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What’s not to love about waffles, eggs, and breakfast pastries?
Breakfast Club and Grill [Official Photo]

Chicago’s Essential Breakfast Spots

Start the day off right with these morning standouts

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What’s not to love about waffles, eggs, and breakfast pastries?
| Breakfast Club and Grill [Official Photo]

Breakfast’s status as the most important meal is debatable, but too often it’s the day’s most overlooked dining opportunity. Though some people skip right to lunch, a plethora of Chicago restaurants feature a quality start to every morning, from longtime neighborhood favorites to new operators with sweet, spicy, and savory creations.

Egg sandwiches are a sufficiently robust category to merit their own map, available here. Dim sum is covered here.

As of June 11, Chicago restaurants have fully reopened and the city has lifted restrictions on capacity, masking, and social distancing. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following safety guidelines. The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is available here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. M. Henry

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5707 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 561-1600
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Hailed as one of Chicago's top breakfast and brunch spots, M. Henry puts the focus on quality ingredients. The creative menu offers Jorge’s black bean cakes and huevos borrachos (“drunken eggs”), Key lime and mango brioche French toast, and Fanny’s killer fried egg sandwich.

2. Bryn Mawr Breakfast Club

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3348 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(872) 208-7079
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Chef and owner Manny Mejia, who previously worked at M. Henry and Marmalade, turns out dishes with global influences at this North Park gem. The eclectic selection includes a Caprese omelet, a breakfast torta (chorizo, Chihuahua cheese, scrambled eggs, adobo sauce), and scallion pancakes with eggs and pork belly. Expect crowds and a wait on weekends.

3. Tre Kronor

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3258 W Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 267-9888
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Over on the Northwest Side, Chicagoans pack this charming two-story building every day for Scandinavian comfort fare. Satiate the sweet tooth with maple pecan Danishes or cinnamon rolls before digging into cheesy omelets, Swedish pancakes with lingonberry preserves, and a plethora of sausages.

4. Tiztal Cafe

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4631 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 271-4631
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Chilaquiles are typically consumed for breakfast and one of Chicago’s best versions is found at this small Uptown cafe. The classic dish features the kitchen’s tortilla chips topped with green salsa, eggs, Chihuahua cheese, onions, cilantro, and choice of either chorizo, steak, or chicken. Omelets and creamy oatmeal milkshakes are other menu highlights. There’s a lovely back patio for outdoor dining.

5. Batter & Berries

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2748 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-7710
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An adorable Lincoln Park BYOB cafe with a soul food twist, Batter & Berries is known for its French toast flights (the restaurant has served more than 100 varieties), deconstructed omelets, and chicken and waffles drizzled with nutmeg hot sauce. Skip the mob-inducing brunch hours by heading over for weekday breakfast.

6. Frances' Deli and Brunchery

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2552 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-4580
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The addition of Derek Rylon, opening chef at Batter & Berries, has revitalized Frances’, turning it from Kosher-style deli to a lively space for breakfast and brunch. Rylon’s signature French toasts are present, as is a variety of sweet treats.

7. The Bongo Room

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1470 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 489-0710
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A Chicago staple for more than 20 years, the Bongo Room specializes in indulgent, over-the-top pancakes and French toasts. But if that’s too much sugar to handle in the morning, the menu is also balanced out by eggs and sandwiches. There’s another outpost in Andersonville.

8. Kasama

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1001 N Winchester Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 697-3790
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Bib gourmand-winning mega hit Kasama features both daytime and dinner options from chefs and spouses Genie Kwon and Tim Flores. Their singular breakfast sandwich (egg, cheese, longanisa, hashbrown) is a banger that’s developed its own following, but there’s also a popular Filipino breakfast (fried egg, garlic fried rice, longanisa or tocino) and Kwon’s stunning laminated pastries.

9. Three House

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1450 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 465-2636
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Out of the ashes of a troubled Noble Square empanada shop, Three House emerged in 2020 to create a relaxed space that’s wowed customers in West Town thanks to delicious fried chicken sandwiches on biscuits; bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches on focaccia; and a wonderful array of juices and coffees. ideal to take to the park or on an early morning road trip. Three House chef Tyler Nickson learned the ropes from his parents who run Wishbone. There’s also breakfast fries for those who had a late night.

