BY TAYLOR WADE
Prefer daytime dates to a nighttime rendezvous? We've got you covered! We personally brunched at each of these handpicked restaurants across Chicago (what a weekend that was!) to bring you this carefully crafted list. Our selections are based on food quality, libations, staff friendliness, neighborhood, and overall ambiance.
This has to be one of my favorite brunch spots in the city. Genuinely kind and helpful waiters. Fresh, healthy, and generous portions. Amazing Bloody Mary menu, including the Classic, the Wasabi, the Smokin' Hot, or throw them all together in the Ecstasy. All of this while being surrounded by featured Artists' work that decorates the walls. After brunch, walk it off by heading down to the lake. Cash only.
Address: 5020 N Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60640
North Pond is the perfect choice for planning a date for a special occasion. Originally built in 1912 as a warming house for ice skaters, North Pond is situated right on the pond and has a beautiful view of the Chicago skyline. Entrees like Bass and Rabbit will satisfy your taste buds. After you eat, take a romantic walk around Lincoln Park.
Address: 2610 North Cannon Drive
Summer House Santa Monica embodies such an amazing atmosphere: bright, white decor, glimmering lights, driftwood walls, high glass ceiling, and a front outdoor patio. It definitely has a Californian vibe here, yet people aren't walking around in shorts and flip flops. Think business casual when dressing for your date. It features an artisanal bread program, an extensive wine list, fresh-squeezed juices, and Californian-influenced American cuisine with locally-sourced ingredients. I personally love the menu due to it's abundance in seafood – I order the salmon every time. Tip: make a reservation ahead of time as there is usually a long wait list if you just show up.
Address: 1954 N. Halsted St.
Lettuce Entertain You’s latest opening is a seafood shack that's been praised for its pristine selection of fresh catch. Guests can enjoy oysters from both coasts along with weekend brunch items such as smoked trout hash and fried oyster Benedict.
Address: 1962 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
BUZZ BAIT TAQUERIA
Buzz Bait made the list after a recent visit left my taste buds extremely satisfied. Located right in the heart of Old Town, this small, casual taqueria features amazing tacos such as the BBQ Glazed Salmon and Battered Alaskan Cod, and serves unique house margaritas like the Blueberry Mint, the Mango Django, and of course The Classic.
Address: 1529 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60611
Inventive, market-driven food in a casual, funky space that hosts an especially popular weekend brunch.
Address: 2537 N Kedzie Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Instead of Benedicts and Bloody Marys, go for egg tarts and Belinhas at this Logan Square hot spot.
Address: 2957 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
The Wicker Park location is a modern, European-inspired restaurant featuring open windows and white spaces. I had a superb brunch experience here with the help of a Mushroom Spinach Benedict and large pitcher of mimosa (shared with my brunching buddy, don't worry). Word on the street is there's a Lincoln Park location now open at 2500 N Ashland Ave for those who want to check it out and report back to us.
Address: 1904 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Nestled on the borders of Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village and Humboldt Park in the heart of West Town, Hash offers gourmet cuisine accompanied with a '70s rock-inspired decor.
Address: 1357 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Pub Royale is an Anglo-Indian style pub in Wicker Park, serving British and Northern Indian fare alongside a didactic yet approachable beer list.
Address: 2049 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622
GT FISH & OYSTER
The fishiest brunch in River North! I absolutely love this place. GT serves modern seafood dishes in its trendy River North digs. The bright, crisp, and clean interior features walls splattered with sailing decor and intertwined sailing rope hanging from the ceilings. We sat at the bar which is situated in the middle of the restaurant. Our waitress explained the elaborate wine and champagne menu and the variety of oysters. We ordered two oysters from each region along with bubbly to complement the fishiness. For the main course we ordered two plates: the scallops and the branzino. Both absolutely delicious! I would highly recommend this place.
Address: 531 N Wells St, Chicago, IL 60654
Just right across the street from Girl and The Goat, Stephanie Izard's sister diner serves a huge menu of creative, gourmet takes on comfort food classics. Make sure you don't have anything physically pressing to do post-brunch as the meals here are definitely considered hearty. Tip: if it's nice outside, head up to the rooftop to dine al-fresco.
Address: 820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
A creative seafood and pork-focused menu plus global brews in a hip setting with communal tables. When we arrived, the communal tables were fully booked but we were able to sip brunch cocktails at a high table within the middle of the large, open room. Bonus points goes to the Brunch Box – montenegro amaro, beer, and grapefruit juice – for only $5.
Address: 837 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL 60607
Fabio Viviani’s Italian eatery in the West Loop offers an expansive brunch spread. Enjoy items such as baked French toast, prosciutto sausage omelet and lobster Benedict or order off the regular menu with choices like a meatball sandwich and fireball pepperoni pizza. Then walk next door and cap things off with a sweet treat from BomboBar.
Address: 832 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Imaginative pairings of high-end pub grub & specialty beers offered in a funky, historic building.
Address: 1227 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608
THE DUCK INN
The Duck Inn serves a killer brunch on Sundays. You’ll find dishes such as duck confit hash, chorizo omelet and chai French toast alongside Kevin Hickey’s crowd-pleasing bar snacks, which include a duck fat dog and the mouth-watering hamburger sandwich made with Brun Uusto cheese and Dijonnaise on rye bread.
Address: 2701 S Eleanor St, Chicago, IL 60608
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