The Big Chicago 10: The Ultimate Brunch Guide

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    The Ultimate Brunch Guide To Chicago

    ••• Mott Street, located in trendy Wicker Park, offers a Korean-inspired version of steak and eggs during brunch. Monica Kass Rogers

    Chicago's brunch scene shows no signs of slowing down--and that's a good thing. It's so diverse and vast that you could literally dine at two different places every day of the year. But since that's way too ambitious--and obsessive--we've narrowed the choices with a list showcasing only the very best Windy City offerings. Many, of course, are near Chicago landmarks such as Lincoln Park Zoo, Magnificent Mile, Millennium Park and Willis Tower, while others are in colorful neighborhoods, offering an opportunity to explore beyond the usual attractions.

    From appropriate family-friendly finds to flawless chef-driven destinations certain to make your Chicago trip memorable, our selections cover all the bases of the city's best brunches.

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  • 02 of 12

    Alfresco Dining

    ••• Raised rooftop at Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel. Isaac Maiselman with The Photographers Gallery

    North Pond. Nothing beats brunch with a great view, and this James Beard-winning restaurant offers that and plenty more. For $35 per person, guests choose seasonal dishes for a three-course meal. A nice stroll over to the nearby Lincoln Park Zoo caps off a perfect afternoon. Brunch is 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sunday. 2610 N. Cannon Dr., 773-477-5845

    Odyssey. Located on Navy Pier, the luxury cruiser is available during spring and summer for brunch and guests may indulge in griddled favorites as well as unlimited amounts of salads, pastas and meats from a carving station. From $64.90 per adult; $38.95 per child age 3-11. Two-hour rides board at noon Saturday, Sunday. 600 E. Grand Ave., 877-944-6704

    Parson's Chicken & Fish. There are only four entrees on the brunch menu, including chicken biscuit and buttermilk pancakes, but we have a feeling that most folks are coming for the cocktail offerings. During warmer months, guests may relax on the largest backyard patio in Logan Square. There...MORE are also outdoor ping pong tables. Brunch is served 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday). 2952 W. Armitage Ave., 773-384-3333

    Raised. Brunch-goers are treated to picturesque views of the Chicago River and skyline as they dine and drink on this lush rooftop lounge on the third level of Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel. The menu updates mid-morning favorites with choices like chorizo hash, beef tenderloin sliders, lobster rolls and muffins accompanied by local honey and lemon ricotta. Raised "tool box" DIY beverages serve up to four guests, and selections range from mimosas to a few signature cocktails. It occurs 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. 1 W. Wacker Dr., 312-372-7200

    Spirit of Chicago. On Saturdays June through October at noon, the faithful may get an early dose of the gospel with live spiritual music and a full brunch/lunch buffet. Prices start at $50.90 per person. Here is how to make a reservation. 600 E. Grand Ave., 855-851-3119

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  • 03 of 12

    All-Day Brunches

    Kitsch'n on Roscoe
    ••• Brunch at Roscoe Village's Kitsch'n on Roscoe consists of whimsical takes on classic French toast. Kitsch'n on Roscoe

    Bijan's Bistro. The River North eatery is one of the few serving daily brunch (10 a.m.-4 p.m.). That's great because who doesn't have a taste for griddled pancakes, omelets or a fried egg BLT at 3 p.m.? Prices range $6-$13. The restaurant is two blocks away from the Richard H. Driehaus Museum. 663 N. State St., 312-202-1904

    Hash House a Go Go. What kid doesn't like the idea of pancakes as big as their heads? Brunch and breakfast items are served all day at this quirky spot that also features a number of hashes served with fruit and biscuits, egg scrambles and one-pound burgers. 1212 N. State Pkwy., 312-202-0994

