As crippling as brunch at Davanti Enoteca may be, it's worth every lingering ache. Revered for its rustic Italian dinner fare, this place makes a strong case for Italian brunch as the most decadent, irresistible weekend fare in town.
'brunch dish' on Serious Eats
Endgrain is one of the heartiest, most comforting restaurants to open in Chicago in a long time. The new Roscoe Village restaurant is sort of a soulful middle finger to the Atkins legacy.
When it comes to brunch in Chicago, it doesn't get more over-the-top than this place, a bastion of overindulgence, hedonism, and guilt. If you're looking for lighter brunch fare, you'd be better off eating an actual drum than dining at this gluttonous Mecca.
When a place like RM Champagne Salon begins serving brunch, I expect glitz and glamor and beautiful people. Their newly instated "boho brunch" did not disappoint.
If you're a raving fan of the central time zone, you'll want to camp out at Central Standard, a cavernous new River North restaurant themed around our very own time zone.
Choose your comrades carefully when eating brunch at Tavernita, as the shareable tapas format translates to the a.m. with a prix fixe menu of invigorating nibbles and noshes that you almost want to horde for yourself.
When it comes to brunch, hash is about as humble as it gets. Unlike some dishes that lend themselves easily to highfalutin interpretations (lobster Benedict, fried chicken pancakes, etc.), hash is sublime in its simplicity. That's not to suggest that humble hash can't be elevated and celebrated, as proven by aptly named newcomer Hash.
Brunch at Caffè Oliva, located right on Ohio Street Beach, is as close to a legitimate getaway as I've gotten in a long time, but unlike most beach-centric vacations I've been on, the food here is shockingly ambitious and memorable.
You have to give credit to a restaurant that can make bread bowls appealing. Gather has a knack for gracefully elevating American comfort food, from fried chicken and biscuits to the oft-lambasted bread bowl.
When it comes to brunch buffets, there's a fine line between dignified and hungover-in-Vegas, a line that Howells & Hood tactfully toes. The unlimited Sunday brunch buffet ($29 per person) feels less like a tacky cruise ship spread and more like a thoughtfully curated brunch menu that just so happens to be strewn before you in eye-bulging amounts.
I secretly kind of love Waffle House, IHOP, Cracker Barrel, and the like. These types of breakfast joints are guilty pleasures that I thankfully only indulge on rare occasions, in moments of crippling weakness. So I'm thankful for Stax Cafe, which is as close as a restaurant can get to IHOP without throwing integrity out the door.
Considering how many people go to brunch to soothe hangovers induced from bars the previous night, going to a bar for brunch seems a little odd, like attempting to heal a wound by stabbing it. But Trenchermen's newly instated Saturday bar brunch brings some dignity to the experience.
The brunch ritual is often mired in screaming children and heinous portions of over-stuffed, over-syrup'd French toast. So it's a welcome relief when a place like Acadia launches brunch, gussying up the weekend tradition with some welcome pomp and circumstance.
The brunch fare at The Peasantry features a lot of items that don't scream "street food" at first, but subtly incorporate street food inspiration, like a pancake masquerading as a gyro. But since this is still just a restaurant inspired by street food, and not literally an enclave of bedraggled peasants, silverware and manners are suggested.
At Carriage House, chef Mark Steuer does a dandy job gussying up classic Southern flavors in a sleek way that almost makes everything feel light. But this is not light food. It may not be the type of "butter gone wild" food Paula Deen pigeonholed, but it packs a coy arterial punch, kinda like a taser wrapped in a doily.
Maybe it's just me, but I've never imagined seafood restaurants as being very brunch-centric. I mean, I don't think fishermen eat brunch and sip bottomless mimosas. But GT Fish & Oyster debunks my preconceptions by seamlessly incorporating seafood and fish into a brunch format, in one of the loveliest brunch settings in town.
The farmers' breakfast menu jives perfectly with Grange Hall's cottage-like decor, which looks like it was designed by somebody's crafty grandma who had a lot of time and spare cow bells on her hands. The food is just as cottage-y and grandma-esque.
The concept is simple: combine two adjoining businesses (Co-op Hot Sauce and Crumb Bread) to make one harmonious cafe. The resulting menu is more congruous than synchronized swimming, and weekend brunch features an array of saucy sandwiches, breakfast pastries, and nifty dishes that set Sauce and Bread miles apart (figuratively and literally) from Chicago's arsenal of brunch restaurants.
It takes a special restaurant to combine dainty urbanity with enough comfort food to satiate a trucker. Southport Grocery & Cafe is that diamond in the ruff. It feels like a tea party catered by sumo wrestlers with culinary degrees.
Pl-zen is the strongest push for gentrification I've seen in Pilsen since Nightwood, and not just because Pl-zen's name is the phonetic spelling of the neighborhood, beating customers over the head with neighborhood love. The food is very thoughtful, highly unique, and ultimately, memorable.