Many people say that brunch is a New York thing. Those people haven’t had brunch in Chicago. Breakfast is booming all over the city, and here’s a rundown of some of the favorites.
On Saturday night, if you’re on the list, you’ll get an email with the next morning’s hand-written menu from Nightwood Restaurant. Get there early in order to get a table at this small but bustling brunch spot. You can expect two kinds of donuts at the top of the menu–one is often bacon butterscotch–along with a number of sweets courtesy of local bakeries and sustainable farms. Below, you’ll find a list of savory options as unassuming as “scrambled eggs, broccoli, hollandaise” or as surprising as “sweet potato griddle cakes, venison mole, peanut, maple, crema.” Top it off with a punch to share or a house cocktail, and you’ll never want to miss celebrating Sunday at Nightwood again.
At the opposite end of the city in Andersonville, breakfast is an event an M. Henry (chow for Now). You can grab a warm cup of Metropolis coffee as you wait in line, but it shouldn’t take too long, especially once you make it inside. The interior of the restaurant is full of windows: windows hanging on the walls, hanging from the ceiling, separating tables. It gives the room an ambiance of lightness to help soothe you into your delicious meal. Try signature blackberry blisscakes filled with marscapone cream, or share an out of this world breakfast bread pudding with warm blackberries and peaches before digging into Fannie’s killer fried egg sandwich or the vegan epiphany. No matter what you order, you’ll have a great meal. And if it’s too crowded for your taste, try M. Henrietta, the more recently opened sister location in Edgewater. Similar menu, similar feel, M. Henrietta will not disappoint even the most committed M. Henry fan.
The Bongo Room has two locations–one in Wicker Park and one in the South Loop. Both locations serve breakfast seven days a week–a rare treat–lunch on weekdays, and brunch on the weekends. Their seasonal menu has just enough delicious options to keep you indecisive until the waiter arrives. Should you try the sweet potato and black bean burrito or the banana and bacon flapjacks? They also have a delightful list of breakfast beverages for both adults and children. Make sure you enjoy a side of Thai chicken sausage while you’re there. The Bongo Room does not accept reservations, so maybe call ahead to see if they’re busy. And even if you have to stand in lane, it will definitely be worth the wait.