    Kitsch'n on Roscoe. Here's another popular spot serving daily brunch, and it gives visitors an opportunity to explore the quaint little neighborhood of Roscoe Village. Enjoy throwback dishes like Green Eggs & Ham (can be modified for vegetarians), a candied bacon brunch BLT, cinnamon toast and various takes on classic French toast. The restaurant is not...MORE too far from Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team, and the Southport Corridor shopping district. Brunch occurs daily 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. 2005 W. Roscoe St., 773-248-7372

    Little Goat.Stephanie Izard’s contemporary West Loop diner’s open all day, and most kids will be thrilled that they can order breakfast at any time. The dark chocolate chip crunch pancakes with chocolate malt butter, Fat Elvis waffles with bananas, peanut butter and bacon maple syrup or gooey, house-made Cinnabuns should put them on happy street. 820 W. Randolph St., 312-888-3455

    Lula Cafe. One of the pioneers in the local, organic and sustainablity scene, Lula's brunch menu is forever changing. What's great is that it's not so out there that you won't recognize the dishes. Start with something simple such as a half white grapefruit with candied seeds and move on to savory delights such as an almond crepe or three-grain risotto. Brunch occurs 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. daily (except Tuesdays, when the restaurant is closed). 2537 N. Kedzie Ave., 773-489-9554

    Nookies. The Old Town location serves up all your morning faves, plus it's BYOB. Dig into inexpensive best sellers like strawberry Belgian waffles, crunchy French toast and a chili-avocado frittata. All items are under $14. Nookies is a few blocks away from Chicago History Museum. 1746 N. Wells St., 312-337-2454

    Pearl's Place. Southern-focused classics are served all day at this no-frills, yet cheery Bronzeville fave, with such options as made-to-order omelets, fried catfish, home-style potatoes, buttermilk biscuits and grits. The hours are 7 a.m.-8 p.m. 3901 S. Michigan Ave., 877-275-5852

    Peach's. Not too far away from Pearl's is yet another breakfast and brunch focused eatery, but this one also offers a number of health-oriented options. In addition to such specialties as salmon croquettes and cheese grits, peach bourbon-infused pancakes and fried chicken with sweet honey butter, diners may choose from egg white omelets and gluten-free pancakes. It's open every day. Peach's is a quick drive to Hyde Park, where you'll be near President Barack Obama's home. 4652 S. King Dr., 773-966-5801

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  • 04 of 12

    Best Buffets

    ••• Shaw's Crab House

    Norman's Bistro. The weekly gospel brunch is $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under. The buffet includes sweet potato pancakes, BBQ spare ribs, fried chicken, house-made pastries, omelet station, carving table with three meats and more. Non-alcoholic beverages are included in price. Brunch occurs 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 1001 E. 43rd St., 773-966-5821

    Shaw's Crab House. Fifty-five dollars per person (children under 12 dine free) gets you a sweet selection at one of Chicago's most highly regarded seafood restaurants. The grand buffet includes a cold seafood bar, surf & turf station (with roast beef tenderloin, lobster bisque, king crab legs), omelet and waffle kitchen and dessert table. The price includes fresh brewed coffee, juice, tea and soda. After brunch, take a brisk walk to nearby Navy Pier. Brunch is 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 21 E. Hubbard St., 312-527-2722

    Signature Room. Plan a leisurely day that begins with a trip to the John Hancock Observatory and ends...MORE with brunch in the Signature Room--with unobstructed views of the city. Assorted charcuterie, gourmet soups, chilled seafood and desserts make up the buffet; diners may also choose from made-to-order entrees such as brioche French toast, brie and pear quiche, steak and eggs, and chicken piccata. It's $45 for adults; $25 for children under 12. 875 N. Michigan Ave., 312-787-9596

    Sinha Elegant Cuisine. Directly across the street from the United Center is this authentic South American find where a Brazilian-born woman generously opens her home for public consumption. Sunday brunch (two seatings at 2 and 4 p.m.) includes live entertainment, samba dancing and an all-you-can-eat spread of classic Brazilian dishes such as basmati rice, black beans and fish stew. It's $30 per person and BYOB. 2018 W. Adams St., 312-491-8200

