Brunch is right up there with Saturday morning cartoons as one of the greatest things about weekends. But let’s face it: Spongebob Squarepants has got nothing on hollandaise sauce and maple syrup. And with so many new brunch options in the Chicago area, you’ll easily find your new family favorite. From bacon-packed biscuits to Nutella sandwiches, the options from these six new brunch menus are worth waking the kids up for.
photo: Chop Shop
Part butcher shop, part restaurant, part bar and part event space, Chop Shop is a quadruple threat. It’s basically the Taylor Swift of restaurants. And now there’s even more to fawn over with the recent debut of weekend brunch service, which as the name may imply, skews meaty. Think bacon-cheddar biscuits, sausage-stuffed mushrooms, grilled steak, pastrami-smoked salmon, and the Butcher’s Burger with smoked bacon, charred onions, Chop Shop sauce and aged cheddar. Don’t sleep on it.
2033 W. North Ave.
photo: Luella’s Southern Kitchen
Luella’s Southern Kitchen
Coming soon to Lincoln Square: a taste of comfort food so hearty and soulful you’ll feel like you’re being hugged by a Southern grandma. Luella’s Southern Kitchen opens early February on Chicago’s northwest side, featuring regional Southern fare morning, noon and night. Start salivating now for bananas Foster pancakes, pimento cheeseburgers, sausage quiche, shrimp and grits, buttermilk fried chicken, and something called a beignet sundae, which is about as indulgent as it sounds: fried doughnuts topped with vanilla ice cream, candied pecans and salted caramel.
4609 N. Lincoln Ave.
photo: Mon Ami Gabi
Mon Ami Gabi
If you Google the term “oldie but goodie,” Mon Ami Gabi deserves to pop up at the top of your search results. The venerable Lincoln Park standby has long been a pioneer for the Lettuce Entertain You empire of restaurants. And like animated Disney classics, it just gets better with age. The French favorite is rolling out brunch service for the first time on January 25, showcasing enough bistro flavors to transport your mouth to Paris. There’s Croque Madames, beef Bourguigone Benedicts, creme brûlée French toast and more, plus a Champagne cart for the adults.
2300 N. Lincoln Park West
photo: Tippling Hall
When it comes to brunch, it’s good to have choices. Narrow options don’t mesh well with sleepy eyes. Tippling Hall is a River North newcomer with a herculean menu perfectly befitting the cavernous space (it’s a cocktail bar, but the vibe is less boozy by day). The eclectic menu derives inspiration from all over the globe, offering something for everyone young, old and in between. There’s yogurt parfaits, customizable frittatas, huckleberry-flecked French toast, apple cider donuts, toasted sticky buns, wedge salads, fried eggs sandwiches, cured salmon, pork carnitas tortas, country fried steak, chilaquiles, and plenty more. Decisions, decisions.
646 N. Franklin St.
photo: Lake Street Kitchen + Bar
Lake Street Kitchen + Bar
Over the past few years, Oak Parkers fell in love with Lake Street Kitchen + Bar’s Mediterranean-tinged cuisine. Now there’s more to love as the restaurant expands its repertoire to include more American, Mexican and Asian influences, reflected on the restaurant’s new menus. One such menu is their new brunch menu, which serves to modernize traditional brunch favorites such as Nutella-banana panini, poached pear waffles with vanilla butter, and poached eggs with Merguez sausage, roasted peppers and sofrito grits.
1101 Lake St.
photo: Sage Kitchen + Bar
Sage Kitchen + Bar
Brunch and live piano music go together like pancakes and maple syrup. Right? Right. Follow the sound of tickled ivory to the classy but kid-friendly Sage Kitchen + Bar in Bolingbrook to partake in this new musical brunch wonderland. Every Saturday and Sunday, the recently instated brunch program features hearty all-American dishes like short rib hash, bacon- and asparagus-packed frittatas, crab cake Benedicts, and chicken and waffles. Kids even have their own menu with smaller portions of items like pancakes, chicken fingers, and design-your-own omelets.
627 E. Boughton Rd.
Where do you like to take your kids for brunch? Shout about it in the Comments!
— Matt Kirouac