10. Uncle Mike's Place

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1700 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(312) 226-5318
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Tired of the same old bacon and eggs? Visit this Ukrainian Village diner for homey Southeast Asian specialties. The fluffy omelets and pancakes don’t disappoint, but the most popular choices are the marinated skirt steak and the hearty Filipino rice plates. They can be ordered with longanisa (sweet sausage), bangus (marinated milkfish), tocino (cured pork shoulder), and more. The staff also serve complimentary bowls of lugao (rice porridge) to every patron.

11. The Breakfast Club and Grill

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1381 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 666-2372
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The Breakfast Club and Grill, a West Town morning hotspot after more than three decades, serves its carb-heavy menu of challah French toast, waffles, Benedicts, and more all day long. There are also raspberry and blueberry scones made on-site and a decadent Kentucky bourbon bread pudding.

12. Wishbone

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161 N Jefferson St
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 850-2663
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The longtime West Loop restaurant moved from its original location in 2018 but the food hasn’t skipped a beat. The menu still leans heavily on Southern comforts, such as crab cakes, shrimp and grits, blackened catfish, and chicken andouille hash.

13. Lou Mitchell's

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565 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 939-3111
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A Chicago icon approaching a century in business, Lou Mitchell's dishes out a dose of greasy spoon Americana rarely seen in the 21st Century. Omelets, skillets, pancakes, waffles, and complimentary Milk Duds (yes, Milk Duds) are staples for regulars who stop by for a dose of old-school charm and excellent people-watching.

14. Jarabe-Taqueria

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749 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 725-0507
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Breakfast tacos aren’t something that Chicago is known for, but Jarabe Street Food’s offerings would be top notch in any city. Customers have a choice of flour or corn tortillas – staff recommends flour — and there are four tacos to pick from. The star comes with crisped potatoes with creamy interiors and a smattering of chorizo. It’s the perfect combo. There’s also a location on the Near West Side, inside Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall (the former Cook County Hospital).

15. Sweet Maple Cafe

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1339 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 243-8908
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The University Village community hub warrants a visit for many exceptional dishes, including breakfast tacos, holiday French toast, and Southern-style fried catfish nuggets that are only available on Fridays.

16. Pearl's Place

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3901 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 285-1000
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For an endless supply of Southern-style soul food, Chicagoans should make their way to Pearl’s. In addition to the a la carte menu, there’s also a buffet of breakfast comforts, such as made-to-order omelets, waffles, grits, biscuits, mac and cheese, collard greens, fried chicken wings, and much more. It’s a plentiful spread that will keep most appetites full until dinner.

Mini-waffles and chicken wings
Pearl’s Place is an institution in Bronzeville.
Pearl’s Place [Official Photo]

17. Peach's Restaurant

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4652 S King Dr
Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 966-5801
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Bright and airy, Peach’s Restaurant stirs the soul with Southern delights during morning hours. Salmon croquettes and flaky biscuits are hits, as is the juicy and peppery fried chicken served with cinnamon French toast and honey butter.

18. Daley's Restaurant

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6257 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60637
(773) 643-6670
Visit Website

Chicago’s oldest restaurant — which moved across the street in 2019 — has been part delicious soul food, part time capsule, and part gathering place for nearly half the city since 1892. At breakfast, there aren’t many places in town where one can get pork chops, catfish, chicken wings, salmon patties, salt pork, and other Southern comforts alongside eggs and pancakes.

19. 5 Loaves Eatery

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405 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 891-2889

This Jean Banchet-honored restaurant on the South Side delivers down-home cooking at its finest. Diners nourish themselves on hearty helpings of soul food, such as buttermilk biscuits, catfish nuggets, and cheesy grits. However, the biggest attraction is the fried chicken. The well-seasoned, extra-crispy pieces of poultry are among the city’s best. 5 Loaves is currently only open for pre-orders and catering.

