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Where to Eat Brunch in Chicago Right Now, March 2018

Behold, the 20 hottest brunch restaurants in Chicago

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Brunch, not quite breakfast or lunch, is often overlooked but Eater Chicago's here to give it all the attention it deserves. The Eater Chicago Brunch Heatmap is a continually-updated list showing the newest places that are doing great things with their brunch menus. Because after a long week, everyone should kick back and relax over an omelet and Bloody Mary. So don't ruin the weekend by making the wrong choice. Nobody likes soggy bacon.

This month's additions include Stephen Gillanders's S.K.Y., burger bar The Moonlighter, and the return of Sarah Jordan at DropShot Coffee & Snack Bar. They join a growing number of eateries dedicated to making their midday options as equally important as dinner service. Sure, you can order a McMuffin at all hours of the day but why settle? Start Sunday Funday off right and get your eggs (and much more) on at these red-hot restaurants.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

The Moonlighter

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Dropshot Coffee & Snack Bar

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Jeffy Mai

Bounce Sporting Club

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Barry Brecheisen

Federales

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Torali Italian – Steak

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The Ritz-Carlton’s swanky restaurant on the 12th floor presents an Italian-tinged feast for brunch. Do as the Sicilians do and munch on egg white frittatas, veal meatballs, yellowfin crudo, and polenta fries. Then sit back, relax, and sip some amaro.

Hutch American Kitchen + Bar

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Andersonville lost an ambitious Mexican restaurant when Cantina 1910 closed but filling its void is the third iteration of Hutch. Brunch enthusiasts will be happy to know that it’s served every day of the week. The reliable menu plays host to comforting dishes like tater tot nachos, Nutella dough poppers, chicken and corn waffles, and breakfast grilled cheese. Of course, no morning would be complete without a boozy drink so there are various bloodies and mimosas available too.

Half Sour

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Deli-style eateries are on the rise and this Printer’s Row café serves brunch plates alongside the customary selection of sandwiches. Pancake balls, shakshuka, and corned beef hash are among the choices, and they’re coupled with cocktails like the Dark and Icy (CH Vodka or Maker’s Mark, Dark Matter cold brew, CH coffee liquor, hazelnut, cream). It might not feel like a traditional Jewish delicatessen, but one bite of the pastrami will put diners’ minds at ease.

Kinship

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Evanston’s latest opening is a hearth-driven, ethnically-inspired spot from L3 Hospitality Group. Former Eater Young Gun semifinalist Marco Bahena is whipping up approachable items such as honey-roasted vegetable hash, a cheddar biscuit breakfast sandwich, and challah French toast. On the way out, grab a homemade éclair for the road.

Barry Brecheisen

Regards To Edith

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Heisler Hospitality went old school and drew upon the city’s culinary past for its project inside the Google building. While brunch doesn’t offer the drool-worthy prime rib sandwich, it does have hearty eats such as pierogies, a fried chicken biscuit, and lamb crepinette. Diners who really want to show off their Chicago pride can also sip on the Deli Counter Fizz, made with Malört, vodka, pineapple shrub, lemon, soda, and celery.

Bar Cargo

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Pizza is the best motivation for rolling out of bed in the morning. That’s why the Stefani family’s Roman-style pizzeria is the place to be for brunch. Weekend specialties include crab and avocado benedict, egg white frittata, steak and eggs, and Nutella pizza. Bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas are an extra $25.

Nighthawk: AM

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Inspired by the retro milk bars of the ‘50s, this Los Angeles import slings morning fare at all hours of the day. So don’t worry about missing out on brunch; scoops of cookie dough, boozy Frosted Flakes-coated French toast sticks, and cheddar and chive biscuits will be waiting no matter how late guests drop by. They might just have to take it to go, though, as the small space only has a few seats.

One of the city’s most essential brunch spots has relocated to larger digs. Housed inside the former Yusho space, Jam is back to serving chef Ian Voakes’s contemporary morning fare. The menu remains mostly unchanged so fans shouldn’t fear — those hot chicken and waffles and malted custard French toasts are still here.

Barry Brecheisen

Lonesome Rose

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Land & Sea Dept.’s latest project is an all-day eatery in Logan Square centered on the borderlands cuisine of southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Starting bright and early at 7 a.m., guests can stop in for tacos filled with eggs, cheese, potatoes, and breakfast meats. Or sleep in and enjoy specialties after 11 a.m., such as tuna tostada, chilaquiles, truck stop nachos, and a double stack chorizo burger.

Clayton Hauck

The Lakefront Restaurant

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The weather outside may be frightful but that doesn’t mean Chicagoans shouldn't hang out by the lake. Former Fountainhead chef Cleetus Friedman is leading the kitchen at this tavern housed inside the historic Theater on the Lake building. He’s putting whimsical touches on Midwestern comfort and making beer-braised brisket hash, cereal milk French toast, and chicken fried chicken. When summer finally arrives, the skyline patio will offer al fresco dining and picturesque views.

