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Chicago Breakfast Spots to Try This Week

Our favorite spots for pastries, omelettes, French toast, and pancakes around the city.

Chicago is an iconic city with attractions that span the cultural, historical, and culinary gamut –  not to mention its claim to fame as the Windy City, situated along the shores of Lake Michigan.

pancake and bacon at chicago illinois breakfast spot

Skyscrapers lining the Chicago Riverwalk reveal incredible architecture, and its’ neighborhoods are dotted with homes built by famed turn-of-the-century architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Wrigley Field is another architectural feat that baseball buffs can get behind. Chicago is also a comedy hub, with historic stand-up and improv clubs like Second City and Zanies still piping out the next biggest comedy stars.

With so much to do and see, tourists need a hearty breakfast to fuel their itineraries. Luckily, Chicago’s breakfast scene is as iconic and varied as the city itself.

Whether you’re looking for a giant continental breakfast at an old-school diner or a hip cafe serving espresso, artisanal pastries, and house-roasted coffee, you’ll find what hits the spot in the Windy City.

I spent my last trip savoring the best breakfasts in Chicago on the following list of restaurants, diners, bakeries, and cafes.    


Lula Cafe

2537 N Kedzie Blvd, Chicago, IL 60647
Phone: 773-489-9554
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Lula Café is one of the pioneering restaurants of the Logan Square culinary community and the farm-to-table movement. Led by Chef Jason Hammel, Lula sources all meat, fish, dairy, and produce from local, sustainable farms.

They serve simple yet creative breakfast and brunch dishes that have won Michelin Bib Gourmand awards and features in Food and Wine, The New York Times, and Bon Apetit.

The breakfast, brunch, and lunch menu have a variety of classic and nuanced New American dishes from perfectly fluffy buttermilk pancakes to smoked trout scramble.

They also have a selection of decadent breakfast pastries – my go-to is the cherry and dark chocolate bun!


Lou Mitchell’s

565 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661
Phone: 312-939-3111
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An iconic Chicago diner, Lou Mitchell’s opened in 1923 in Greektown by current owner Lou Mitchell’s father.

Today, the spot continues to be a beloved breakfast and lunch diner, famous for its scratch-made home-cooked meals and its “party-favor” traditions of giving customers donut holes and milk duds when they leave.

Lou Mitchell’s will turn 100 next year, so a trip to this diner will deliver a delicious piece of Chicago history.

They serve bottomless cups of their special-blend coffee in true diner fashion, so you’ll always be fully caffeinated with your meal.

The menu has all the comfort diner food you can imagine, from biscuits and gravy to salmon and lox on freshly baked bagels – not to mention their signature donuts!


Little Goat Diner

820 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-888-3455
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Owned and operated by James Beard Award-winning Chef Stephanie Izard as an extension of her first nationally acclaimed restaurant, The Girl and the Goat, Little Goat Diner offers modern, chef-driven takes on classic American diner food.

Located in Greektown, Little Goat Diner offers a brunch all-day menu, fusing global comfort food with classic American dishes.

There are timeless offerings dishes like patty melts, Reubens, and pancakes, but each dish has a modern twist and a gourmet presentation that you won’t get at your average diner.

If you want to sample incredible global breakfast food, try the Okonomiyaki – Osaka street food with pork belly, scallions, poached egg, kewpie mayo, crunchy tempura, bonito flakes, and sweet soy dipping sauce.


m.Henry

5707 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60660
Phone: 773-561-1600
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Located in Andersonville a few blocks from the West Ridge Nature Preserve, m.Henry is an award-winning café, bakery, and specialty market featuring seasonal and locally sourced breakfast dishes in a bustling, country-chic space.

m.Henry’s incredible breakfast and brunch offerings have been written up by both the Food Network and Thrillist as one of the top brunch spots in the nation.

Chefs, partners, and owners Michael Henry and Jorge Aviles use their decades of experience in the restaurant and farming industry to create a wonderful selection of elevated New American cuisine.

I loved their rustic peasant quiche with asparagus, sauteed leeks, shallots, applewood bacon, gruyere, and Swiss cheese.


Batter & Berries

2748 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: 773-248-7710
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Batter and Berries is a Black-owned and family-owned brunch restaurant from proud Chicago-native couple Craig and Dr. Tanya Richardson in collaboration with Chicago-native chef Ken Polk.