    Stanley's Kitchen & Tap. For $13.95, guests may chow down on as many Southern-inspired dishes as possible. Highlights of the brunch menu include fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cheddar cheesy grits, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, bourbon glazed ham and more. There are also freshly squeezed  mimosas and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. The restaurant is a few blocks away from Lincoln Park Zoo and Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Brunch is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 1970 N. Lincoln Ave., 312-642-0007

    SteakBar. The "Almost Famous" feast is $35 per person and aims to be a brunch lover's wildest dream. Guests may select from a variety of carved meats at the butcher shop, then move on to the dessert shop for "boozy" doughnuts and other treats. There's also a gelato cart, Nutella crepe station for diners to make their own, and an eggs Benedict and omelet station. For an additional $10 to $15, guests may indulge in the bloody mary bar or mimosa package. The fun goes down 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 1500 N. Wells St., 312-966-0404

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  • 05 of 12

    Boozy

    ••• Taco Joint

    Baptiste & Bottle. Conrad Chicago's lobby-level eatery offers spectacular views and chow to match. For brunch, guests will find an impressive menu of down-home favorites such as cinnamon rolls that arrive piping hot in a skillet, crispy fish sliders with house-made cole slaw, and Lowcountry-style shrimp and grits. For an extra $16, diners may indulge in an unlimited bloody bar that's filled with all sort of homemade mixes and garnishes. They can get them with bourbon, vodka or tequila. Brunch happens 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 101 E. Erie St., 312-667-6793

    Bistronomic. The French-focused eatery features the classic Croque Monsieur, plus short-stack pancakes, French toast, omelets and pork belly Benedict. For an extra $16.95, guests may indulge in bottomless mimosas for two hours. Brunch is served 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant is a short stroll to the Mag Mile. 840 N. Wabash Ave., 312-944-8400

    Brasserie by LM. At this French-inspired...MORE restaurant across the street from Grant Park, it'll cost you $25 for bottomless mimosas, plus an entree. Choose from the likes of steel-cut oats topped with fresh berries, a brasserie burger and savory crepes. Brunch is served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 800 S. Michigan Ave., 312-431-1788

    Chicago Q. One of our favorite BBQ restaurants in Chicago serves brunch every weekend. You'll find some of the signature BBQ items (smoked chicken or Kobe brisket eggs Benedict) on the menu as well as tuned-up brunch dishes such as cheddar chive biscuits and gravy as well as carrot cake pancakes. Twenty bucks gets you bottomless mimosas. Brunch occurs 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 1160 N. Dearborn St., 312-642-1160

    Dolce Italian at Godfrey Chicago. The Italian-inspired brunch menu features a la carte dishes such as "The Brunch" sandwich (brioche, fried egg, prosciutto, arugula, parmesan), paninis, and a brunch pizza topped with sausage gravy, paprika and a poached egg. For an extra $25, guests may enjoy bottomless Bellinis, Bloody Mary cocktails or mimosas. It's 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday. 127 W. Huron St., 312-754-0700

    The Florentine. Bottomless mimosas and Bloody Mary cocktails may also be added for $15 at yet another downtown restaurant with Italian accents. The Florentine, located in the JW Marriott Chicago, is making them with high-quality ingredients and should complement the seasonal dishes very well. The restaurant is two blocks away from Willis Tower. Brunch occurs 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 151 W. Adams St., 312-660-8866

    Taco Joint. The casual Mexican eatery and lounge, with locations in Lincoln Park and River North, is now serving bottomless cocktails. Oh, and there is plenty to eat as well, from the inventive carnitas pancakes (three buttermilk pancakes, crispy pork carnitas, citrus-chile maple syrup) to gourmet breakfast burritos stuffed with tomatillo scramble, grilled Canadian bacon, pico de gallo, queso fresco, Mexican rice and chipotle black beans. Liquid pleasures are certain to be crowd pleasers. For two hours, guests get to drink nonstop Palomas, Micheladas, sangria, margaritas, Bloody Maria cocktails and more. It's $32 per person. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 158 W. Ontario St., 312-337-8226 or 1969 N. Halsted St., 312-951-2457

