Chicagoans take brunch seriously. Whether it’s a drive for fluffy pancakes or a Croque Madame that will wipe that hangover away, Sunday (and sometimes even Saturday) brunch is necessary for so many. But brunch drinks aren’t just for Bloody Marys and mimosas anymore—these Chicago brunch favorite restaurants take both morning classics and signature cocktails to the next level during weekend daytime. So here’s a map of 10 of the best restaurants for brunch cocktails in Chicago, listed from north to south.Read More
10 of Chicago’s Best Restaurants For Brunch Cocktails, Mapped
These spots are tops for weekend day drinking and eating
1. Big Jones
This Andersonville stalwart serves up some of the best Southern dishes in the city, and has an excellent cocktail list to start the day to boot. Fresh juices dominate the menu, like the orangey “Good Morning, Captain” laced with New Orleans Crystal Rum and house falernum. Or start the day out with tequila mixed with grapefruit, lime and tarragon in the “Morning Dove.”
2. Band of Bohemia
House-crafted beer that pairs with the menu may be what Michelin-starred brewpub Band of Bohemia is best known for, but the cocktail program is also excellent. The cocktail menu is the same all day long, with one exception—the Bohemian Bloody, on the spicier side with a piquillo pepper and a stuffed olive. But many of the cocktails on the menu are acceptable for brunch—like the “Kings Cup Hooch” with gin, tamarind, passion fruit and lemon.
3. Ella Elli
Four Star Restaurant Group’s glitzy addition serves a sophisticated brunch around the corner from local favorite Crosby’s Kitchen on Southport. The digs feel luxe, and the brunch cocktails do too. Mimosas come by bottle service, with Caposaldo Prosecco and a trio of house-made fresh juices for you to mix and match yourself. For a jump start to the day, grab the “Cordially Caffeinated” or “Cold Buzz,” both with La Colombe cold brew and an array of other ingredients like demerara sugar, amaro and Luxardo amaretto.
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4. Lula Cafe
Lula Café’s seasonal and locally-sourced menu ensures delicious eats at every meal—hello, ginger brioche French toast—and the Logan Square staple’s bar menu matches the menu in taste. Cocktails are filled with fresh fruits, like apricot and pineapple and complemented with gin, tea and other refreshing ingredients to start the day, like the “Little Mystery” with shochu, yellow chartreuse and genmaicha tea.
5. The Winchester
A Croque Madame on a waffle and an egg sandwich with Hook’s Cheddar are just two of the things on the menu the Winchester dishes out for brunch. Pair yours with one of the Winchester’s cocktails, like the Camarilla, with aloe, melon, gin, dry vermouth and mint. To mix your uppers and downers, go for the Danish coffee, with Génépí, espresso liqueur, coffee and nutmeg.
Perfect for the brunchers who want a bit of everything, feel free to grab one of Beatrix’s house-made juices mixed with your spirit of choice (some favorites—the Power Greens with tequila or Blue Boost with gin). Or pick one of the three restaurants’ (there are locations in Streeterville and Fulton Market too) more savory offerings like the Sgt. Pepper with red bell pepper and rye whiskey, just right with the quinoa cakes and poached eggs.
7. The Dawson
A summer patio favorite, The Dawson’s cocktail menu is the main draw for brunch after the sunny and breezy al fresco scene. You’ll find the basics done up, such as a Bloody Mary with honey giardiniera; an Aperol spritz; and an Irish coffee made with Metric coffee. The bar’s equipped to make any other classic you’d like, and if you’re a fan of bubbles for breakfast, try the Chandon “Sweet Star” with the eponymous bubbly on ice with lemon and mint.
8. The Publican
Reservations are a must for brunch at The Publican, but far and beyond worth it. The meat-heavy menu is paired with a cocktail menu (note, brunch food menus are different on Saturday and Sunday, but the cocktails are the same) with classics—including a Bloody Mary (or Maria, spicy with mescal) with a craft beer back and mimosas. The restaurant’s signatures include lighter cocktails, like the Gin & Treuse, a gin, yellow Chartreuse and grapefruit concoction and the “Summer Cherry” with Saussignac (a drier dessert wine from France), cava and house-made cherry bitters.
9. Cherry Circle Room
Tucked behind the Game Room in the Chicago Athletic Association, Cherry Circle Room dishes out one of the best brunches for all seasons (and all holidays, as the restaurant is open 365 days a year). Restaurant and creative group Land & Sea Department’s Paul McGee is behind all the cocktails, which are perfect for abating one too many tiki drinks at the group’s Lost Lake. The “Red Snapper” is a twist on a Bloody Mary with gin, to pad the stomach with vegetables. If a kick of caffeine will do the trick, get the CCR Milk Punch, a creamy mix of rum and bourbon with coffee and milk.
10. Dusek's Board & Beer
Dusek’s may be best known for its beer list and food, but the restaurant inside Thalia Hall also has an excellent brunch cocktail list. The restaurant trades classic mimosas for a lineup of beer-mosas with an array of citrus juices from lemon to grapefruit. There’s also a rotating cocktail menu that includes a punch (courtesy of Punch House), right now featuring vodka, Cocchi Americano, white tea, pineapple and strawberry.