Gallery: The 10 Best Places to Brunch in Chicago of 2013

Doc B's Fresh Kitchen
Doc B's Fresh Kitchen

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

"The parfait pan-cake ($10) is less like an actual pancake and more like a fluffy layer of angel food cake, so soft and smooth that it practically floats into your mouth. It's topped off with Greek yogurt, berry preserves, and granola."Read more here >>

Dusek's Board and Beer
Dusek's Board and Beer

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

"I've seen a lot of "gourmet" pop tarts bandied about on brunch menus around town, but most are feeble attempts lazily cashing in on the nostalgic buzz word by slapping two pieces of puff pastry around some fruit filling. Screw that. Dusek's makes a pop tart that looks like a pop tart, albeit infinitely more flavorful and satisfying in that it doesn't remind me of mornings in elementary school wherein I would scarf cold blueberry Pop Tarts before going to spend the day being a teacher's pet and getting mildly taunted for it. None of that. This one features a luscious, slightly amaretto-flavored nut paste filling ensconced in a perfectly flaky, delicate pie crust with edges crimped ever so gingerly." Read more here >>

The Bristol
The Bristol

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

"A heaping mound of baked chips is saturated in a smoky chile sauce and layered with braised pork shoulder and a few slabs of braised pork belly. The chips are cooked just to the point of being fork-tender without becoming mushy, making it all too easy to shovel large amounts into your mouth at a time. An ample dosage of queso fresco, chopped raw onions, and cilantro freshen things up, and the whole thing is adorned with a sunny-side up egg, which when pierced, escalates the whole thing in the very best pasta carbonara-like way." Read more here >>

Ada Street
Ada Street

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

"The preeminent example of Schor's dexterous whimsy is her corned beef hash Scotch egg ($9). Basically it's a Scotch egg breaded in corned beef and potato flakes and deep-fried in gluttonous dreams. It's pub grub meets breakfast diner, and it encapsulates everything Ada Street's brunch menu is all about, updating classic flavors without bastardizing them. That's a tough thing to execute well. Although sheathed in a thick blanket of corned beef and potatoes, the Scotch egg is lighter than typical variations, with the fluffy potatoes serving to mellow it out a bit. They're fried perfectly, leaving a whisper-thin layer of crunch on the patina that gives way to creamy, beefy innards, and a tender egg nucleus with a lush gelatinous yolk. Quite possibly this is the best breakfast food known to man." Read more here >>

Endgrain
Endgrain

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

"Crucify me for saying so, but I'll venture to say that the biscuits are better than the doughnuts. Fluffy, firm, creamy, and downright decadent, they're the perfect vehicle for Endgrain's biscuit sandwiches. Because life's too short not to follow doughnuts with fried chicken-stuffed biscuits. Or it will be once you polish off a meal here. My favorite is the fried chicken sandwich ($12), striated with smoked mashed potatoes, pork gravy, and greens on a hulking split biscuit. It sounds like something KFC would shove down naive customers' throats, but in this case it tastes so right in the most gluttonous of ways." Read more here >>

La Sirena Clandestina
La Sirena Clandestina

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

"La Sirena also offers a Latin-inspired riff on shrimp and grits with its shrimp baiano ($16). All the requisite players are on deck, albeit reinterpreted and re-flavored in bold new ways. Hulking head-on shrimp take center stage, spiced with habanero and perfectly plump and succulent. Dredge the shrimp through some excess habanero sauce and pretend you're eating the most kickass shrimp cocktail ever." Read more here >>

Avec
Avec

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

"Right out of the gate, I'm inclined to like coddled eggs ($11), because the name makes it sound like they were raised with silver spoons in their embryos. Dig your spoon into the ramekin like you're scooping up pudding, slather the goods on the toasty bread, unhinge your jaw, and enjoy one of the most masterful egg dishes in Chicago." Read more here >>

Grange Hall Burger Bar
Grange Hall Burger Bar

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

"This being Grange Hall Burger Bar, you'd be remiss not to order the open-faced breakfast burger ($13.95), a dish combining seemingly every aspect of breakfast in one Titanic plate. Rather than just remove the top bun off one of their burgers, the kitchen serves the grass-fed beef patty on a thick, maple syrup-soaked slice of cinnamon-raisin French toast. The burger is topped with an oozy egg, cheddar, and two kinds of bacon: applewood-smoked and Canadian. Oof. It's a mouthful to say, and an ever bigger mouthful to eat." Read more here >>

Mercadito
Mercadito

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

"Mercadito has a way of turning standard egg dishes into seductive pieces of edible artistry. Huevos ahogados is the perfect example. One of the most popular brunch items, it's Mercadito's version of eggs Benedict, made with poached eggs, cornbread, and chipotle hollandaise. The cornbread was tender and rich, to the point where I wonder if this was actually just corn compound butter, and I brought my cholesterol levels to dangerous new levels by eating all of it. Chipotle brought a kick to the hollandaise, mellowing out the heaviness with some spice and smoke, while a smattering of salsa overtop freshened things up." Read more here >>

DryHop Brewers
DryHop Brewers

[Photograph: Chelsea Ross]

"Eggs are indeed the finest example of DryHop's talents, deftly personified in a smorgasbord called Hank's Plate ($10), an array of two eggs, three slices of thick Broadbent's hickory-smoked bacon with brown sugar-black pepper glaze, potato casserole, and a duck fat buttermilk biscuit with country sausage gravy. It's like a grown-up Big Breakfast, which I proudly admit to loving in my younger, naiver years, and a perfect sampling of DryHop's wares, all on one heinously convenient plate." Read more here >>