20. Josephine's Southern Cooking

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436 E 79th St
Chicago, IL 60619
(773) 487-2900
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Josephine Wade is a mythical figure in Chicago. The namesake owner is also known as Mother Wade run her soul food diner for decades in Chatham. The restaurant recently received a renovations courtesy of Restaurant: Impossible. Find catfish, biscuits, eggs, and more at this institution. 

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1. M. Henry

5707 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660

Hailed as one of Chicago's top breakfast and brunch spots, M. Henry puts the focus on quality ingredients. The creative menu offers Jorge’s black bean cakes and huevos borrachos (“drunken eggs”), Key lime and mango brioche French toast, and Fanny’s killer fried egg sandwich.

5707 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60660

2. Bryn Mawr Breakfast Club

3348 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago, IL 60659

Chef and owner Manny Mejia, who previously worked at M. Henry and Marmalade, turns out dishes with global influences at this North Park gem. The eclectic selection includes a Caprese omelet, a breakfast torta (chorizo, Chihuahua cheese, scrambled eggs, adobo sauce), and scallion pancakes with eggs and pork belly. Expect crowds and a wait on weekends.

3348 W Bryn Mawr Ave
Chicago, IL 60659

3. Tre Kronor

3258 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60625

Over on the Northwest Side, Chicagoans pack this charming two-story building every day for Scandinavian comfort fare. Satiate the sweet tooth with maple pecan Danishes or cinnamon rolls before digging into cheesy omelets, Swedish pancakes with lingonberry preserves, and a plethora of sausages.

3258 W Foster Ave
Chicago, IL 60625

4. Tiztal Cafe

4631 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Chilaquiles are typically consumed for breakfast and one of Chicago’s best versions is found at this small Uptown cafe. The classic dish features the kitchen’s tortilla chips topped with green salsa, eggs, Chihuahua cheese, onions, cilantro, and choice of either chorizo, steak, or chicken. Omelets and creamy oatmeal milkshakes are other menu highlights. There’s a lovely back patio for outdoor dining.

4631 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640

5. Batter & Berries

2748 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

An adorable Lincoln Park BYOB cafe with a soul food twist, Batter & Berries is known for its French toast flights (the restaurant has served more than 100 varieties), deconstructed omelets, and chicken and waffles drizzled with nutmeg hot sauce. Skip the mob-inducing brunch hours by heading over for weekday breakfast.

2748 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

6. Frances' Deli and Brunchery

2552 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

The addition of Derek Rylon, opening chef at Batter & Berries, has revitalized Frances’, turning it from Kosher-style deli to a lively space for breakfast and brunch. Rylon’s signature French toasts are present, as is a variety of sweet treats.

2552 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614

7. The Bongo Room

1470 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

A Chicago staple for more than 20 years, the Bongo Room specializes in indulgent, over-the-top pancakes and French toasts. But if that’s too much sugar to handle in the morning, the menu is also balanced out by eggs and sandwiches. There’s another outpost in Andersonville.

1470 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

8. Kasama

1001 N Winchester Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Bib gourmand-winning mega hit Kasama features both daytime and dinner options from chefs and spouses Genie Kwon and Tim Flores. Their singular breakfast sandwich (egg, cheese, longanisa, hashbrown) is a banger that’s developed its own following, but there’s also a popular Filipino breakfast (fried egg, garlic fried rice, longanisa or tocino) and Kwon’s stunning laminated pastries.

1001 N Winchester Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

9. Three House

1450 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Out of the ashes of a troubled Noble Square empanada shop, Three House emerged in 2020 to create a relaxed space that’s wowed customers in West Town thanks to delicious fried chicken sandwiches on biscuits; bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches on focaccia; and a wonderful array of juices and coffees. ideal to take to the park or on an early morning road trip. Three House chef Tyler Nickson learned the ropes from his parents who run Wishbone. There’s also breakfast fries for those who had a late night.

1450 W Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60642

10. Uncle Mike's Place

1700 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Tired of the same old bacon and eggs? Visit this Ukrainian Village diner for homey Southeast Asian specialties. The fluffy omelets and pancakes don’t disappoint, but the most popular choices are the marinated skirt steak and the hearty Filipino rice plates. They can be ordered with longanisa (sweet sausage), bangus (marinated milkfish), tocino (cured pork shoulder), and more. The staff also serve complimentary bowls of lugao (rice porridge) to every patron.

