Best Breakfast in Chicago (2023 Update)
Breakfast, as we know is the most important meal of the day and if you play your cards right, the most delicious. Breakfast has evolved from the bland-but-necessary start of the day to a meal of startling creativity, and Chicago’s culinary scene has embraced it. Below we celebrate our favorite places to enjoy breakfast in Chicago!
For this latest 2023 update, new additions include Nellie’s in Humboldt Park and Hanabusa Café.
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Best Breakfast in Chicago
Whether you favor the traditional or the unconventional, you’re bound to find a breakfast that suits you in the Windy City.
1. Ann Sather
For a Chicago classic, head to Ann Sather (909 W Belmont AveChicago, IL 60657) in the heart of the Lakeview neighborhood. Serving up delicious Scandinavian fare for over fifty years, Ann Sather is the place to go for limpa, traditional Swedish bread and lingonberry pancakes.
But for all of its delicious ethnic delights, Ann Sather is famed for its amazing cinnamon rolls. Chicago natives can’t get enough of the gooey treats, and weekend mornings will find a line out the door.
2. Pick Me Up Café
The Pick Me Up Café (4882 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL. 60640) is a funky little eatery, serving classics like eggs and toast as well as a wide variety of veggie and vegan meals. The portions are generous, the prices fair, and the kitchen is open late; an unbeatable combination in a city that doesn’t stop.
While the Pick Me Up Cafe isn’t strictly vegan, it is consistently voted a top vegan breakfast Chicago spot!
3. Lou Mitchell’s
If you’re closer to the Loop than the Northside, check out Lou Mitchell’s (565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661), a classic diner and Chicago icon. Your eggs won’t be organic or cholesterol-free but they will be piping hot and served promptly. Try the enormous omelets, or whipped-cream and Milk Dud-topped pancakes for the kids. Their eggs Benedict is also a local’s favorite.
Fun Fact: Milk Duds were originally manufactured in Chicago and the owner of the Milk Dud company was both a customer and friend of Lou’s, thus the choice of the sweets for the special pancakes.
4. M. Henry
M Henry (5707 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660) is a great spot for breakfast or brunch in Chicago. The portions are huge, the service is fast and friendly, and the food is creative and influenced by a variety of cultures. They truly have something for everyone on this menu. If you are vegan, gluten-free, a meat-eater, or vegetarian there is a delicious dish to choose from.
Favorites include Fannie’s fried egg sandwich, lemon raspberry French toast, wine poached pears & Bostock french toast, eggs Benedict, and roasted vegetable and goat cheese quiche.
5. Bongo Room
Further south in the Loop you’ll find the auxiliary location of the Bongo Room (1470 N. Milwaukee, Chicago, IL 60622). The original restaurant is still serving delicious goodies in Wicker Park, but the South Loop location provides a minimalist haven from the morning rush. Piping hot coffee balances out the sweetness of the raspberry lemon pancakes, while the stunning breakfast burrito packs an impossible amount of flavor onto a single plate.
Step out of the ordinary breakfast options and opt for the Caprese Benedict; sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella, roasted Italian sausage, poached eggs and classic hollandaise. It’s topped with basil, parmesan and garlic breadcrumbs for an extra dose of scrumptious!
If you’re looking for flavors of the South in your morning meal try Wishbone (161 N Jefferson St, Chicago, IL 60661), a Chicago staple. Warm corn muffins will tide you over as you browse a menu that includes treats like crab cakes and grits. Wishbone has carved out a niche in Chicago and has a loyal customer base that has come to depend on its homestyle cooking and Southern hospitality.
One of the most popular Southern Specialities on the brunch menu is the Red Eggs; two eggs any style served on corn tortillas and topped with melted cheddar, chili ancho sauce, black beans, scallions, sour cream & cilantro salsa and cornbread.
7. Sweet Maple Café
The Sweet Maple Café (1339 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607), on the south side of the Loop, is another great place to get a dose of the South in the heart of the Midwest. Heavy on fried foods and old-fashion biscuits, Sweet Maple also offers lighter dishes like amazing blueberry pancakes. The dining room is small, so be prepared to wait for a table.
