Whether you’re in need of an instant mood boost, searching for a group Sunday Funday activity, or looking to cure a hangover from the night before, brunch is the solution to all problems. Luckily Chicago has an abundance of seriously good morning eats and here we’ve compiled the best of the bunch.
Based on our own experiences at Secret Chicago, our audience’s most popular choices, and a scrupulous assessment of settings and prices, we’ve filtered through the noise to gather the most unique, reliable, and affordable brunch spots around Chicago providing you with the ultimate Chicago brunch list.
After a chaotic couple of years which saw brunches prohibited from our weekend itineraries the city is alive and kicking once again and it’s time to brunch like never before.
Taking into account the setting, the atmosphere, and of course the quality of food, here are our top choices for breakfast and brunch spots around Chicago, in no particular order.
Please note: If you have any suggestions or would like information updated that may have changed please contact the Secret Chicago team at email@example.com.
1. Little Goat Diner – West Loop
With Stephanie Izard, the first female chef to win Bravo’s Top Chef, at the helm, you can bet your bottom dollar the Little Goat Diner will serve up a Chicago brunch to please the pickiest of people.
A menu dedicated to brunching and serving spectacular dishes all day makes this an ever-reliable brunch spot that always exceeds expectations.
The retro midcentury-modern diner is casual and cozy so you can brunch away in comfort and choose from an array of delectable brunch options both traditional and worldly.
Where: 820 West Randolph Street, Chicago
2. M Henry – Andersonville
Of all the fantastic brunch spots in Andersonville, the historic Chicago staple M Henry is a frontrunner dedicated to using mostly organic and meat-free options. If bacon is an essential member of your dream brunch setup M Henry might not be for you. But if you’re looking for a place to satisfy a number of different tastes and tendencies, you can’t go wrong with M Henry.
The day-time-only cafe offers globally inspired, new American-style cooking from the finest natural locally produced ingredients available. M. Henry’s all-day breakfast menu has both traditional breakfast options like fried egg sandwiches and stacks of hotcakes as well as veggie and vegan options such as the veritable vegan epiphany – an organic tofu scramble with tempeh strips and sliced avocado.
Where: 5707 North Clark Street, Chicago
3. Twisted Spoke – River West
A brunch menu titled ‘Hangover Hospital‘ tells you all you need to know about this River West rooftop. Helping Chicagoans get back on their feet from 10 am – 3 pm every Saturday and Sunday, Twisted Spoke has become an ever-reliable weekend retreat.
The casual rooftop boasts three incredible bloody mary options in Road Rash Mary, Smoking Salma, and Bloody Maria. We warn you, once you check in here, it might just become a weekly habit.
Where: 501 North Ogden Avenue, Chicago
4. Offshore Rooftop – Navy Pier
Not only does the Offshore Rooftop hold the title of the largest rooftop deck in the country, but it is also consistently recognized as one of the best places to best enjoy a drink or a meal with a view.
The panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline are unmatched but it remarkably it also offers a phenomenal brunch menu every day from 11 am until 2.30 pm. There aren’t many places that boast such incredible sights and simultaneously a notable brunch, but Offshore Rooftop certainly does.
Open year-round, the award-winning 36,000-square-foot rooftop has both indoor and outdoor areas as well as several cozy fire pits and an entertainment and gaming area meaning the views and world-class kitchen can be enjoyed regardless of the Chicago weather.
Where: 1000 E Grand Ave, Chicago.
5. Tweet – Edgewater
Twice named the best Chicago brunch by Chicago Reader, Tweet has become an incredibly popular Chicago brunch spot while remaining modest and affordable.
Born in 2003 as the sister restaurant to Big Chicks, Tweet is nestled within a vintage art deco building and serves a wide range of both classic and non-traditional dishes in a comfortable but unique setting.
As well as well-priced yet delicious dishes like Eggs Florentine, Portabella Benedict, and Avocado Toast Platter all costing $13, there are spectacular drinks in the form of sangrias, mimosas, craft beers, iced coffees, and iced teas. Oh and not to mention the service is superb.
“Although we do believe in generous portion sizes, Tweet knows that sitting down for a meal isn’t just about giving your body the energy it needs for the day” reads the About Tweet page. “We believe that taking the time to experience the food we eat is an essential part of what makes us human–it’s an opportunity to interact with the vast world of smells, tastes, sights, and sounds around us.”