1700 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

11. The Breakfast Club and Grill

1381 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60642

The Breakfast Club and Grill, a West Town morning hotspot after more than three decades, serves its carb-heavy menu of challah French toast, waffles, Benedicts, and more all day long. There are also raspberry and blueberry scones made on-site and a decadent Kentucky bourbon bread pudding.

1381 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60642

12. Wishbone

161 N Jefferson St, Chicago, IL 60661

The longtime West Loop restaurant moved from its original location in 2018 but the food hasn’t skipped a beat. The menu still leans heavily on Southern comforts, such as crab cakes, shrimp and grits, blackened catfish, and chicken andouille hash.

161 N Jefferson St
Chicago, IL 60661

13. Lou Mitchell's

565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661

A Chicago icon approaching a century in business, Lou Mitchell's dishes out a dose of greasy spoon Americana rarely seen in the 21st Century. Omelets, skillets, pancakes, waffles, and complimentary Milk Duds (yes, Milk Duds) are staples for regulars who stop by for a dose of old-school charm and excellent people-watching.

565 W Jackson Blvd
Chicago, IL 60661

14. Jarabe-Taqueria

749 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60612

Breakfast tacos aren’t something that Chicago is known for, but Jarabe Street Food’s offerings would be top notch in any city. Customers have a choice of flour or corn tortillas – staff recommends flour — and there are four tacos to pick from. The star comes with crisped potatoes with creamy interiors and a smattering of chorizo. It’s the perfect combo. There’s also a location on the Near West Side, inside Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall (the former Cook County Hospital).

749 S Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60612

15. Sweet Maple Cafe

1339 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

The University Village community hub warrants a visit for many exceptional dishes, including breakfast tacos, holiday French toast, and Southern-style fried catfish nuggets that are only available on Fridays.

1339 W Taylor St
Chicago, IL 60607

Related Maps

16. Pearl's Place

3901 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60653
Mini-waffles and chicken wings
Pearl’s Place is an institution in Bronzeville.
Pearl’s Place [Official Photo]

For an endless supply of Southern-style soul food, Chicagoans should make their way to Pearl’s. In addition to the a la carte menu, there’s also a buffet of breakfast comforts, such as made-to-order omelets, waffles, grits, biscuits, mac and cheese, collard greens, fried chicken wings, and much more. It’s a plentiful spread that will keep most appetites full until dinner.

3901 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60653

17. Peach's Restaurant

4652 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653

Bright and airy, Peach’s Restaurant stirs the soul with Southern delights during morning hours. Salmon croquettes and flaky biscuits are hits, as is the juicy and peppery fried chicken served with cinnamon French toast and honey butter.

4652 S King Dr
Chicago, IL 60653

18. Daley's Restaurant

6257 S Cottage Grove Ave, Chicago, IL 60637

Chicago’s oldest restaurant — which moved across the street in 2019 — has been part delicious soul food, part time capsule, and part gathering place for nearly half the city since 1892. At breakfast, there aren’t many places in town where one can get pork chops, catfish, chicken wings, salmon patties, salt pork, and other Southern comforts alongside eggs and pancakes.

6257 S Cottage Grove Ave
Chicago, IL 60637

19. 5 Loaves Eatery

405 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619

This Jean Banchet-honored restaurant on the South Side delivers down-home cooking at its finest. Diners nourish themselves on hearty helpings of soul food, such as buttermilk biscuits, catfish nuggets, and cheesy grits. However, the biggest attraction is the fried chicken. The well-seasoned, extra-crispy pieces of poultry are among the city’s best. 5 Loaves is currently only open for pre-orders and catering.

405 E 75th St
Chicago, IL 60619

20. Josephine's Southern Cooking

436 E 79th St, Chicago, IL 60619

Josephine Wade is a mythical figure in Chicago. The namesake owner is also known as Mother Wade run her soul food diner for decades in Chatham. The restaurant recently received a renovations courtesy of Restaurant: Impossible. Find catfish, biscuits, eggs, and more at this institution. 

436 E 79th St
Chicago, IL 60619

Related Maps