Brunch in Chicago is not simply a pastime. It is an art. Each Saturday and Sunday Chicagoans flock to the smart restaurants that offer the perfect cure: time to gossip about the week’s adventures, pure comfort food, and the hair of the dog. We like to have our perfect cure without the hour-long waits and unfortunately packed tables and head to these hidden gems instead:
5900 N Broadway St
A little out of the way from the bustling streets of Lincoln Park and River North, this Edgewater joint is well worth the walk from the Thorndale station. Nestled in the middle of a neighborhood, there is no better place to sit and people-watch than on their tree-lined patio. Not only is the atmosphere the perfect mix of upscale and family-friendly, their portions are also generous and the menu is simply mouth-watering. With time-tested classics like Steak’n’Eggs next to innovative dishes such as Honey-Brined Pork Chop’n’Eggs, you are in for a treat no matter what you decide on. And to make it even sweeter? They offer $10 all-you can-drink mimosas or $15 for both mimosas and bloody mary’s.
All-time favorite: The Ned Beatty, which was a play on a benedict. Never have I ever had a breakfast with chipotle BBQ pulled pork over jalapeño cornbread with adobo hollandaise all topped with the classic poached egg.
2013 W Division St
If you’ve realized that nothing beats a hangover better than spicy food and an even spicier drink then this the brunch place for you. Takito Kitchen is all about the farm-to-table and focuses on making nontraditional tacos filled with seasonal ingredients in a small, trendy space on Division Street in Wicker Park. While you might not have queso to drown your drunken regrets in, you will find delicious and Insta-scrumptious (don’t hate) entrees such as Spanish Ham & Eggs or Lamb Chorizo Tacos, as well as over 20 types of tequilas, 6 margaritas, and a play on a Bloody Mary, the Bloody Maria.
1904 W North Ave
Smack-dab in the middle of Wicker Park, Lokal is quickly becoming a staple for the boozy brunchers of Chicago. Their menu reminds you why comfort food is worth the calories. Truffle fries, duck confit benedict, and a seafood pasta to satisfy any fish-foodie’s cravings, are just a few of the reasons Lokal is the ultimate place to brunch. With a hipster staff that makes you wish you looked that good in a beanie, they will make sure your every need is met, especially when it comes to never letting your champagne flute remain empty. Just make sure to reserve a table, the secret is getting less well kept each week.
The Real MVP Here: Fries topped with bananas, Nutella, and strawberry sauce. Everyone knows Nutella is synonymous with crack, but to put it on top of fries for that added sweet and savory? Simply genius.
3301 N Clark St
Hutch was founded on two ideas: people want to be comfortable where they eat and food should be nothing short of cravable (that’s a word, I swear). With a large patio, a spacious interior, and an intimacy as welcoming as your home, they have achieved this premise. Situated the middle of Wrigleyville, Hutch is frequented by regulars who know and want good food. While your paleo diet may not be happy with this brunch choice, your stomach will definitely thank you.
Brunch cocktails have become a standard, stale affair of mimosas and bloodies, but not here. Hutch’s cocktail, Starsky, has smoked jalapeno and garlic infused vodka, house-made BBQ bitters, and a bacon sea salt rim. Take that, drunchers.
The Ultimate Comfort Food: Chicken and waffles, because what is better than a spicy waffle, sweet maple syrup, and fried chicken? Exactly.
217 N Clinton St
While many brunch-goers love the all-day affair it turns into, we understand that sometimes the real world beckons and we need to eat a delicious breakfast a little quicker. Wafel specializes in fold-and-go food, all in a waffle. They focus on pairing incredible made-from-scratch Belgian and Liege (made with pearl sugar that tricks you into thinking you are biting into a bit of heaven) waffles. They even offer a burger waffle (if that’s not the best of both worlds then I don’t know what is). If you’re feeling in the mood for a traditional sweet waffle then go for the Nutella and Banana, which will make you want to order five more before slipping into a food coma.
THEY PUT WHAT IN A WAFFLE?!: Shaved prime rib, fried onions, peppers, and Belgian style mustard… Nontraditional has never tasted so good.