Their sunny and cheerful Lincoln Park dining space, along with locally sourced and fresh ingredients convey their love for their community.

They’re famous for their French toast creations, but also have award-winning waffles, biscuits, and pancakes. Anything utilizing their famous batter is outstanding.

Their French toasts use brioche bread, dipped in house-made batters infused with crushed berries, citrus, and nuts.

I recommend the French Toast Flight, so you can sample every flavor – including blueberry, strawberry, lemon, and caramel.


Beatnik West Town

1604 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
Phone: 312-929-4945
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Beatnik West Town is a hip and trendy West Town favorite for indoor and outdoor dining, live music, and amazing cocktails. It is a wildly creative space with different-themed rooms and patios that take inspiration from global cultures and décor with everything from bucolic country chic dining rooms to tropical beach-house patios.

The food is as wild, bold, and creative as its name, and their amazing weekend brunches always have live DJ sets to serenade you while you eat.

Beatnik has the best selection of brunch cocktails in town, using global flavors like Turkish coffee cocktails or Beijing-style Shoyu and Ponzu Bloody Marys.


Tre Kronor

3258 W Foster Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
Phone: 773-267-9888
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Chicago’s only Nordic bistro, Tre Kronor specializes in Swedish cuisine and has been a beloved North Park breakfast restaurant since 1992.

Owners Patty Rasmussen and Chef Larry Anderson are proud Scandinavians who strive to serve Chicago the most authentic breakfast dishes in a quaint European-style café.

Tre Kronor has a small and authentic menu with pastries, Swedish pancakes, homemade quiches, soups waffles, and egg dishes.

I loved their Swedish pancakes, which are essentially folded, fluffy crepes, stuffed with lingonberry preserves. Their vanilla hazelnut and apple danishes are also excellent.


Yolk

Multiple locations
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Yolk may be a national sensation, but it started right here in Chicago in 2006 when Taki Kastanis opened the flagship Yolk in the South Loop. Now there are locations in Streeterville, West Loop, Lakeview, Marina City, and Wicker Park, not to mention various locations in Illinois, Indiana, Florida, and Texas.

Yolk has brought a hip, fun, and modern concept of everyday boozy brunch that is also family-friendly.

Their menu is huge and diverse, offering multiple varieties of classic breakfast selections. There are a half-dozen variations on eggs benedict alone!

I loved the Pot Roast Benedict that I had coupled with a decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup latte.


Tiztal Cafe

4631 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640
Phone: 773-271-4631
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Family-owned and operated, Tiztal Café is an Uptown Chicago breakfast, lunch, and juice bar that started as a small juice bar in a mall in Logan Square.

Tiztal Café has a quaint, family-friendly atmosphere in an old house with a great outdoor patio for those sunny Spring and Summer mornings.

The menu at Tiztal has an egg-centric focus with dozens of omelets, scrambles, and Mexican-style breakfasts, along with sweet dishes like pancakes and waffles.

My favorite dish was the Titzal Chorizo Scramble with four scrambled eggs with chorizo, topped with tomato, onion, cilantro, shredded cheddar, and sour cream.


Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits

2051 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Phone: 773-276-8888
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Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits is a bakery, pie shop, and breakfast eatery in Logan Square with award-winning pies, jams, biscuits, and coffee. Their incredible pies come in sweet and savory variations, and all dough is scratch-made.

They also sell biscuit mixes, jams, and their own brand of grits in cute little care packages that make great gifts and souvenirs.

Their unforgettable biscuits come in many sweet and savory takes, from pimento cheese and pepper jelly biscuits to raspberry and cinnamon brown sugar.

They also have incredible pot pies served inside a personal-sized iron skillet. I loved the sausage biscuit with a ginger sage sausage patty, white cheddar, and peach habanero jam.


Eleven City Diner

1112 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-212-1112
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Eleven City Diner is a family-friendly old-school diner, deli, and soda fountain in Grant Park – minutes away from Chicago’s famous Shedd Aquarium.

Their unique fusion of classic Jewish and continental American fare in a fun, vintage space with a real soda fountain is a delicious and entertaining place that’ll bring older generations back to the beloved breakfast eateries of their youth.

The classic Jewish deli and breakfast menu has chopped liver, corned beef and pastrami hashes, bagels with lox and cream cheese, and my favorite – challah French toast.

