There’s nothing like early summer in Chicago, where a patio-perfect day can quickly give way to chilly winds or a full-on downpour. So dress in layers, keep an umbrella handy and start your day right no matter what the forecast by checking out one of these ten new brunches. You’ll find everything from meaty fare and bold bloody marys to help you wait out a storm to sweet treats and light sippers to prep you for fun in the sun.
2947 N. Broadway 773-472-4781
Launched: April 20
Dishes: The Lakeview bistro offers hearty fare such as chicken and waffles ($13) made with buttermilk-soaked chicken thighs, caramelized apples and maple brown butter atop waffles made with bacon and aged cheddar. Or fill up on bacon and eggs ($10) with maple-glazed pork belly braised in cider and served with house-made creme fraiche and sweet potato latkes. Drinks: Drink local with the Easy Like Sunday Morning made with CH Distillery gin, elderflower lemonade and lime juice ($10) or a michelada made with 5 Rabbit golden ale with an Old Bay spice rim and chilled shrimp garnish ($8)
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations accepted for parties of six or more.
100 E. Ontario St. 312-787-6768
Launched: May 3
Dishes: The River North tavern makes hash ($17) using prime rib from sibling restaurant Lawry's along with crispy potatoes, cayenne, red bell peppers and fried eggs. If you're nursing a hangover, manager Jeff Van Der Tuuk recommends The Deadbolt ($16) a giant crispy hash brown topped with a hamburger patty, cheese curds, eggs and tobacco bordelaise sauce.
Drinks: SideDoor’s spin on a bloody mary is called Bloody Bull ($13), made with Chopin vodka, tomato juice and horseradish and served with a seasoned salt rim and a big stick of peppered beef bacon as a stirrer. For something lighter, order a caipirinha ($13) made with rum-marinated watermelon, cucumber and cachaca.
Brunch time: 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. No reservations.
2015 W. Division St. 773-227-1110
Launched: End of May
Dishes: The surf and turf benedict ($12), grilled skirt steak with lobster meat, chipotle hollandaise and poached eggs on country toast, is the most popular brunch dish thus far at this Wicker Park bar. You can also mix sweet and savory with a big plate of chicken and waffles ($12), which features bacon-laced waffles topped with crispy chicken breast and bourbon-maple syrup.
Drinks: Wake up with cereal cocktails ($7)—think Cinnamon Toast Crunch with spiced rum and Rumchata or Cocoa Puffs with Kahlua and Baileys—served in a bowl for you to eat with a spoon. Or skip the sugar high and try a bacon-infused bourbon bloody mary ($8) made with date syrup to channel the addictive flavor of bacon-wrapped dates
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. No reservations
550 E. Grand Ave. 312-612-0734
Launched: June 14
Dishes: This beachside cafe serves decadent dishes such as a waffle chicken sandwich ($11.95) made from buttermilk fried chicken with a Jameson maple glaze, applewood-smoked bacon and sharp cheddar between two vanilla waffles. The cinnamon roll pancakes ($10.95) stuffed with pecans and cream cheese frosting sound equally as indulgent.
Drinks: The menu sticks to the classics with mimosas ($7) and a bloody mary ($8) garnished with a skewer of sausage and cippolini onions.
Brunch time: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations only accepted for groups of nine or more.
419 W. Superior St. 312-915-0011
Launched: May 11
Dishes: The seafood-centric restaurant in River North puts its own spin on Scotch egg ($12) by swapping out the traditional sausage with whitefish. Finish on a sweet note with an eclair ($4) on the side, made with either hazelnut mousse and chocolate glaze or maple cream and cheddar caramel.
Drinks: The house bloody mary ($11), which is made with local heirloom tomatoes, house-made Worcestershire sauce and fresh-grated horseradish and garnished with an oyster on the half shell.
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Reservations accepted.
445 N. Dearborn St. 312-832-7700
Launched: Early May
Dishes: The egg crispelle ($17)—pizza dough baked in a wood-burning oven with egg, parmesan cheese, olive oil and black pepper—is kind of like a grown-up version of pizza for breakfast. Of course, there are also plenty of seafood dishes, such as soft scrambled eggs with lobster, creme fraiche and chives ($19).
Drinks: The menu boasts six different types of bloody marys, including the Beet Red Snapper ($11) using gin, roasted beet syrup, balsamic, basil and pickled vegetables, and the Knob Creek bourbon-based Smokehouse Derby ($12) garnished with candied bacon.
Brunch time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations accepted.
700 N. Michigan Ave. 312-525-3400
Launched: May 11
Dishes: Take a break from Mag Mile shopping at this restaurant inside Saks Fifth Avenue, which offers a mix of breakfast dishes such as crab cake Benedict ($19) alongside hits from the lunch menu like the lobster salad roll ($23) served on a brioche bun with shaved celery, red onion and lettuce.
Drinks: Sip a elderflower bellini made with sparkling wine, elderflower liqueur, peach liqueur and peach bitters or a rhubarb-grapefruit mimosa with prosecco, gin, grapefruit juice and rhubarb bitters (both $10).
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Reservations accepted.
730 W. Grand Ave. 312-243-8955
Launched: May 10
Dishes: The River West restaurant will satisfy your sweet tooth with the French toast terrine ($14) baked with breakfast sausage, fig and pistachio and topped with whipped ricotta or the house-made cinnamon bun with Templeton rye-cream cheese frosting ($5). Four types of bacon, including braised maple and Hungarian-style, are available on the side for $5; try all of them for $18.
Drinks: The BBQ Bloody ($11) offers plenty of kick, blending vodka, Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce, tomato, cheddar, jalapeno and onion. If whiskey's more your style, try the Brunch Manhattan ($12) made with Old Forester, bitters and vermouth.
Brunch time: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Reservations accepted.
118 W. Grand Ave. 312-222-9700
Launched: May 11
Dishes: The River North restaurant puts a Peruvian twist on waffles by serving them with crispy fried pork belly and blueberries, blackberries and raspberries served both fresh and blended into a compote ($16). On the healthier side, the quinoa burger ($14) features a patty of quinoa mixed with beets to give the color and texture of beef, served on a brioche bun topped with cucumber and mango chutney.
Drinks: General manager Tomy Lokvicic said the restaurant has combined American and Peruvian traditions to produce a hangover-curing bloody mary ($10). The drink mixes Peruvian rocoto chili pepper with the citrusy, garlicky juice used to prepare its ceviches. To keep your cool, try a lemon-thyme or passion fruit mimosa ($10) topped with a bit of sorbet to keep the drink cold and flavorful as it melts.
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday. Reservations accepted.
Tatoco Taco and Torta Company
949 N. Western Ave. 773-360-8072
Launched: June 14
Dishes: This recently opened Ukrainian Village restaurant’s pint-sized menu offers standards such as breakfast burritos and chilaquiles (both $11) along with rotating specials that put a morning twist on traditional Mexican fare (think chili rellenos stuffed with eggs). They're also happy to whip up something off-menu for vegetarians.
Drinks: The restaurant is BYOB, so bring your own booze to go with their house-made bloody mary or michelada mix ($2).
Brunch time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call ahead for larger groups.
Samantha Nelson is a RedEye special contributor. firstname.lastname@example.org | @redeyeeatdrink
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