Where: 5024 N Sheridan Road, Chicago
6. Eleven City – South Loop
From eggs served in various forms on house potatoes and toast to Belgian waffles, buttermilk pancakes, and challah french toast, there is so much to choose from at Eleven City it will make you want to make a checklist to help try everything on its all-day breakfast menu.
For those wanting a healthier brunch, a Quinoa Scramble Bowl or Avocado Bagel Breakfast are two fantastic options while any stand-alone bagel with a single spread can be ordered for $4.75 or 99 cents for a second.
Where: 1112 S Wabash Avenue, Chicago
7. Daley’s – Woodlawn
Right down in South Side’s Woodlawn neighborhood, you’ll find Chicago’s oldest restaurant and one of the city’s best brunch spots. Having served Chicago for over a century, the family-owned restaurant relocated across the street in 2019.
Opened back in 1892 by an Irish immigrant by the name of John Daley (unrelated to the political family or former mayors), the fabled restaurant has become a city landmark and knows a thing or two about how Chicagoans like to start the day.
These days filled with Woodlawn locals and University of Chicago students, Daley’s is another Chicago restaurant famed for its Belgian waffles, tasty omelletes, and unbeatable breakfast sandwiches that will set you back just $8.95.
Where: 6257 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago
8. 3rd Coast Café – Gold Coast
All the way up in Gold Coast another seasoned restaurant has long been a reputable spot for a reliable all-day breakfast. Nestled in the heart of the Gold Coast at the corner of Dearborn and Goethe since 1985, 3rd Coast Café is “as Chicago as Wrigley Field” in the words of the New York post.
“We are proud to source locally, use “free bird” chicken, farm fresh eggs, and Angus prime beef” reads the 3rd Coast Café website.
If you’re looking for a comfortable ‘cafe’ atmosphere with well-priced wine and a great locally-produced brunch just a couple of blocks north of the shopping area on Michigan Avenue, 3rd Coast Café checks all the boxes.
Where: 1260 N Dearborn, Chicago
9. Honeybear Cafe – Rogers Park
A down-to-earth family-owned restaurant in the Rogers Park neighborhood, Honeybear Cafe has already become a breakfast staple for Rogers Park locals despite only opening in February of 2020.
Almost everything is homemade at Honeybear Cafe and as a scratch kitchen, as much as possible is sourced locally. If you’re looking for somewhere to feel wholesome and healthy while tucking into some delicious breakfast tacos, french toast, or a vegan tofu scrambler, Honeybear is that place.
P.S if you’re prepared to let your discipline slide just a little, the Banana Crunch Cakes “filled with granola and fresh bananas topped with cinnamon butter, pecans, more fresh bananas, & whipped cream” is our pick of the bunch.
Where: 7036 N Clark St, Chicago
10. Smack Dab – Rogers Park
A little further down North Clark Street lies another relatively young restaurant, Smack Dab, which opened in 2017. The casual, modern cafe offers signature gourmet breakfast sandwiches and top-notch coffee.
Everything at Smack Dab has been made with an abundance of TLC using local and organic ingredients. It’s another Chicago brunch spot where you just can’t go wrong.
Where: 6730 N Clark St, Chicago
11. Wake ‘N Bacon – Lakeview
If an Instagrammable brunch is just important for you as a tasty, nourishing brunch, you’ll be more than satisfied with both at the family-friendly Wake ‘N Bacon in Lakeview.
“A playful environment, where the outdoors come inside, and you can enjoy great food with fun drinks. We are currently the most Instagrammable brunch spot in Chicago, and we make sure your social media won’t be disappointed” reads the Wake ‘N Bacon website.
While this list is about brunches and not the best photo op locations in Chicago, luckily Wake ‘N Bacon boasts both an astounding chic setup with an abundance of floral decorations having from the ceiling and a menu of distinct flavors from Latin America, Asia, and America.
The brunch menu offers breakfast burritos, Hawaiian bread options, bagels, pancakes, chia puddings – you name it. Spiced Maple Chicken ‘n Waffles are our personal favorite if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
Where: 420 W Belmont Avenue, Chicago
12. Summer House Santa Monica – Lincoln Park
With all the fantastic Chicago diners available in the Windy City sometimes it’s nice to change it up a bit. Lincoln Park’s Summer House Santa Monica will transport you to sunny California with its bright and breezy dining room.
