A hot and hearty breakfast is always the perfect start to any day. Luckily, many Chicago restaurants have mastered the art of the morning meal so indulgent stacks of pancakes and fluffy omelets are never too far away. Don't suffer through burnt toast and overcooked bacon ever again. Check out the list below to see which spots are the best in 25 different neighborhoods — all the way from suburban Evanston to Hyde Park. Listed in alphabetical order. If there's neighborhoods that need representation, please share restaurant suggestions in the comments.Read More
25 Great Chicago Breakfast Restaurants By Neighborhood, Summer 2017
Find a great breakfast spot anywhere in the city
Albany Park: Tre Kronor
Swedish staples are aplenty here at this neighborhood favorite on the far North Side. Diners come for Scandinavian dishes like gravlax, potato pancakes, pickled herring, and of course, Swedish meatballs that put the Ikea variety to shame.
Andersonville: M. Henry
Andersonville is chock-full of good breakfast spots but none shine brighter than this globally-inspired café. Whether it's the hearty "Fannie’s Killer Fried Egg Sandwich" or non-meat options like the "Vegan Epiphany" tofu scramble, m. henry doesn't disappoint.
This Bridgeport star puts a heavy emphasis on quality by sourcing organic and sustainable ingredients from local farms. The Mexican-influenced dishes highlight seasonality but signature items like avocado fries, huevos rancheros, and the "Nanadict" (pupusas, chorizo, poached eggs, poblano cream) are always available.
Bronzeville: Chicago's Home Of Chicken & Waffles
Chicken and waffles have become a fixture on breakfast menus everywhere but this Bronzeville restaurant was one of the first to start the trend. The namesake specialty pairs crunchy fried chicken with thin and crispy waffles for a sweet-and-savory balance to breakfast. Non-meat eaters can substitute the poultry for fried catfish.
Chinatown: Chiu Quon Bakery
Grab a cheap and tasty breakfast while on the go at this Chinese bakery. Items such as sweet and savory buns, egg custard tarts, sesame balls, moon cakes, and numerous other pastries provide a quick snack or full meal for patrons. If that’s not enough, a limited selection of dim sum bites can also be ordered.
Evanston: Sarkis Cafe
Up in the North Shore, this tiny morning spot is always jam-packed with locals. The self-proclaimed “world’s best” omelets are worthy of the praise, while the popular Loretta sandwich is likewise a must-try. It features choice of breakfast meat and a slew of veggies served on a French roll. Add a side of ominous-sounding-yet-delicious “Disaster Sausage”—housemade Armenian ground beef—for the best morning meal in town.
Greater Grand Crossing: 5 Loaves Eatery
“Good food, good people” is the slogan at this South Side eatery, where it more than lives up to that promise. Nourish the soul with Southern delights like crispy fried chicken, catfish nuggets, cheesy grits, and salmon croquettes.
Humboldt Park: Cafe Marie-Jeanne
Jet-setting to France on a whim might not be a realistic option but Humboldt Park’s all-day café is a fine consolation. Wake up with a shot of espresso and enjoy chef Michael Simmons’ specialties like fried chicken livers, seared foie gras, and luxurious caviar toast for a Parisian-esque start to the day.
Hyde Park: Valois
South Siders know and love Valois, an old-school, cafeteria-style institution that’s been in operation for close to a century. It’s also one of Barack Obama’s favorite stops when he’s in town, serving a mean plate of steak and eggs. For a side of history to go with breakfast, it doesn’t get much more notable than this.
Lakeview: Mortar & Pestle
Two former Table Fifty-Two vets have reinvigorated morning dining in Lakeview. Their daytime spot features globally-inspired menu with a little bit of everything—from avocado toast and fried cheese curds to foie gras French toast and king crab benedict—so spice things up and try a broad variety of breakfast fare.
Lincoln Park: Batter & Berries
Deciding on what to order for the most important meal of the day can be difficult, especially when it’s between tantalizing varieties of French toasts. Luckily, Batter & Berries makes it easy by offering a flight of its signature specialty so diners can satiate their sweet tooth with a sampling of flavors. Don't forget to take advantage of the BYOB policy by bringing a bottle of bubbles for mimosas.
Lincoln Square: Baker Miller
Dave and Megan Miller are two of Chicago’s preeminent dough specialists and their acclaimed bakery is among the finest places to rise and shine each day. In addition to outstanding pastries, the menu includes an assortment of sandwiches, biscuits, toasts, and breakfast bowls. Top it off with a pie to take home for the ultimate treat.
