Chicagoans are a brunch kind of people. They’ve got a lock on that singular weekend meal, when you can have pancakes with your Reuben, and it’s okay to drink before noon. While everyone has their favorite spots to enjoy their Bloody Marys and eggs benedict, it can be nice to branch out once in a while. Consider these restaurants for your next brunch reservation.
Summer House Santa Monica
This slice of California is a welcome respite from the snowy Chicago winter. Just opened in November, Summer House provides an open and bright dining room that transports you to a sunny beach house. The menu covers a wide range of breakfast and lunch options, with dishes that are flavorful, but balanced. Try the Hot Mess of Fries if you’re craving savory; a sweet tooth will love the orange chocolate chip pancakes. Housemade English muffins are a must.
This fun and frisky BBQ joint has just joined the brunch game, and they’re not holding back. Start with a visit to the Bloody Mary bar, where a wide selection of liquors, mixers, and garnishes provide you the opportunity to create a completely customized cocktail. Order the sticky cinnamon buns, but make sure you have someone to share them with; you’ll be tempted to finish them all off on your own. Hashbrowns with savory toppings, breakfast sandwiches, and fried chicken will definitely fill you up.
Forgo the usual American fare and give brunch an Italian twist at Azzurra EnoTavola. One of their many cocktails makes a great start; go for a seasonal Bellini or the El Gallo with sweet white vermouth, orange juice, and a Belgian Tripel. Breakfast items include polenta griddle cakes and “Italian Toast,” a clever turn on a favorite. If you’re leaning more towards lunch, indulge in a spaghetti carbonara with guanciale and pecorino.