If you’re looking for an instant mood boost, this is it. Coastal touches, hanging plants, and a glass retractable roof comprise a stunning setting channeling West Coast charm whilst you certainly won’t be disappointed when you’re enjoying one of their brilliant breakfast options.
Where: 1954 North Halsted Street, Chicago
13. Lula Cafe – Logan Square
The dining room and patio at Lula Cafe provide an incredible brunch setup with a long-established brunch menu that can be enjoyed whilst overlooking the square.
Consistently identified as one of Chicago’s best brunch spots, Lula Cafe cannot be overemphasized. Another neighborhood staple using locally sourced ingredients and offering a range of vegan and gluten-free options, you can’t go wrong with Lula Cafe.
Where: 2537 N Kedzie Avenue, Chicago
14. The Publican – Fulton Market
“An homage to oysters, pork, and beer, The Publican’s eclectic menu is inspired by simple farmhouse fare in a space evocative of a European beer hall.”
While The Publican is chiefly a seafood and pork restaurant offering hand-selected and sustainably raised fish, the rustic West Loop spot also offers a charming brunch with various meat and vegetarian options.
Where: 837 West Fulton Market, Chicago
15. Maple & Ash – Gold Coast
If you’re in search of an upscale boozy brunch in the Gold Coast, look no further. With a menu crafted by two Michelin-star Chef Danny Grant, Maple & Ash is an innovative take on the traditional steakhouse “mixing a modern aesthetic with authentic service to deliver classic wood-fired dishes.”
Add in a wine list named “one of the most outstanding in the world” by Wine Spectator, Maple & Ash does not fall short of recognition. The lavish establishment is kitted out with chandeliers and spacious velvet booths offering guests the chance to brunch in style.
Where: 8 West Maple Street, Chicago
16. Lou Mitchell’s – West Loop
While age doesn’t always guarantee quality, it is difficult to ignore one of Chicago’s oldest restaurants in Lou Mitchell’s. The restaurant will have been serving up breakfasts and brunches to Chicagoans for 100 years in mid-2023.
The family diner was started by ‘Uncle Lou’ back in 1923 specializing in breakfast, brunch, and lunch dishes before being handed down to his son Lou Mitchell.
The website boasts that “we’ve poured enough cups of our signature coffee to fill the Chicago River and our delicious pancakes could fill Wrigley field.” With various different pancakes, waffles, and omelets there is plenty of option and this old-school dining experience is sure to exceed expectations.
Where: 565 West Jackson Boulevard, Chicago
17. Beatnik – West Town & Riverside
You’ll struggle to find another cafe in Chicago as trendy as Beatnik. The exotic escape from the folks behind Celeste boasts an opulent old-world design and has a fantastic menu to boot.
The West Town restaurant was inspired by writers and artists of the 1950s and 60s Beat Generation and so the decor inside consequently draws inspiration from around the world with bright colors, hundreds of plants, and a bohemian vibe.
River seating offers an iconic setting while an open-air courtyard with a fully retractable roof is usually swamped in natural light that creates an incomparable backdrop. An array of traditional dishes offer great Chicago breakfast and brunch options but the menu is as colorful as the venue with plenty of dishes from different countries and cultures.
Where: 180 North Upper Wacker Drive and 1604 West Chicago Avenue
18. Yolk – Multiple Locations
After opening the first Yolk restaurant in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood in 2006, Yolk has become one of those family-friendly chains that has grown in popularity for its reliable service and fantastic food.
Having just opened a 5th Chicago location in May 2021 there are now several conveniently placed Yolk cafes offering fantastic Chicago brunches in several different corners of the city.
You can be sure you’ll leave any of them well-fed with a spring in your step and a smile on your face.
Where: See all Chicago locations here.
19. Batter & Berries – Lincoln Park
Founded in 2012, Batter & Berries combines a diverse menu with an upbeat atmosphere, and almost everything is sourced locally.
While the website talks of handmade sausages from locally sourced poultry, freshly shredded potatoes daily, 100% Pure Maple Syrup, and collaborations with local artisans, talk to any fan of Batter & Berries and you’ll likely hear about their phenomenal french toast.
Coming in four different flavors, strawberry, blueberry, lemon, and caramel, the french toast is a must-try for brunch fanatics but for the real deal the French Toast Flight offers a taste of all four.