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  • 06 of 12

    Budget Friendly

    Oyster Bah Chicago
    ••• Shrimp 'n' grits, house-cured bacon and more from Oyster Bah in Lincoln Park. Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises

    Au Cheval. This trendy West Loop spot deserves to be on our best brunch list as much as it's one of our favorite burger destinations. You can get the signature griddled cheeseburger as well as crispy potato hash with duck heart gravy or foie gras with scrambled eggs. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. 800 W. Randolph St., 312-929-4580

    Batter & Berries. From a flight of French toast (a sampler of blueberry, lemon, caramel and strawberry) to chicken-stuffed sweet potato waffles, this quaint Lincoln Park spot is from a husband-and-wife team. Brunch entrees do not exceed $14. Brunch is served 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 2748 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-248-7710

    Luella’s Southern Kitchen. The Lincoln Square-based eatery was named in honor of chef/owner Darnell Reed's great-grandmother--whose delicious Southern recipes inspired him to pursue his passion for cooking as a career. Expect contemporary updates to classic dishes like bourbon-infused chicken and waffles, BBQ...MORE shrimp and grits, and a fried green tomato BLT. The restaurant is BYOB; no corkage fee required. It's located a block away from Old Town School of Folk Music. 4609 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-961-8196

    Oyster Bah. The little sister of Shaw's Crab House jumps into the brunch game with a number of sensational seafood offerings. All dishes are under $14 and include the likes of smoked trout hash, cheesy shrimp & grits, and a fried oyster Benedict. For those with a sweet tooth, opt for plates filled with Maine blueberry jam and toast, candied bacon or French toast bread pudding. Brunch starts at 11 a.m. 1962 N. Halsted St., 312-248-3000

    Wishbone. Another Deep South-focused brunch--which was a favorite of Oprah Winfrey's when she lived in Chicago--remains a popular option in the West Loop. Top sellers include some of the regional choices like the Savannah shrimp omelet (shrimp, ham, grilled onion, peppers, cheddar & cilantro salsa), Kentucky scrambled eggs (eggs scrambled with corn and peppers) and North Carolina-style crab cakes prepared with lemon-butter sauce. Brunch is served 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 1001 W. Washington Blvd., 312-850-2663

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  • 07 of 12

    Chef Driven

    ••• Mott Street, located in trendy Wicker Park, offers a Korean-inspired version of steak and eggs during brunch. Monica Kass Rogers

    Avec. Highlights on this unique menu include wood-oven baked French toast, Moroccan pancakes with fried chicken wings, and breakfast paella with chicken confit, snail boudin, eggs and tangerine aioli. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. 615 W. Randolph St., 312-377-2002

    Bistro Campagne. The long-time French bistro embraces a farm-to-table approach. It's a Lincoln Square favorite, mostly because of the seasonal ingredients enhancing classic fare like crepes Suzettes, duck confit over hash, and brioche French toast. The restaurant is located a block away from Old Town School of Folk Music. Brunch is 11 a.m.-2 p.m. every Sunday. 4518 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-271-6100

    Mott Street. Brunch is served 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays at this Korean-inspired hot spot in Wicker Park. Highlights during service include kalbi and eggs (beef short ribs marinated and grilled, two eggs and kimchi potato hash), black bean shrimp & grits, and ricotta brick toast (thick-cut brioche, house ricotta, cherry preserves, basil and...MORE mint). During warm months, diners may settle into the cozy backyard patio. 1401 N. Ashland Ave., 773-687-9977

