There are choices upon choices when it comes to finding delicious breakfast and brunch restaurants in Chicago. But at Female Foodie, we’re only interested in the best of the best. That’s why we created our guide to the 13 best breakfast and brunch spots in Chicago.
13 Must-Try Breakfast and Brunch Spots in Chicago
Whether you’re on the hunt for a special brunch gathering spot or a casual breakfast that’s easy to grab and go, we’ve rounded up all of our favorite breakfast and brunch restaurants in Chicago. Below, you’ll find a restaurant to suit every occasion, mood, and food preference when that breakfast-time hunger hits. Happy eating!
13. Over Easy Cafe
Chicagoans don’t mind waiting (even in the cold) if it means they’ll get a great meal, so it makes sense that there’s always a crowd of people outside of Over Easy Cafe. Many locals will agree it’s worth the wait here to get your hands on some of the best breakfast in Chicago. This Ravenswood spot has been serving daily breakfast for over a decade, with an additional brunch menu on the weekends. You’ll find all the breakfast classics at Over Easy Cafe, as well as their popular house specialties—the Sassy Eggs dish will definitely put some sass in your step, and their smoky chorizo potato hash topped with eggs, cheddar, their ancho ketchup, and a healthy dose of guac is flavorful and filling with just the right amount of kick.
12. Smack Dab
While every breakfast item we’ve had at Smack Dab is delicious, trust us when we say you are here for the appropriately-named Life Changing Breakfast Sandwiches. Get the Bestest Seller to dive into housemade sausage, bacon jam, and chive mayo flanked by an incredibly soft and buttery biscuit. You can thank us later. When looking for the best breakfast in Chicago that’s easy to eat on-the-go, you can’t go wrong with Smack Dab.
11. Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
It’s no secret we love the pie here, but the “biscuits” side of the Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits menu 100% holds its own. Come here for some of the best made-from-scratch breakfast in Chicago. Get a warm biscuit with artisanal jam, or go all-in on one of their biscuit sandwiches or pot pies topped with an egg. We’re particularly obsessed with the sweet and salty combo of the sausage biscuit sandwich featuring white cheddar and homemade jam—it’s both unique and absolutely delicious.
10. Blue Door Farm Stand
The focus at Blue Door Farm Stand is wholesome, simple ingredients that taste incredible—and they always deliver, making it one of the best spots to get brunch in Chicago. Not sure what to order because it all looks delicious? The Ava Omelet is filled with fresh green veggies, bacon, and three cheeses to make it just decadent enough. We also recommend the City Ham Benedict, made special with its black pepper and honey biscuit, then covered in arugula and an herb hollandaise. Blue Door Farm Stand is the perfect spot to cozy up with a date or catch up with a friend.
9. Summer House Santa Monica
Looking for an instant mood boost? Even in Chicago’s humid summers and freezing winters, Summer House Santa Monica will have you in a sunshine state of mind. The bright, open space with coastal touches and a giant glass roof is like a breath of fresh air in the middle of the city, as is their SoCal-inspired menu. We’ve got all the heart eyes for anything featuring California’s state fruit—avocado. You won’t be disappointed whether you go with the thick avocado toast with scallion mascarpone and poached eggs, or the surprisingly refreshing breakfast burrito filled with scrambled eggs, pico de gallo, jack cheese, sour cream, your choice of breakfast meat and of course, avocado. Don’t forget to grab something sugary from the pastry bar on your way out! Brunch at Summer House Santa Monica with your girlfriends is sure to start your weekend off right.
8. Big Jones
For some Southern hospitality and a mouthwatering menu full of local ingredients, head straight to Big Jones. Their signature shrimp & grits dish always hits the spot, made with creamy heirloom cheese grits topped with shiitake mushroom gravy and a pile of perfectly tender shrimp sautéed in tasso ham. Be careful not to get too full though, because it would be a mistake to end your meal at one of the best brunch spots in Chicago without ordering something sweet. At Big Jones, that means a plate of soft, warm, just-made beignets covered in copious amounts of powdered sugar.
