Rise and shine! Getting up early is a lot more fun when brunch is involved — especially for kids. Thought you knew every family-friendly brunch in town? Not so fast. There are several restaurants around town that are rolling out new menus with fun choices for kids. From Oreo pancakes to French toast sushi, the finds at our list should be on your radar.
photo: courtesy of Bow & Stern Oyster Bar
When it comes to classic kiddie cuisine, oysters aren’t exactly PB&J, but don’t let the restaurant’s name deter your clan from Bow & Stern Oyster Bar. The new bivalve-happy hangout has plenty of kid pleasers, especially for brunch. Expect spiffy interpretations of nostalgic classics like challah French toast with raspberry mascarpone, Oreo pancakes, and doughnuts with caramel-y dulce de leche dipping sauce. Brunch ahoy!
Bow & Stern Oyster Bar
1371 W. Chicago Ave.
photo: courtesy of Cicchetti / Derek Richmond
Brunch adapts an Italian accent at Cicchetti, the Venetian-inspired small plates restaurant from award-winning chef Mike Sheerin. That’s not to suggest this place is too froufrou for the young’uns, though. When weekend brunch service starts on April 12, the Streeterville stunner will be serving both American and Venetian continental breakfasts, as well as yogurt parfaits, fried chicken thighs, ciabatta bread French toast, and scrambled egg bruschetta. Finally your kids will have an excuse to eat scrambled eggs with their hands
671 N. St. Clair St.
photo: courtesy of Devon Seafood Grill
Kids love a buffet. Especially one studded with roasted meats, biscuits, scrambled eggs, home fries and made-to-order Belgian waffles. Joining the brunch buffet fray is Devon Seafood Grill, and its new weekend menu format allows families to peruse an impressive comfort food smorgasbord that spans sweets and savories, land and sea. Be sure to finish at the hulking dessert table loaded with chocolate truffle cake, key lime tarts, cookies and mini carrot cakes.
Devon Seafood Grill
39 E. Chicago Ave.
photo: Spritz Burger via Kameron N. on Yelp
It doesn’t get any more family-friendly than the Americana soda fountain-inspired fare they’re peddling at newly opened Spritz Burger, the new incarnation of Hearty Restaurant with new business partner and pastry guru Gale Gand. Along with unique burgers at dinnertime, Spritz jumps on the brunch bandwagon with creations such as blueberry-lemon scones, creme brulee French toast, breakfast shepherds pie, and chicken and waffles. That’s not to forget Ina’s heavenly hots, the light-as-air pancakes popularized at the recently shuttered Ina’s restaurant, resurrected for longtime fans of the bygone brunch staple.
3819 N. Broadway
photo: courtesy of Fish Bar
Finally, crabby patties are a real thing and you can eat them. Partake in a crabby patty Benedict feast at Fish Bar, the Lakeview spot with a knack for oceanic eats. The restaurant recently debuted brunch service, with items such as the poached egg-adorned crabby patty Benedict, plus other delicacies such as soft scrambled eggs with house-made gravlax, challah French toast with caramelized apples, and beignets with vanilla dipping sauce.
2956 N. Sheffield Ave.
photo: courtesy of Tokio Pub
French toast sushi exists and you need to add it to your Sunday brunch routine. This sweet anomaly can be found at Tokio Pub, Schaumburg’s eclectic Japanese eatery that makes quirky-fun eats like French toast sushi made with tempura-fried French toast rolled up like a jellyroll with bananas foster sauce, kiwi, and mango. There’s plenty to eat for the adventurous, including kimchi hash, maki rolls and lobster deviled eggs, but the timid are not left behind. Sausage bao make for one of the cutest, greatest breakfast sandwiches ever, breakfast tacos combine pork and scrambled eggs, and the classic fried chicken and waffle combo gets a splash of ginger-infused maple syrup.
1900 E. Higgins Rd.
photo: courtesy of Barbakoa
Things get zesty at Barbakoa, the quintessential (and only?) Latin bistro in Downers Grove. Some of the menu names may sound exotic, but trust us when we say there’s a lot to love about chilaquiles (corn tortillas heaped with cheese, salsa and eggs), pork-studded torta sandwiches and sunny side-up eggs Yucatan-style (aka: served atop a house-made tortilla with beans, salsa, ham, and green peas, which is the closest you’ll get to green eggs and ham). There’s also steak and eggs, plus pancakes made from masa and sweetened with guava marmalade and agave-orange syrup.
1341 Butterfield Rd.
What is your favorite place for brunch? Let us know in the Comments!
— Matt Kirouac