    Duck Duck Goat. Stephanie Izard of Girl and the Goat fame is now trying her hand at Chinese cuisine, and with that, of course, comes dim sum. Expect many of the items on the regular menu such as crispy frog legs, Chongqing Chicken (Sichuan-style chicken with chilis) and shrimp toast, plus a few cool surprises. Brunch occurs 10 a.m.-1 p.m Sunday. 857 W Fulton Market, 312-902-3825

    Farmhouse. The menu at the farm-to-table concept extends to brunch service when such comfort food dishes as farm egg scramble, short rib hash and BBQ pork sandwich are served. Guests may also choose from three different mimosas, including one made from sparkling rose. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 228 W. Chicago Ave., 312-280-4960

    GT Fish & Oyster. The globally influenced menu consists of house-made churros, brioche French toast with bananas, Nutella and hazelnuts, a smoked whitefish quiche, and biscuits and lobster gravy. A dedicated brunch cocktail menu offers more selections than you'll find at most spots. 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 531 N. Wells St., 312-929-3501

    Longman & Eagle. Brunch is homey with hearty, shareable dishes like fried chicken and waffles with sweet potato and pork belly hash; kid-friendly cinnamon-spiced brioche French toast with praline pecans; and house-made biscuits smothered in pork sausage gravy. Diners will also find an entrée on this menu that's meant to appeal to its hipster heavy neighborhood: the PBR Breakfast of two eggs, bacon or house-made sausage, house potatoes and an ice-cold can of PBR. Brunch happens 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 2657 N. Kedzie Ave., 773-276-7110

    Mindy's Hot Chocolate. You'll find way more than hot chocolate on the menu at one of Bucktown's favorites, which is owned by award-winning toque Mindy Segal. The mac 'n' cheese never changes on the seasonal menu, plus you're likely to find variations of the smoked chicken salad, buttermilk pancakes and brunch fried rice. Brunch occurs 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 1747 N. Damen Ave., 773-489-1747

    Nico Osteria. The Thompson Chicago's red-hot dining-and-drinking destination is more laid back during brunch and that's a good thing if you're looking for something chill. The Italian-focused menu is quite unconventional for the Gold Coast with dishes such as porcini-rubbed hanger steak and soft-scrambled eggs with peperonata, prosciutto and olive focaccia. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 1015 N. Rush St., 312-994-7100

    Old Town Social. A great spot to catch sports action of any sort, OTS also serves a very good chef-driven brunch to complement the action. Dig into generous portions of turkey pastrami hash, grilled sausage & waffles, Bananas Foster French toast and piping-hot beignets. Brunch is served 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 455 W. North Ave., 312-266-2277

    The Publican. The brainchild of Michelin-starred chef Paul Kahan, Publican cranks out unconventional bites to the delight of its many fans. Brunch is seasonal and consistent with a few savory standbys: red wine poached eggs with prosciutto and sourdough; maple syrup-braised bacon; pork schnitzel with waffles; and the signature Publican "mimosa" of Belgian beer and freshly squeezed OJ. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 837 W. Fulton Market, 312-733-9555

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  • 08 of 12

    Day Parties

    J. Parker Chicago
    ••• The day brunch party at J. Parker. J. Parker

    DS Tequila Co. It's appropriately dubbed "The Hangover Brunch," so you can pretty much get in trouble all over again. For about $25, guests get a brunch entree (think burgers, skillets, omelets) paired with unlimited mimosas and Bloody Mary cocktails. It's very lively and attracts a young-ish crowd. Event happens 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in Lakeview. Saturday, Sunday. 3352 N. Halsted St., 773-697-9127

    Fremont. Happening 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, the brunch buffet costs $35 per person and easily rivals the grandest hotel offerings. Highlights include smoked brisket, waffle bar, omelet station, doughnut towers and seafood towers. There's a deejay spinning on the upper level and guests sometimes dance. 15 W. Illinois St., 312-874-7270

