day. More information.
8. Nana, Bridgeport (Takeout only)
Nana has a delicious menu of entrees made with sustainably and ethically sourced organic ingredients. The restaurant works directly with local farmers and serves unique Mexican-American food you can feel good about putting in your belly. Our favorite thing on the menu is the nanadict, a Mexican twist on a classic eggs benedict served up with homemade sopapillas, poached eggs, chorizo, poblano cream sauce, and a choice of greens or fries. More information.
9. Hamburger Mary’s, Andersonville (Takeout only)
Another great drag brunch, Hamburger Mary’s does two “Diva Brunch” shows every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. With bottomless mimosas and some of the best drag performers in the city, Hamburger Mary’s brunch is a high-energy way to spend the morning. More information.
10. The Chicago Diner, Logan Square and Lakeview (Takeout only)
Since 1983, The Chicago Diner has been serving up meat-free diner cuisine to thousands of hungry vegans and vegetarians. While its better known for its burgers, its brunch menu is also really exceptional. Some popular dishes include Vegan Cinnamon Rolls, Chilaquiles with scrambled egg or tofu, and Potato Tempeh Hash. The diner even have its own cookbook for you to make your favorite meat-free dishes at home! More information.
What’s your favorite breakfast spot? Let us know by tagging us with your favorites on Instagram with #mysecretchicago.
Feature photo: @riverroastchi