“Top Chef” alum Katsuji Tanabe is providing all the good vibes guests need for a weekend fiesta. Alleviate the workweek stress with inventive Mexican plates such as churro French toast with horchata whipped cream, chorizo omelet, barbacoa short rib hash, breakfast tacos, and much more. They go well with cocktails like housemade micheladas, Bloody Marias, and guava mimosas.

HaiSous

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Thai Dang’s long-awaited return has been a hit with critics and diners alike. His Pilsen restaurant has expanded its service to brunch hours so that patrons can have a hearty Vietnamese meal in the morning. Asian specialties include housemade beef pho, crispy rice crepe filled with prawns, and rice porridge with chopped clams.

Beatnik

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From the grandiose interior to a year-round courtyard, Beatnik is a sight to behold. Bonhomme Hospitality Group, the folks behind places like Celeste and Fulton Market Kitchen, has another winner on its hands thanks to a creative bar program and impressive bites that draw inspiration from around the globe. Brunch features boozy slushies and dishes like pork cheek fried rice, Spanish tortilla with uni, and shakshuka with duck eggs.

Split-Rail

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Take a trip down memory lane at Zoe Schor’s “New Americana” hotspot. Her nostalgia-tinged menu offers updated versions of classic comfort foods so diners can embrace their inner child by starting the day with chicken nuggets served with housemade honey mustard. For a more adult-like approach to brunch, there’s duck confit hash and a breakfast burrito made with scrambled eggs, pinto beans, queso Oaxaca, avocado crema, and hash browns.

Somerset

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To the surprise of no one, Boka Restaurant Group’s magnificent Gold Coast restaurant has lived up to the hype bestowed upon it. Taking its cue from the neighborhood, the grand and lavish space conjures images of a yacht club that’s well-suited for lounging. Lee Wolen complements the experience with all-American favorites such as pristine oysters, corned beef hash, and a killer crispy chicken sandwich.

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S.K.Y.

The Moonlighter

Dropshot Coffee & Snack Bar

Jeffy Mai

Jeffy Mai

Bounce Sporting Club

Barry Brecheisen

Barry Brecheisen

Federales

Torali Italian – Steak

The Ritz-Carlton’s swanky restaurant on the 12th floor presents an Italian-tinged feast for brunch. Do as the Sicilians do and munch on egg white frittatas, veal meatballs, yellowfin crudo, and polenta fries. Then sit back, relax, and sip some amaro.

Hutch American Kitchen + Bar

Andersonville lost an ambitious Mexican restaurant when Cantina 1910 closed but filling its void is the third iteration of Hutch. Brunch enthusiasts will be happy to know that it’s served every day of the week. The reliable menu plays host to comforting dishes like tater tot nachos, Nutella dough poppers, chicken and corn waffles, and breakfast grilled cheese. Of course, no morning would be complete without a boozy drink so there are various bloodies and mimosas available too.

Half Sour

Deli-style eateries are on the rise and this Printer’s Row café serves brunch plates alongside the customary selection of sandwiches. Pancake balls, shakshuka, and corned beef hash are among the choices, and they’re coupled with cocktails like the Dark and Icy (CH Vodka or Maker’s Mark, Dark Matter cold brew, CH coffee liquor, hazelnut, cream). It might not feel like a traditional Jewish delicatessen, but one bite of the pastrami will put diners’ minds at ease.

Kinship

Barry Brecheisen

Evanston’s latest opening is a hearth-driven, ethnically-inspired spot from L3 Hospitality Group. Former Eater Young Gun semifinalist Marco Bahena is whipping up approachable items such as honey-roasted vegetable hash, a cheddar biscuit breakfast sandwich, and challah French toast. On the way out, grab a homemade éclair for the road.

Barry Brecheisen

Regards To Edith

Heisler Hospitality went old school and drew upon the city’s culinary past for its project inside the Google building. While brunch doesn’t offer the drool-worthy prime rib sandwich, it does have hearty eats such as pierogies, a fried chicken biscuit, and lamb crepinette. Diners who really want to show off their Chicago pride can also sip on the Deli Counter Fizz, made with Malört, vodka, pineapple shrub, lemon, soda, and celery.

Bar Cargo

Pizza is the best motivation for rolling out of bed in the morning. That’s why the Stefani family’s Roman-style pizzeria is the place to be for brunch. Weekend specialties include crab and avocado benedict, egg white frittata, steak and eggs, and Nutella pizza. Bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas are an extra $25.

Nighthawk: AM

Inspired by the retro milk bars of the ‘50s, this Los Angeles import slings morning fare at all hours of the day. So don’t worry about missing out on brunch; scoops of cookie dough, boozy Frosted Flakes-coated French toast sticks, and cheddar and chive biscuits will be waiting no matter how late guests drop by. They might just have to take it to go, though, as the small space only has a few seats.

Jam

Barry Brecheisen

One of the city’s most essential brunch spots has relocated to larger digs. Housed inside the former Yusho space, Jam is back to serving chef Ian Voakes’s contemporary morning fare. The menu remains mostly unchanged so fans shouldn’t fear — those hot chicken and waffles and malted custard French toasts are still here.

Barry Brecheisen

Lonesome Rose