    Key Club at Hubbard Inn. No doubt Chicago's wildest brunch occurs at this River North hot spot. By night, Hubbard Inn reigns as one of the area's top cocktail lounges for singles, and once a month on Saturdays, the upstairs lounge...MORE transforms into the Key Club. The brunch is by reservation only, bottle service is highly recommended and a deejay performs all the latest and greatest hits. The Vegas-style party is a brunch to remember and showcases a different theme each time. It kicks off at 11 a.m. 110 W. Hubbard St., 312-222-1331

    Kit Kat Lounge & Supper Club. You won't find any other place in town where you'll encounter a brunch like this: men performing in full drag as every diva ranging from Diana Ross to Lady Gaga. Enjoy the show while noshing on items like bacon truffle mac 'n' cheese, Rice Krispie French toast or a "Big Hot Mess" of fried chicken and biscuits accompanied by two eggs served sunny side up. Brunch is 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. 3700 N. Halsted St., 773-525-1111

    Liquid Brunch at J. Parker. Light bites with a spectacular view, a deejay cranking out contemporary beats and beautiful people everywhere? That's what you will get during the summer at J. Parker, the glamorous rooftop lounge of Hotel Lincoln. The doors open at 11:30 a.m. for folks to indulge in a seasonal menu of pub fare that includes a signature burger, hummus, wings and Midwestern cheeses. It also boasts a strong cocktail program and lots of choices for bubbles. 1860 N. Clark St., 13th floor, 312-254-4747

    Minibar. When it comes to dining and drinking in Boystown, the options are endless. But when it comes to over-the-top antics in this part of Lakeview, Minibar is at the top of the list. That's because it's only $25 and with that you get a bottle of bubbly, plus brunch. There are also plenty of fresh juices to go along with your champagne and $3 Screwdriver cocktails. A deejay spins music to get the party cranking indoors and on the festive sidewalk cafe during warmer months. Minibar's party occurs 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 3341 N. Halsted St., 773-871-6227

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  • 09 of 12

    Family Friendly

    ••• Ann Sather

    Ann Sather. You'll find three-egg omelets, waffles and pancakes on the menu, but no meal is complete without ordering a round of the famously sticky andgooey home-made cinnamon rolls. It's a five-minute drive to The Center on Halsted in Chicago. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 909 W. Belmont Ave., 773-348-2378

    Bongo Room. The original Wicker Park location still draws fans willing to wait outside patiently for their turn to chow down on signature dishes such as the Chocolate Tower French Toast, BLT Benedict and sweet potato and black bean burrito. There are additional locations in Andersonville (5022 N. Clark St.) and the South Loop (1152 S. Wabash Ave.). 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 1470 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-489-0690

    Lake Shore Cafe. Located in Hyde Park, just shy of the Museum of Science & Industry, this sprawling, two-level cafe offers a budget-conscious buffet that includes a solid number of classic dishes. For $20.95 per person ($9.95 – children ages 3-10), diners...MORE may graze on an unlimited salad bar, smoked salmon, fried chicken, honey-glazed baked ham, made-to-order Belgian waffles, BBQ ribs and more. Guests also get one complimentary glass of Champagne, orange juice or a mimosa. It happens 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. 4900 S. Lake Shore Dr., 773-288-5815

    West Egg Cafe. The egg-centric restaurant specializes in signature omelets (made with ingredients such as chorizo, green chiles, corned beef or broccoli), gourmet waffles and French toast. It's walking distance to two beaches and Navy Pier. Brunch occurs 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 620 N. Fairmont Ct., 312-8366

    Yolk. What started off as an unassuming little breakfast nook in the South Loop now draws long lines at newer locations in River North (747 N. Wells St., 312-787-2277), Streeterville (355 E. Ohio St., 312-822-9655) and the West Loop (500 W. Madison St., 312-454-9655). Yolk specializes in superior egg dishes--particularly its fluffy frittatas--but also look out for some tasty crepes, waffles and burgers. The bright and cheery room gets thumbs up from the stroller set, and the staff knows how to keep kids happy. Brunch takes place 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 1120 S. Michigan Ave., 312-789-9655