Their Black and White Challah French toast with white chocolate sauce, milk chocolate drizzle, and pretzel dusting may just be the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.


Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe

Multiple locations
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With locations in Prudential Plaza and Water Tower Place, Wildberry Café is a modern breakfast and lunch eatery, using the freshest ingredients to create a New American offering of regional breakfast favorites.

They use organic, fair-trade coffee beans from Intelligentsia to make a wide selection of espresso drinks, including decadent espresso smoothies.

Their coffee is phenomenal, and you’ll want it black to counter the sweetness of their signature stack of pancakes.

Their pancakes are over the top, with various combinations of buttermilk stacks with special fillings between each cake.

My favorite was the Signature Berry Bills –  buttermilk pancakes with berry mascarpone filling, fresh berries, vanilla cream Anglaise, and blackberry coulis.


Eggy’s Diner

333 E Benton Pl #103, Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 773-234-3449
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Named for the founder’s silly nickname, Eggy’s Diner is a contemporary American diner in a sleek, clean space in The Loop right off the Chicago harbor.

The vintage décor and wooden walls evoke a 60s-era diner, and their modern comfort food has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise.

Eggy’s has a full cocktail bar for a boozy brunch and their extensive menu features at least 50 egg dishes along with griddlecakes of all kinds and even a health-conscious menu.

I enjoyed their version of Green Eggs and Ham that fuses Southern and Southwestern flavors with grits, two eggs over easy, tomatillo salsa, tasso ham, avocado, pickled onions, and queso fresco.


The Bongo Room

Multiple locations
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The Bongo Room is a seasonal New American breakfast, brunch, and lunch eatery with locations in Andersonville and Wicker Park.

Owners Derrick Robles and John Latino opened Bongo Room in 1993 to offer Chicagoans simple yet delicious breakfasts and weekend brunches using fresh, locally sourced ingredients while continually updating and changing their menus.

They do have tried-and-true favorites that have been on the menu since Bongo Room’s opening, one of which is their incredible breakfast burrito filled with guacamole and scrambled eggs topped with melted pepper jack cheese and ancho chile sour cream served with salsa and house potatoes.


Summer House Santa Monica

1954 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: 773-634-4100
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Located in Lincoln Park, Summer House Santa Monica is a bright, airy, elegant restaurant specializing in California cuisine.

They strive to source all ingredients from local, sustainable farms, and their beautiful boho-chic space is a stylish yet laid-back setting to enjoy a fresh southwestern brunch and freshly squeezed juice with friends.

Head Chef Ben Goodnick creates colorful plates of veggie and fruit-heavy salads, omelets, sandwiches, Mexican breakfasts, scrambles, and more.

They serve weekend brunch featuring seasonal cocktails with fun names like Lavender Fields and Cinnamon Toast Brunch.

I loved their Chilaquiles Nortenos with soft scrambled eggs, avocado, tomato, jalapeno, crema, cilantro, and Oaxaca cheese.


Frances’ Deli and Brunchery

2552 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: 773-248-4580
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Frances’ Deli and Brunchery is a historic Chicago deli and diner that’s been serving classic American comfort food in a quaint, kitschy diner space in Lincoln Park for 80 years.

While they still serve old-school deli and comfort food, current Chef Derek Rylon has recently revamped the menu, providing refreshing, modern takes on the classics.

For starters, they now have a fantastic brunch cocktail menu with mimosa flights, espresso martinis, and more. I loved their fancy Cluck-n-Gaufre specialty – a homemade sweet potato waffle topped with hand-battered and fried chicken with a nutmeg hot sauce drizzle.


5 Loaves Eatery

405 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619
Phone: 773-891-2889
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Owned by the proud Chicago-native Kincaid family who wanted to provide their Southside neighborhood with home-cooked soul food, 5 Loaves Eatery is a breakfast and lunch eatery serving award-winning southern comfort food.

Their fried chicken and shrimp and grits have won Best Dish and Best Fried Chicken from both Chicago Magazine and WGN Chicago, not to mention the honorable Jean Banchet Award for Best Ethnic Restaurant.

They make some of the best buttermilk biscuits in town which you can get a la carte, with gravy, or as a part of one of their delicious omelet or fried chicken platters.

