It may be Super Bowl Sunday but it’s also time again for Sunday brunch. A while back, I published an article comprising the first part of my picks for the Best Chicago Brunches. Today I’ve rounded up some of my other favorite places to gather for some sweet and savory weekend meals over coffee and cocktails. Please enjoy my latest addition to the Best Chicago Brunches.
The south side of Chicago has many wonderful restaurants and Pearl’s Place in the Bronzeville neighborhood is high on my list of the best Chicago brunches. Whether you choose the buffet or the individual menu options, you will be wrapped in a metaphorical blanket of love when you taste the food here. The shrimp ‘n grits, fried green tomatoes, and salmon cakes are all fantastic but don’t forget the warm biscuit. They will keep you coming back.
Pearl’s Place also made my list of Chicago’s Best Southern Food Restaurants.
3901 S. Michicagn Ave. – Take the Green Line to the Indiana ‘L’ stop.
The Duck Inn
The Bridgeport neighborhood is home to The Duck Inn which is owned by Chef Kevin Hickey. While duck is a signature dish on the menu,
along with many other entrees and potent cocktails, brunch is worth a visit. In the warmer months, you’ll want to enjoy it on the homey backyard patio. The coffee is always strong and smooth.
2701 S. Eleanor St. – Take the Orange Line to the Halsted ‘L’ stop and transfer to the #62 Archer bus south to Loomis. Walk north to Eleanor St.
The Lincoln Square neighborhood on the north side is absolutely adorable. When you’re looking to find some comfort in a variety of decadent baked goods or one of the best bowls of oatmeal in town, head to Baker Miller. I like to add some jam to mine and kick back in this rustic place on a weekend morning.
4610 N. Western Ave. – One block south of the Western ‘L’ stop on the Brown Line.
Bryn Mawr Breakfast Club
I love to get away from the busy city center for a meal and the weekends are no exception. Head to the North Park neighborhood and check out Bryn Mawr Breakfast Club for one of the best Chicago brunches around. Everything on the menu looks and sounds delicious but I am partial to the scallion pancake,over-medium eggs, garlicky Brussels sprouts, and potatoes. BONUS! They open every day at 7 am for you early birds.
3348 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. – Take the Brown Line to the Kimball ‘L’ stop and transfer to the #82 bus south to Bryn Mawr Ave.
I love some Southwestern cuisine and Flo in the Chicago’s West Town has some great options for brunch at a very reasonable price.
1434 W. Chicago Ave. – Take the Blue Line to the Chicago ‘L’ stop (transfer to the #66 Chicago bus going west if you don’t want to walk a few blocks).
Lakeview has many options for dining but one of my favorite spots for one of the best Chicago brunches is DryHop Brewers. It’s a European-inspired gastropub where you can fill up growlers of their beer to take home. In addition, they have a killer Bloody Mary and stellar burgers, if omelets are not your bag.
3155 N. Broadway – Take the Red, Purple or Red Lines to the Belmont ‘L’ stop and walk east to Broadway.
Wicker Park is home to many tasty restaurants but Handlebar specializes in vegan and vegetarian fare with some seafood options. When you’re looking to enjoy one of the best Chicago brunches without meat, this place should be on your bucket list. Try the huevos diablos with tostada and beans for a zesty start to your day.
2311 W. North Ave. – Take the Blue Line to the Damen ‘L’ stop and walk west on North Ave. about 10 blocks. The #72 North Ave bus stops here as well.
Last weekend, I was invited to a lovely brunch at Grassroots along the Southport Corridor in Lakeview and it was a wonderful surprise. The owners (formerly of the now-defunct Deleece) offer very fresh, farm-to-table ingredients (they have a local garden) and the pastry chef has magical hands.
Some of the best things I ate included the almond-marzipan croissants, warm beignets, shakshuka (Sicilian baked eggs), the breakfast pizza topped with a runny egg and tuna tacos. The coffee at Grassroots is being sourced form Gaslight Coffee Roasters, a local roaster, and it is strong, smooth and needs absolutely no milk or sugar. Yep, it’s that good!
Grassroots also offer bottomless Mimosas and $5 Bloody Mary drinks.
3747 N. Southport Ave. – Take the Brown Line to the Southport ‘L’ stop and walk a few blocks north to Grassroots.
Publican Quality Meat (PQM)
Residents and visitors to Chicago love the West Loop’s dining options. It’s known as “restaurant row” and delectable eats can be found from Fulton Market to Randolph St. in this vibey neighborhood. While The Publican sucks up a lot of the air in that neighborhood, I actually prefer its little sister, Publican Quality Meats (PQM), on the opposite corner. The reason is that PQM is more laid back with its eat-in deli vibe which is something I often prefer on a Saturday or Sunday morning. You cannot go wrong with their rendition of steak and eggs.
825 W. Fulton Market – Take the Green or Pink Lines to the Morgan ‘L’ stop and walk 3 blocks east and one block north.
The latest darling on the food scene in Chicago to garner numerous accolades is Roister in the West Loop. While I have not been here yet for the dinner menu, I did manage to stop in for brunch recently. Roister has an excellent Mimosa as well as spicey chicken ‘n waffles.
951 W. Fulton Market – Take the Green or Pink Lines to the Morgan ‘L’ stop and walk 2 blocks east and one block north.
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Gather in the Lincoln Square-Ravenswood neighborhood. I love to eat a meal at the chef’s kitchen counter so I can watch all the delicious action going down up close and personal. However, the main space and back patio are nice spots to enjoy one of the best Chicago brunches around.
The egg dishes are great but I am particularly fond of Gather’s burger is always perfectly cooked to order. It made my list of Chicago’s 10 Best Burgers. Go get it!
4539 N. Lincoln Ave. – Take the Brown Line to the Western ‘L’ stop and walk 3 blocks south and one block east.
Sweet Maple Cafe
Another great spot for a decadent brunch with a Southern flare is Sweet Maple Cafe in Little Italy near University Village. They open at 7 am every day and lines can be long, especially after church on Sunday, but it’s worth the wait. The biscuits are warm and heavenly, the fruit is always bountiful and the cheddar grits are a must-do!. Breakfast is served all day at Sweet Maple Cafe
1339 W. Taylor St. – Take the #12 Roosevelt bus (catch it at the Roosevelt ‘L’ stop on the Orange, Green and Red Lines) west to Loomis and walk 6 blocks north.
D4 Irish Pub
Last but not least on this latest installment of Best Chicago Brunches is D4 Irish Pub in the Streeterville neighborhood. It’s very close to River East 21 movie theater and it’s off the beaten path of the Magnificent Mile along Michigan Avenue. Most residents don’t even know this place exists. I overlooked it for 10 years!
I love the large, inviting bar with beautiful lighting, the cozy nook with a fireplace and the more spacious back room. The usual brunch items can be found at D4 Irish Pub but the lunch and dinner menus are available as well. Get shepherd’s pie, the scallops, the brunch cocktails and the Irish coffee.
345 E. Ohio St. Take the Red Line to Grand ‘L’ stop and walk east (transfer to the #66 Chicago bus toward Navy Pier). Alternatively, take the #3 King Drive bus to Grand and walk two blocks east.
You’re all set! Get up, get out and hop the rails and buses to the Best Chicago Brunches.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA trains and buses to the Best Chicago Brunches – Part 2. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!
Heading to NYC? Check out these Essential New York Bagels, Brunches and Bakeries accessible via mass transit.