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  • 10 of 12

    Fancy & Fine Dining

    ••• Cherry Circle Room at Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. Clayton Hauck

    Allium. Excluding major holidays (Easter, Mother's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day), the Four Seasons' Allium has abandoned its buffet-style brunch. Everything's a la carte, and begins with a raw bar (choice of oysters, jumbo lump crab cocktail, grand seafood platter) and, for those feeling festive, "bottomless" mimosas. Entree choices range from cast iron French toast to crab & Maine lobster Benedict. Allium's located on the ritzy Magnificent Mile shopping district, so brunch is still a pretty fancy affair. Dress up, and try to get seats by the fireplace during cooler months. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. 120 E. Delaware St., 312-799-4900

    Cherry Circle Room at Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. Cherry Circle Room is a great date spot--for brunch. Because the room is completely ensconced within the hotel with no windows, it literally feels timeless. Share a few dishes such as the surf 'n' turf Benedict, corned beef and duck hash and house-smoked...MORE salmon, and pair them with a few options from the ever-changing cocktail menu. The hotel's across the street from Millennium Park. 12 S. Michigan Ave.,312-792-3515

    Fred's at Barney's New York. Do some damage in the luxury retail store, then head up to the posh eatery for an a la carte menu of gourmet bites like a New York-style pastrami hash and dairy farm grilled cheese. Brunch occurs 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 15 E. Oak St., 312-596-1111

    Honey's Chicago. Fashionable, yet understated, Honey's is one of the West Loop's most underrated destinations. It shines during dinner with a Mediterranean-inspired menu, and now brunch is catching on. French toast--made with thick, Texas toast--is crowned with maple syrup, salt roasted apple butter and whipped mascarpone. Also of note is Morcilla hash of pickled fresno, scallion, a poached egg and pimentón Hollandaise. Brunch buzzes from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 1111 W. Lake St., 312-877-5929

    NoMi. You can, of course, order pancakes or waffles at the Park Hyatt's award-winning eatery, but have a little fun and indulge in something a little different like a smoked salmon tartine or roasted vegetable panini. There is also sushi on the menu. Brunch is featured 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 800 N. Michigan Ave., 312-239-4030

    RL. A favorite of socialites and visiting celebrities, the Italian steakhouse is also a popular brunch hang. Classic RL dishes include corned beef hash, cinnamon-vanilla French toast and a lobster club topped with bacon and truffle mayonnaise. Brunch is served 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 115 E. Chicago Ave., 312-475-1100

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    Live Music

    ••• River Roast

    Bub City. Feeling a little honky tonk in the a.m.? You might want to head over to this country-inspired barbecue joint for down-home vittles served with a smile. Pro tip: Order "brunch & three" for an entree (choose from cheesy chilaquiles, breakfast BLT or a brisket burrito) and three of the sides like BBQ bacon, Texas hot link, griddled ham or crispy tots. It's only $16.95 with coffee or sweet tea, plus country bands performing at noon. Brunch happens 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 435 N. Clark St., 312-610-4200

    Carnivale. Live Latin beats provide an appropriate soundtrack to a festive menu with such stars as coconut shrimp, churrasco, churro-style waffles topped with sugar, cinnamon and Mexican chocolate ganache, and a Spanish Benedict. Brunch commences 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. 702 W. Fulton St., 312-850-5005

    The General. Brunch is served every weekend at this laid-back eatery named in honor of Gen. John A. Logan of the eponymous square. But Saturdays get a little...MORE twangy with live Bluegrass music from local bands. It's the perfect soundtrack for those chowing down on the waffle cone and fried chicken taco or farmer's hash of smoked brisket, chicken, pork or veggie hash. That happens 11a.m.-3 p.m., and on warmer days, guests may enjoy the tiny backyard patio and play games like darts inside of the garage. There are also smoked Bloody Mary cocktails. 2528 N. California Ave., 773-698-8754