Breakfast is served all day, and fried chicken is considered breakfast at 5 Loaves, so I highly recommend their award-winning seasoned, battered, and fried wings with buttermilk biscuits and buttery grits.


Tempo Cafe

6 E Chestnut St, Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-943-4373
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Located one block from Washington Square Park in a family-friendly, fast-paced, and homey downtown diner, Tempo Café is a classic American diner, serving hearty breakfasts, sandwiches, and steak dinners for low prices.

The cozy dining room, replete with big leather booths and old-school round bulbous light fixtures is a welcoming place to enjoy a cheap and reliable breakfast.

They have the standard, bottomless cup of coffee along with a fancier selection of espresso drinks and fresh-squeezed juices.

You won’t leave hungry at Tempo Café, whether you want plate-sized pancakes or colossal build-your-own omelets with Texas toast and crispy hashbrowns.


Kanela Breakfast Club

Multiple locations
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With locations in Wicker Park, Andersonville, Old Town, and Streeterville, Kanela Breakfast Club is a trendy American and Greek fusion breakfast eatery and bar that honors the owners’ heritage and Chicago roots.

The upbeat, quirky atmosphere in a cozy, urban and industrial-chic space has made Kanela a popular neighborhood haunt.

The menu has American classics like chicken and waffles, eggs benedict, and variations of pancakes and French toast, many of which have a Greek twist.

They also have authentic Greek dishes like Loukoumades – Greek doughnuts with honey and toasted walnuts. I loved their Pork and Jam Sandwich with pork sausage, cheddar, a sunny-side-up egg, arugula, and spicy pepper jam on an English muffin.


Pearl’s Place Restaurant

3901 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60653
Phone: 773-285-1700
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Pearl’s Place Restaurant is a fine-dining Southern comfort food restaurant in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood with show-stopping New Orleans specialties and all-day breakfasts.

The dishes have a down-home cooking taste while the service is as classy as fine dining gets –  with white table cloths and servers in crisp, white buttoned-down shirts and black slacks.

They have a soul food breakfast buffet on weekdays from 7 am-10:30 am and on weekends from 7 am-11:30 am for surprisingly low prices.

The buffet has everything from grits and biscuits to eggs, salmon croquet, and fried chicken. It’s the best way to sample all the amazing food, but there is an a la carte menu as well.


Bryn Mawr Breakfast Club

3348 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago, IL 60659
Phone: 872-208-7079
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Bryn Mawr Breakfast Club is a high-end, creative breakfast bistro and cocktail bar owned and operated by famed Chef Manny Mejia who immigrated to Chicago from Mexico at 15 and climbed the culinary ladder in quick succession.

Chef Mejia uses his Mexican heritage and culinary experience working in award-winning kitchens across Chicago to provide an innovative take on American breakfast food.

There are two locations of Bryn Mawr, one on Bryn Mawr in North Park, and the other in Avondale. Both have stylish, modern rustic-meets-industrial chic interiors.

They have authentic Mexican street-food tacos, tortas, and Chilaquiles as well as New American plates like Pajun Pancakes – a savory scallion pancake topped with pork belly, poached eggs, brussels sprouts, and roasted potatoes.


Best Breakfast in Chicago

  1. Lula Cafe
  2. Lou Mitchell’s
  3. Little Goat Diner
  4. m.Henry
  5. Batter & Berries
  6. Beatnik West Town
  7. Tre Kronor
  8. Yolk
  9. Tiztal Cafe
  10. Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
  11. Eleven City Diner
  12. Wildberry Pancakes & Cafe
  13. Eggy’s Diner
  14. The Bongo Room
  15. Summer House Santa Monica
  16. Frances’ Deli and Brunchery
  17. 5 Loaves Eatery
  18. Tempo Cafe
  19. Kanela Breakfast Club
  20. Pearl’s Place Restaurant
  21. Bryn Mawr Breakfast Club

Final Thoughts

Chicago’s breakfast restaurants have award-winning food and a variety of atmospheres from fine dining to old-school diners.

Using this list of the best breakfast spots in Chicago, you can start your day with a bottomless cup of joe and a Jewish deli breakfast, an organic craft espresso, an artisanal pastry, or a bloody mary and a crab benedict.

Whatever your breakfast pleasure is, you’ll find an abundance of excellent choices to satisfy your cravings and fuel your day. If you want amazing dinner options, check out these other lists of restaurants in Chicago.  

Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.