With its bright floral surroundings, hearty breakfasts, and fantastic service, Batter & Berries is unsurprisingly one of the most popular Chicago brunch options in the whole city.
Where: 2748 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago
20. Chicago Diner – Logan Square and Lakeview (Vegetarian)
Ask any vegetarian or vegan in the city about their top restaurant choices and it’s likely Chicago Diner will be one of the first names on their lips. The famed diner often makes it into lists of the best vegan restaurants in Chicago and rightly so.
Whilst its motto boasts that The Chicago Diner has been “Meat free since ’83” its reputation is such that The Chicago Diner is loved by meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters all over the city and is thus a popular seasoned Chicago brunch spot.
A large menu offers anything ranging from pancakes to black bean veggie burgers but it’s what they can do with seitan and tofu that will really blow your mind, and your taste buds.
Eggs Benedict, Steak & Eggs (using fried seitan), Biscuit & Gravy (again with seitan), and the Breakfast Combo are just a few of the options that will have you leaving the Chicago Diner happy whatever your diet consists of.
Where: 3411 N Halsted Street and 2333 N Milwaukee Avenue
21. Pick Me Up Cafe – Wrigleyville
Pick Me Up Cafe is another restaurant offering a fantastic array of vegan and vegetarian fare. Unlike the Chicago Diner, however, Pick Me Up Cafe has just as many meat options so any group can find a variety of dishes to satisfy all needs.
“Whether it’s a plate of vegan french toast, a hearty chorizo burrito, or a perfectly crafted latte, we have something for everyone” the website reads.
Whether it’s a Vegan Tofu Scram, Bacon Benedict, or Huevos Rancheros Deluxe, the brunch options at Pick Me Up Cafe are sensational. It is also another trendy hangout with brightly colored decor and an assortment of mismatching furniture that give it a truly unique feel.
Where: 4882 North Clark Street, Chicago
22. Nana – Bridgeport
Frequently recognized as one of Chicago’s best brunch spots, the family-owned Nana in Bridgeport reopened in May 2021.
Boasting a delicious brunch menu made with sustainably and ethically sourced organic ingredients from local farmers, Nana offers a unique array of Mexican-American food.
There are some extraordinary Latin-influenced brunch options that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else in the Windy City.
Where: 752 West 33rd Street, Chicago
23. The Bongo Room – Multiple Locations
The Bongo Room is another brunch classic in Chicago. The casual café serves an outstanding brunch in a relaxed setting.
Breakfast burritos, and croissant sandwiches both meat and meat-free are the go-to options for many here as well as a decadent Lobster Benedict that is certainly not short of admirers.
Where: 5022 North Clark Street and 1470 North Milwaukee Avenue
24. The Duck Inn – Pilsen / Bridgeport
The Duck Inn’s Sunday Brunch menu is one of those menus that has just too many mouth-watering options. Reading through the eye-catching selection including Banana Foster French Toast, Smoked Salmon Avocado Toast, The Bridgeport Breakfast, Shrimp & Grits, and the Egg McDuckinn, you’ll likely be asking for more time to decide and already know you’re going to be making a few trips back to enjoy the other options on the menu.
This famed neighborhood gastro-tavern on the border of the vibrant Pilsen and Bridgeport neighborhoods has a comfortable vibe and a sensational breakfast that will have you coming back for more.
Where: 2701 South Eleanor Street, Chicago
What’s your favorite breakfast spot? Let us know by tagging us with your favorites on Instagram with #mysecretchicago.
25. Beatrix – Multiple Locations
You’ll struggle to find a more reliable brunch spot than Beatrix. With multiple locations around the city, the friendly chain of cozy cafés offers fresh-squeezed juices, brunch cocktails, and an outstanding breakfast menu.
The popular all-day eatery focuses on healthy and affordable options with anything from light & fluffy lemon pancakes to steak chimichurri & eggs.
You can guarantee Beatrix has something for everybody and with a small collection of well-located coffeehouses and restaurants in River North, Streeterville, Fulton Market, and Oak Brook, finding a convenient meeting place shouldn’t be a hard task.
Where: 519 N Clark Street (River North), 834 W. Fulton Market (Fulton Market), 671 N. St. Clair Street (Streeterville), 272 Oakbrook Center (Oakbrook)
[Featured image courtesy of Wake ‘N Bacon]