    House of Blues. The music hall is the setting for the weekly gospel brunch, which spotlights well-known gospel singers such as Kirk Franklin. The buffet-style event offers Southern cuisine favorites like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, peel-and-eat shrimp and turnip greens. It's $40 for adults, $25 for children and free for children under six. Brunch occurs 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. 329 N. Dearborn St., 312-923-2000

    River Roast. While night owls enjoy Chicago-style blues at a number of top blues venues around town, brunch lovers can get theirs at this River North staple every weekend on the earlier side. Local bands rotate weekly as guests nosh on updated Southern dishes like shrimp & bacon Po'Boy, rabbit and waffles and a Lowcountry Croque Madame on sourdough. Brunch happens at River Roast 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 315 N. LaSalle Dr., 312-822-0100

    Tack Room. Pilsen's award-winning Dusek's never disappoints, which means that there are high expectations for brunch. The Good Luck Jazz Brunch occurs the first Saturday of the month, and it takes place in the adjacent music-focused Tack Room. The menu varies; it occurs 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 1227 W. 18th St., 312-526-3851

    Township. And for kid-friendly fare and grooves, head to this fun Logan Square spot for dishes that are vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. On the menu are a number of scrambles, grain bowls, French toast and omelets. While brunch occurs daily, the family-friendly event happens the last Sunday of the month from noon to 3 p.m. 2200 N. California Ave., 773-384-1865

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  • 12 of 12

    Unconventional

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    ••• Whisk

    The Bristol. The ultimate hangover brunch spot for foodies actually features a regular entree called the "hangover breakfast" of noodles, pork broth, shrimp mousse and pork belly. Not into the swine? The smoked gouda burger should do the trick, as it's also topped with duck confit, cherry peppers, grilled vidalias and dijonnaise. Brunch occurs 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday. 2152 N. Damen Ave., 773-862-5555

    Dosa Frankie Brunch Bar. Indian street fare--with a brunch twist--is featured at Vermilion, the long-time Indian-Latin fusion restaurant in River North. Diners may choose from traditional crepe-style dosas or frankies, also known as Indian wraps or roti rolls. They may be filled with a variety of fillings or chutneys like sundried tomato chimichurri, eggplant coconut, chorizo curry leaf, chili mint, tamarind shrimp or duck vindaloo. Brunch happens noon to 2 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 10 W. Hubbard St., 312-527-4060

    Fat Rice. The Macanese dim sum menu...MORE includes items like steamed "ten karat" shrimp dumplings, Portuguese egg tarts, and Macanese minchi made with stir-fried minced pork, beef and lamb, a fried egg, coconut rice and potato crouton. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. 2957 W. Diversey Ave., 773-661-9170

    The Gage. During the week, The Gage bustles with business executives and after-work crowds, but weekends are reserved for chilling out. That's when the restaurant specializes in a mostly Irish breakfast with updated spins on traditional dishes like a Scotch egg, corned beef hash, bangers and black pudding. The restaurant is directly across the street from Millennium Park, or if you're planning for a matinee, it's walking distance to the downtown theater district. Brunch hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 24 S. Michigan Ave., 312-372-4243

    JAM. Almost every Chicago restaurant offers French toast of some sort, but JAM revolutionized the classic brunch dish. Every day you will find malted custard French toast on the menu, which is one of the items that put the Logan Square sensation on the map. Brunch is served every day 7 a.m.-3 p.m. 3057 W. Logan Blvd., 773-292-6011

    Whisk. The Ukrainian Village BYO has quickly gained fans from the neighborhood and beyond for its daily brunch from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. What's on the menu? New takes on classic Southern American and Mexican fare, from egg scrambles and salted caramel pancakes to a chorizo omelet filled with queso fresco and avocado.There are also a host of craft bottled sodas such as butterscotch rootbeer. 2018 W. Chicago Ave., 773-252-9060