I am a morning person and it is rare when I don’t wake up hungry. My body just always seems ready to eat first thing in the morning, which means that brunch is one of my favorite meals! One of the first things I do after getting up is eat breakfast because I suffer from a crippling case of hangry syndrome (definition: bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger). 

I’ve learned how to cook some pretty delicious breakfast dishes since I eat it almost every day, but that doesn’t stop me from indulging in brunch at one of the many amazing brunch restaurants in Chicago. One of my biggest pet peeves (read: hangry trigger) is waiting for a table in the morning, which is why I prefer to go to brunch restaurants that offer reservations. 

Thankfully, Chicago has a ton of wonderful brunch choices that don’t require you to wait because they accept reservations ahead of time. On those days when I’ve had a banana or morning snack, I am more patient and can handle waiting at one of the many Chicago brunch restaurants that don’t offer reservations without having a child-like tantrum. I have compiled my favorite brunch restaurants in Chicago into one convenient guide divided by restaurants that accept and don’t accept reservations. 

Best Breakfast Restaurants in the Windy City

Brunch Restaurants with Reservations

Cherry Circle Room

Located inside the iconic Chicago Athletic Association, Cherry Circle Room is my favorite place to take out-of-towners for brunch because the location makes for a great jumping off point to explore all of the Loop’s tourist sites (or you can just booze the day away between the 4 other bars and eateries inside the hotel). The windowless restaurant offers a mid-century chic meets swanky boys club vibe, and their booths are straight up swoon-worthy. The small menu offers the best brunch in the neighborhood, and I would highly recommend the scotch egg, maple cured bacon and savory pancakes. Their baked treats are wonderful too!


Part of Grant Achatz’s culinary empire in Chicago, Roister is an open concept restaurant with a massive kitchen right in the center with a wood fired oven that makes the whole restaurant smell like a campfire. Sit at the bar for a table side view of the cooking action! Dishing up casual American food with a twist, the menu can read unusual to the unsuspecting but is all sorts of delicious. Their fried chicken sandwich is the best I’ve ever had, thanks to the perfectly light and umami flavored cornflake batter. Make sure to order the foie gras candy bar dessert — it is life-changing.

Roister Restaurant Chicago


Probably the swankiest of the restaurants on this menu, you will definitely need a reservation to have brunch at the Allis, the Soho House Hotel’s in-house restaurant. You’ve most likely seen the Instagrammable chandelier in the dining room on social media, as well as the beautifully served eggs Benedict. The food is less impressive than the ambiance and people watching, but for a coffee and a pastry, it’s worth the ‘gram.


A West Loop staple, Publican has been on many of Chicago’s best brunch lists. Their menu offers approachable yet elevated classics, as well as more unusual dishes that you might not normally think of for brunch (raw oysters, soft shell crab sandwich and weisswurst to name a few). Their Saturday and Sunday menus vary slightly, but both are awesome! With good cocktails and a cult following, Publican is always a safe bet for any weekend crowd.

Brunch at Publican Restaurant Chicago

Brunch Restaurants without Reservations

Daisies Cafe

After their wildly successful Italian restaurant blasted onto all of the "Best of" Chicago lists, Daisies decided to open up a cozy cafe. Specializing in homemade baked treats from the pastry chef at the restaurant, you can expect to find an ever changing assortment of delicious goods to enjoy here. The friendly staff and excellent coffee will have you lingering for hours.

Dove’s Luncheonette

Perfectly styled as a vintage diner, Dove’s Luncheonette has been a brunch staple on the Chicago food scene basically since it has opened. Tucked under the Blue Line CTA tracks in Wicker Park, I order the same thing every time — the fried chicken and gravy. Serious comfort food, the fried chicken is impeccable with a perfectly crunchy and flavorful dredge and topped with their house made sausage gravy, peas and sautéed capellini onions.

Longman & Eagle

When I have visitors in town, there’s a good chance I will take them to Longman & Eagle for an upscale, Michelin-star brunch close to my house. If you can't afford a Michelin star meal for dinner, brunch is a more budget-friendly alternative while still getting great quality. I love the duck egg hash with a bright black truffle aioli. It had all the finesse and well balanced flavors you would expect in a homey and approachable dish that was executed perfectly!

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

If you’re getting the sense that I like eating fried chicken for breakfast, you wouldn’t be wrong. This is the third place on this list that I’ve mentioned specializing in fried chicken! Honey Butter was one of the first Chicago brunch spots I discovered, and I have been a loyal customer ever since. Their affordable menu and cheerful patio creates a warm ambiance that fits perfectly with their delightful assortment of southern comfort dishes. If you get the bloody Mary, it comes with a chicken wing!

Brunch at Honey Butter Restaurant Chicago

Lula Cafe

One of the most popular and well-known brunches in Chicago, Lula Cafe nearly always has a wait for brunch, so come prepared with comfortable shoes (and an umbrella!). Personally, I think this place is too hyped up and I much prefer other nearby spots but Lula Cafe is famous and good, so it would be a shame not to mention it in this guide. They have a new menu every day along with their Cafe classics, so that you can try exactly what is in season now. A few of my favorite dishes are the seasonal French toast, the rotating pastry board, and their breakfast sandwiches.

  • Neighborhood: Logan Square
  • Brunch Days: Daily (except Monday) from 9am
  • Website: http://lulacafe.com/

Spinning J

Spinning J is a restaurant that doesn’t usually show up on top brunch lists—but it should. This is a hidden gem in Humboldt Park that absolutely kills it on amazing pastry and baked goods (pictured in the post’s banner image). Their menu is small with daily specials and seasonal options, but every time I have ordered the quiche or strata, I have LOVED it. Don’t miss this local brunch favorite! 

Brunch at Spinning J Restaurant Chicago

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