Logan Square: Lula Cafe
Not much introduction is needed for one of Chicago’s most lauded restaurants. It’s been the de-facto standard for the farm-to-table movement since opening in 1999 and has remained a reliable go-to for breakfast and brunch. The kitchen cooks up seasonal dishes along with simple classics including buttermilk pancakes, tofu and veggie scramble, and an ever-changing “Royale” breakfast sandwich.
Pilsen: Pleasant House Pub
Last year’s move from Bridgeport to Pilsen not only brought about a larger space, but expanded the hours of operation as well for this beloved South Side eatery. Guests can now drop in bright and early for coffee and freshly-baked breads, pastries, and the signature royal pies.
Ravenswood: Over Easy
Delicious and affordable is an winning recipe for success. Case in point: Over Easy Cafe. Guests fill the dining room every morning to try crowd-pleasing dishes like banana-spiked French toast and "Sassy Eggs"—a chorizo-jalapeno-red pepper hash topped with eggs, cheddar, ketchup, sour cream, and guacamole.
River North: Beatrix
Lettuce Entertain You’s all-day, health-conscious eatery is the perfect place to indulge during breakfast without having to feel guilty. Stop counting calories and enjoy items like shakshouka; quinoa cakes with poached eggs; and egg white omelet with baby spinach, avocado and tomato salsa, and turkey bacon.
Rogers Park: Heartland Café
Heartland Cafe has been an urban oasis for vegans and vegetarians since 1976. The funky and vintage restaurant is as eclectic as it looks, dishing out organic plates of tofu scrambles, seitan burgers, and veggie sandwiches. Those on a liquid diet can try one of the smoothies for a revitalizing pick-me-up.
Roscoe Village: Kitsch'n on Roscoe
The kitsch space may be a novelty but the contemporary comfort cuisine is no joke. Owner Jon Young puts a cheffy twist on things so expect coconut-crusted French toasts, drunken breakfast burritos, candied bacon BLTs, barbecue chicken omelets, and more.
South Loop: Bongo Room
With three locations across town, the Bongo Room is a popular breakfast eatery that always hits the spot. The menu offers plenty of savory items but the “sinful” sweets are the real standouts. Cranberry and orange pancakes; caramelized apple hotcakes; and a ludicrously indulgent chocolate tower French toast are just a few of the dishes worthy of a cheat day.
The Loop: Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe
Being steps away from Millennium Park and having an all-encompassing menu might make Wildberry seem like a tourist trap, but looks can be deceiving. The food rivals anything from the best breakfast joints in town and includes highlights such as “eggs-quisite” omelets, sizzlin’ skillets, and specialty pancakes. On the restaurant’s signature dish, stacks of fluffy pancakes are topped with berry sauces and fresh berries. It’s a blissful sweet treat that’s worth waiting in line for.
University Village: Sweet Maple Cafe
Over in Little Italy, this down-home cafe serves comforting, country-style meals. Nosh on breakfast tacos, corned beef hash, customizable scrambles, and more. For breakfast fare that's a little bit outside the norm, try the chicken livers with onions or fried catfish nuggets.
North Siders adore this cozy Uptown spot for its fresh and organic breakfast options and the charming décor. Consume beautiful benedicts, breakfast burritos, corn arepas, and much more while surrounded by owner Michelle Fire’s personal art collection. Veggie and gluten-free friendly; cash only.
West Loop: Little Goat
Stephanie Izard’s West Loop diner isn’t the usual greasy spoon affair. Her fusion approach to morning fare includes pork belly pancakes; a bibimbap breakfast bowl; and a parathas burrito served with sunny-side eggs and avocado-bean salad. Of course, diners can always order fried chicken at 8 a.m if they're hankering for something more substantial.
Wicker Park: Dove's Luncheonette
One Off Hospitality Group's retro Tex-Mex diner has become a Wicker Park standby for a hearty breakfast. The “Back to Life” ceviche cocktail rejuvenates after a long night out while large plates of burnt ends hash and chicken fried chicken ensures guests will be in a food coma for the rest of the day. Pair the comforting fare with a mezcal-focused bar program and it’s understandable why there’s usually a line at most hours.
Woodlawn: Daley's Restaurant
Generations upon generations of Woodlawn residents have grown up on reliable morning fare at this historic diner. Fuel up for the day on helpings of Belgian waffles, French toasts, omelets, skillets, breakfast sandwiches, and more—all prepared with the same consistency as when Daley’s first opened in 1892.