10 Outstanding Breakfast Spots in Chicago

There's brunch in Chicago, and then there's good old-fashioned breakfast. Remember that? With all the hype surrounding brunch scenes, bottomless mimosas and such, the most important meal of the day has somehow taken a backseat. 

But no longer. Instead of settling for what's typically an afterthought on hotel room service menus, venture into the Windy City's neighborhoods to seek out the best breakfasts in town. 

From peach bourbon French toast at a cafe near former President Obama's home to eggs done up in more than a dozen styles in the heart of Lakeview, here are our favorite places for breakfast in Chicago.

  • 01 of 10

    Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

    Breakfast plate
    ••• Photo courtesy of Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

    Why We Love It

    Certainly worth the drive from any downtown hotel, Bang Bang is located in the trendy Logan Square neighborhood (There's a second location in Ravenswood). On the menu is a daily artisan pie selection, of course, but during the mornings expect the heartiest biscuit sandwiches you'll ever see. They're piled high with ingredients such as ginger sage sausage, maple-glazed ham, seasonal jam or champagne vinaigrette. Bang Bang's original biscuit concoction (pictured) is topped with smoked collard greens, candied bacon, hot sauce and a poached egg. They'll even accommodate vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets. There's a backyard patio, which is popular during warmer months.

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    Address: 2051 N. California Ave., 773-276-8888

    Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday

  • 02 of 10

    Batter & Berries

    Why We Love It

    Planning a trip to Lincoln Park Zoo? You'll want to fuel up first at this sensational Lincoln Park breakfast nook that's only five to eight minutes by car. Batter & Berries is famous for offbeat fruit-infused French toast, pancakes and waffles, but the biggest star is the Cluck-N-Gaufre. That's a chicken-stuffed sweet potato waffle accompanied by a fried chicken breast that's been drizzled in nutmeg hot sauce and house-made maple butter.

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    Address: 2748 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-248-7710

    Hours: 8 a.m.-3 p.m. daily

  • 03 of 10

    The Breakfast Club & Grill

    Why We Love It

    You can take pleasure in sleeping late knowing that breakfast is served until 5 p.m. at The Breakfast Club & Grill. They're pushing signature omelets like The ABC (avocado, bacon and cream cheese), The Gold Coast (sautéed shrimp, andouille sausage, bell peppers and cheese) and The Cruz (chorizo, avocado and jack cheese omelette), plus the options to build your own. Another specialty is the potato pancake, and you can get it stuffed with bacon, ham, sausage, or chorizo and mozzarella. It's served with applesauce and sour cream. The Breakfast Club is located just northwest of the West Loop neighborhood in West Town.

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    Address: 1381 W. Hubbard St., 312-666-2372

    Hours: 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday

  • 04 of 10

    Jam

    Why We Love It

    One of the top players in Logan Square's restaurant collection is an early-morning scene. Jam's appeal is its simple breakfast offerings amped up with seasonal and local ingredients. The signature dish is malted custard French toast topped with macerated cherries, lime leaf cream, and pink peppercorns. There's also a kids' menu featuring French toast sticks, buttermilk pancakes, and grilled cheese. Jam offers outdoor seating during warm months.

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    Address: 3057 W. Logan Blvd., 773-292-6011

    Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. daily (closed Wednesday)

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    m. henry

    Why We Love It

    The northern tip of Andersonville is home to m.henry, a quaint neighborhood cafe that's especially popular with the vegetarian set. There is an impressive selection of fluffy hotcakes, crepes, and quiche, but a unique offering is the gooey cinnamon roll French toast. It's made with house-baked brioche cinnamon rolls, and layered with warm seasonal fruit, vanilla neufchatel crème and topped w/a granola crust. A nice savory option is the roasted vegetable and goat cheese quiche. Outdoor seating is available.

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    Address: 5707 N. Clark St., 773-561-1600

    Hours: 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday

  • 06 of 10

    Pannenkoeken Cafe

    Why We Love It

    Just west of Andersonville shops like Milk Handmade and Women & Children First is Lincoln Square. The neighborhood boasts Pannenkoeken Cafe, which has cornered the market--at least in Chicago--on Dutch-inspired pancakes. The chef-owner was trained in the Netherlands on how to make the ultra-thin, larger-than-usual hotcakes, and she cooks each one in a traditional Dutch pan. They're served open face and topped with sweet or savory ingredients like Dutch apple, apple-raisin cheese, and ham, cheese, and pineapple. Kids may order miniature versions of pannenkoeken topped with apples or bacon and cheese. 

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    Address: 4757 N. Western Ave., 773-769-8800

    Hours: 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday-Friday; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday

  • 07 of 10

    Peach's Restaurant

    Why We Love It

    Not too far away from the South Loop in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood is Peach's, a breakfast-and-brunch focused eatery boasting peach-flavored coffee. In addition to such specialties as salmon croquettes and cheese grits, peach bourbon-infused French toast and grilled duck bacon, diners may choose from egg white omelets and gluten-free pancakes. Peach's is a quick drive to Hyde Park, where you'll be near former President Barack Obama's home and Museum of Science and Industry Chicago.

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    Address: 4652 S. King Dr., 773-966-5801

    Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. daily

  • 08 of 10

    Southport Grocery & Cafe

    Why We Love It

    The stroller and shopping sets find much pleasure at Southport Grocery & Cafe, an upscale venue offering small-batch and artisan delights. It's situated in the heart of the Southport Corridor, which offers a nice mix of popular chains as well as independently owned specialty shops and boutiques. Southport's cafe presents a nice array of dishes featuring organic and local ingredients. Highlights of the menu include the gluten-free cupcake pancakes, house-smoked brisket and gravy, and steel-cut oats dressed up with seasonal preserves and fruit, Kalona organic vanilla yogurt, vanilla walnuts and cinnamon cayenne cashews. Outdoor seating is available.

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    Address: 3552 N. Southport Ave., 773-665-0100

    Hours: 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Tweet Let's Eat

    Why We Love It

    A staple in Uptown by longtime neighborhood activist and businesswoman Michelle Fire, Tweet is more than just another restaurant. It serves as an unofficial gathering spot for the community with a gallery featuring women-centric artwork. The breakfast menu is extensive, so a great way to decide on what to eat is to check out the artists' favorites. Standouts range from Mary Lou Zelazny’s biscuits & gravy to David Sharpe’s omelet of asparagus and shallots. There's a small sidewalk cafe during summer.

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    Address: 5020 N. Sheridan Rd., 773-728-5576

    Hours: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. daily

  • 10 of 10

    Yolk

    close up picture of an egg and sandwich
    ••• Photo courtesy of Yolk

    Why We Love It

    What started off as an unassuming little breakfast nook in the South Loop (1120 S. Michigan Ave.) now draws long lines at newer locations in Lakeview (501 W. Diversey Pkwy.), 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 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.

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    Address: 1120 S. Michigan Ave., 312-789-9655

    Hours: 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sunday