8. Peach’s Restaurant
Another worth-it eatery is Peach’s Restaurant (4652 S King Dr, Chicago, IL 60653), an American eatery located in the Bronzeville area of Chicago. They serve cheese grits, crispy chicken, biscuits n’ gravy, shrimp and grits, & other Southern staples for breakfast (and lunch).
Other favorites are french toast served with caramelized peaches, but the must-have dish here is the ‘Fried Chicken’ dish, which consists of fried chicken wings with cinnamon french toast and sweet honey butter. They are known for their moderately priced dishes, friendly attentive servers, and delicious food with a Southern flare.
9. Kitsch’n on Roscoe
Another trendy and fun breakfast can be found at Kitsch’n on Roscoe (2005 W Roscoe St, Chicago, IL 60618). Home to all things retro, you’ll dine on coconut-crusted French toast or spicy chilaquiles amid Gumby memorabilia and old Colt 45 signs. For a truly great meal resign yourself to a 30-minute wait and check out the weekend “Hangover Brunch.”
10. Sunny Side Up Breakfast & Lunch
The feature of Sunny Side Up (42 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611) is mouthwatering breakfast sandwiches, eggs benedict, and smoked salmon. They are also well known for their biscuits, French toast, and homemade cinnamon rolls.
Pair your breakfast of choice with a Mimosa, chai latte, or fresh juice for the whole experience.
For the more adventurous breakfaster, Kasama (1001 N Winchester Ave Chicago, IL 60622) offers a unique take on breakfast favorites. The Michelin-starred bakery and café is known for its modern Filipino take on classic dishes. 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 huge favorite along with the popular Filipino breakfast (fried egg, garlic fried rice, longanisa or tocino) and their absolutely stunning pastries.
Pictured above are the ube & huckleberry basque cake, mango tart, and truffle croissant filled with a Délice de Bourgogne truffle cream topped with fresh Perigord summer truffles & honey.
12. Kanela Breakfast Club
Kanela Breakfast Club (502 E Illinois St, Chicago, IL 60611) was voted best breakfast in Chicago by USA Today. Kanela is the Greek word for ‘Cinnamon’, and brings a local, organic, and flavorful approach to a Greek-infused American menu. Everything they cook is from scratch and with local organic ingredients whenever possible.
Menu standouts include Crunchy French Toast made with challah bread rolled in crunchy corn flakes topped with fresh berries, crème anglaise, the Pork & Jam Sandwich that is house-made pork sausage, cheddar, sunny side up egg, arugula, spicy pepper jam, English muffin, and the Fried Chicken & Waffles made with buttermilk fried chicken and a sriracha honey sauce.
13. Nellie’s in Humboldt Park
Nellie’s (2458 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622) is the only Puerto Rican Breakfast Buffet in Chicago. Their weekend buffet is from 9 am to 4 pm every Saturday & Sunday. The coconut oatmeal (avena de coco) at Nellie’s is crave-able and one of the dishes people come back for over and over again!
Of course, what every you choose for breakfast, make sure to enjoy it with a cafe con leche. If you want champagne with your breakfast, Nellie’s is BYOB, but they don’t charge a corkage fee.
14. Hanabusa Café
Hanabusa Café is located in the Heyworth Building (29 E Madison St, Chicago, IL 60602) and they serve authentic Japanese soufflé pancakes that are very soft, and fluffy and feel like a cloud melting in your mouth.
Options for pancake toppings are homemade cream, homemade chocolate sauce, homemade matcha sauce or homemade cookie cream and Oreo crumbs. All are served with fresh fruit and make sure to ask for a sprinkle of powdered sugar!
Wondering what to do after breakfast? How about a Bike Ride Around Chicago? Or check out our list of the Top Things to Do in Chicago!
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What a fun blog! I have been to Ann Sathers, But need to try the other spots!