If there is one thing I would consider myself an expert on, it would have to be brunch. Getting up at a later time than normal but still getting to eat breakfast food? Sign me up. Moving from a small town in Colorado to Chicago, I knew the food scene was going to be one of my favorite parts of the city, and it definitely is! So here is a guide to my favorite brunch spots in Chicago!
This restaurant (located on 57th and Kimbark) is one of the most popular restaurants among students in Hyde Park. With writing all over the tables and walls, you can get a feel of the community on campus! It is just a generic breakfast place (only serves breakfast on weekends!), but there are still a few really delicious options. I would personally recommend the breakfast burrito, and I usually add a chocolate chip pancake on the side. But I also enjoy the smoked salmon omelet. This restaurant is also known for its milkshakes. If it’s around Thanksgiving, GET THE PUMPKIN PIE MILKSHAKE (it’s literally one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted); otherwise, the Mexicana is a classic!
Valois is a very cheap option located on 53rd Street. This restaurant is actually one of Obama’s favorites, so they do have an Obama item on the menu that consists of his order. Valois is great when you just want to get good, classic food. Good eggs, good hashbrowns, good coffee, and good pancakes! Definitely a Hyde Park staple! One thing to note is that it is cash only (there is an ATM in the back), so make sure you are prepared for that!
This is a Chicago staple and is super popular among students and anybody visiting the city. They have a lot of unique food options and their menu changes quite frequently. It has a pretty nice aesthetic inside, and the wait staff is really nice and fun! Since the menu changes frequently, I cannot give exact recommendations, but I had an eggs Benedict where the English muffin was replaced with half an avocado, and it was amazing. They usually have great options for French toast and pancakes as well!
As you may have noticed from my earlier entries, I absolutely love pancakes. I think they are one of the best aspects of breakfast food. And if you want pancakes, Wildberry has got you covered. Not only do they have an excellent selection of pancakes, but you can get them with every single meal. It is absolutely incredible. I usually get the veggie omelet with a cinnamon roll pancake on the side. Makes me feel healthy at the beginning, and then satisfies my sweet tooth!
Kanela is a cute restaurant located in Wicker Park. This restaurant has a lot of amazing options and is a good place if you want to go thrift shopping right after you eat! Wicker Park is definitely a neighborhood I would recommend in general. If you go to Kanela, you have to (I mean HAVE to) order the monkey bread. The monkey bread is literally one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted in my entire life. It is so delicious! I would also recommend the red velvet French toast if you have a bit of a sweet tooth.
Cabra is a Peruvian restaurant that is located in the Fulton River District on North Green Street. This is my favorite brunch spot in all of Chicago. I know that is high praise, but it is the most unique brunch experience that I have had. It is on the roof of a restaurant, with great views and a cute interior. The chef is Stephanie Izard, who runs the wildly popular Girl in the Goat. Any time I go, I just ask my server what their favorite dish is and get whatever they say. I would recommend starting with either the ceviche or the almond dip, and also getting the empanadas!
3 Arts Club Cafe
This is a restaurant that is located in Gold Coast inside of a Restoration Hardware. It is the prettiest restaurant on this list. There are no reservations for this restaurant, so make sure you are ready to wait. But you can walk through the Restoration Hardware to pass some time. The actual restaurant area has a fountain with multiple trees and high ceilings. Definitely worth the spectacle of it all. I have only been once, but I got the Lox Board, which was absolutely delicious. It’s also worth the wait if you are wanting some pictures!
Those are just a few locations that I enjoy visiting for brunch (when it’s safe to do so, of course). There are plenty more to try. Chicago is a great destination for food, and brunch is certainly no exception!