Brunching at etta is truly a treat. The sprawling, modern space has the perfect ambiance for a solo brunch outing, a weekend date, or bringing a friend and splitting a gooey cinnamon bun. Whichever way you choose to dine, be sure to order the huevos rancheros—the green braised pork is tender and especially tasty when paired with the crunchy tortilla and melty cheese. When searching for the best brunch in Chicago, etta should definitely be on your list.
6. Luella’s Southern Kitchen
We can’t discuss the best brunch in Chicago without diving into the comforting dishes from Luella’s Southern Kitchen. Luella’s was named after the owner’s southern great-grandmother, which is fitting because everything we’ve had at Luella’s tastes as if it was made from a treasured family recipe. The chicken and waffles complement each other perfectly and are a must. Crispy fried chicken that’s oh-so-juicy on the inside sitting atop a cake-like sweet waffle. One word: WOW. If you like your chicken and waffles extra savory and spicy, you can get the chicken with Nashville hot sauce to take it up a notch. If you’re not in the mood for chicken and waffles, order anything with a biscuit—they’re delicious! We love the casual seat-yourself atmosphere at Luella’s that makes any visitor feel right at home.
5. Dove’s Luncheonette (Temporarily Closed)
A hunger for incredible comfort food in an old-school diner environment should take you right to Dove’s Luncheonette in Wicker Park. The friendly staff will help you find a meal that you’ll love, but the chicken fried chicken is a surefire option for any mood. The gravy has just the right consistency and spices but the peas and pearl onions take it to the next level for a nostalgic meal that is hearty and filling. Add a fried egg for a dollar if you’re especially hungry. One bite and you’ll be convinced that Dove’s Luncheonette deserves a spot on our guide to the best breakfast in Chicago.
4. Little Goat Diner
If you’ve read our post on our favorite places in the West Loop, you’ll know we couldn’t talk about the best breakfast in Chicago without including Little Goat Diner. We love this sunny, midcentury-modern diner that’s ideal for dining with a group (big or small). Their funky twist on classic diner staples is what drew us in and everything we’ve tried is delectable, which keeps us coming back. Order the crispy, cheesy, shredded hash browns as a side to whatever you’re getting, whether it’s the Bull’s Eye French Toast (their take on chicken & waffles), the This Little Piggy Went to China, or the Shrimp & Cheesy Grits. You truly can’t go wrong at Little Goat Diner.
3. Tre Kronor
This quaint cafe serves up a tasty Scandinavian-themed breakfast most days, and their weekend brunch menu also takes it to the next level. Head here hungry because every part of the menu is made from scratch and too good to pass up. Start with the fresh-squeezed orange juice and a maple pecan Danish, then pick from one of the many main hits. The vanilla orange French toast, smoked salmon benedict (only available on weekends), and corned beef hash are our favorites. We love Tre Kronor for a small family gathering or a quintessential Sunday brunch with friends—truly a great spot for the best brunch in Chicago!
2. The Allis
The Allis at Soho House is a double-hitter: they serve breakfast all week and then brunch on the weekends until 4 p.m. This West Loop Chicago restaurant is perfect for any dining scenario, whether you want to treat yourself after a hard work week or you’re dining with your out-of-town parents. Here, you’ll find a mix of traditional items (think scrambled eggs and French toast) in addition to a selection of thoughtfully crafted creations. We highly recommend the warm coconut pudding or the charred cauliflower and halloumi pita sandwich (extra chili aioli, please!). If you’re into avocado toast, theirs is excellent. When it comes to the best breakfast or best brunch in Chicago, The Allis at Soho House is a wonderful choice.
1. Lula Cafe
Without a doubt, the best brunch in Chicago can be found at Lula Cafe. The brunch atmosphere here is relaxed and warm, and each dish is made with intention using ingredients that are local and seasonal. In a nutshell, Lula Cafe is holy-moly incredible. The regulars and staff are passionate about the food at this Chicago mainstay, and it’s easy to see why. We swoon over the French toast with cranberry compote and a brown butter caramel finished off with coconut streusel and creme fraiche. Yep, this is French toast all grown up. And while this is our favorite dish here, there are plenty of amazing savory options if that’s more your speed. Head to Lula Cafe for your next brunch outing to sink your teeth into a meal you won’t soon forget.