They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why wake up that early? The obvious solution is brunch, where you can eat the best foods at the time of your choice. It is a fact that Chicago is one of the best food cities in the US. As a Chicago foodie myself, I have been on a life-long hunt for the best breakfasts around. Here is the ultimate Chicago brunch guide with all the places that you need in your late-morning to early-afternoon life. 

1. Lou Mitchell's

If you are a sucker for the classic diner like me, then this go-to Chicago spot is for you. Eggs, pancake, and potatoes galore, you are sure to be transported to the past, especially with Lou Mitchell’s being a Chicago icon for 94 years! Make sure to bring cash and grab a deliciously thick milkshake.

Location: 565 W. Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60661-5701

Sweet suggestion: Belgian malted waffle

2. Ann Sather

Ann Sather’s is home to the softest, sweetest, gooey-est cinnamon rolls in the city and maybe even the world. Though you could (and I have) made a full meal from them, Ann Sather’s also serves fantastic Swedish delicacies like artfully thin Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and Swedish meatballs. You will leave messy but happy. Guaranteed.

Locations: 909 W. Belmont

3415 N. Broadway

1147 W. Granville

Sweet suggestion: Cinnamon rolls

3. Whisk

Two words: Ron Swanson. Yes, that’s right. This restaurant is decorated ceiling to floor in portraits and quotes of your favorite Parks and Rec character. The brunch menu would surely be Ron-approved with choices ranging from savory to sweet to eggs to hashes. You can even find french toast and pancakes in unique flavors such as Reeses and Pear. In the words of the great breakfast king you are sure to want, “all the bacon and eggs” Whisk has.

Location: 2018 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Sweet suggestion: Snickers French toast

4. Azul 18

Nestled on a corner in Pilsen, Azul 18 is a neighborhood gem. Its brunch classics and “Latin American flair” makes for a perfect leisurely morning. With cheerful blue walls and charming vibes, Azul 18 offers a great spot for a family or solo outing.

Location: 1236 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

Sweet suggestion: Huevos rancheros

5. Eleven City Diner

At this classic Jewish deli with bustling diner vibes, an extensive menu means there is a little something for everyone. Most importantly, breakfast is served all day! After you eat past stomach capacity wrap it up with a slice of cake or pie and wash it down with a glass of homemade root beer. Brunch dessert is real.

Location: 1112 S Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Sweet suggestion: Eleven City French toast

6. The Bongo Room

Possibly the prettiest presented brunch in Chicago, the Bongo room will make you want to start a food Instagram. It’s bustling but chill ambiance is the perfect background for your next group brunch date. Though it doesn’t seem possible, the decadent French toast, pancakes, and waffles taste even better than they look.

Locations: 1470 N. Milwaukee

5022 N. Clark

1152 S. Wabash

Sweet suggestion: Chocolate Tower French Toast

7. Yolk

Yolk’s huge menu has all of the expected brunch foods and more. The cheerful staff and cute theme create a fun dining experience. Also, with multiple locations in Chicago, it is convenient to get to. The local chain is so delicious it is even going national as it expands into Indiana and Texas!

Locations: 1120 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605

747 N. Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60654

355 E. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60611

500 W. Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60661

501 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614

340 N. State Street, Chicago, IL 60654

1819 W. Division Street, Chicago, IL 60622

Sweet suggestion: Cinnamon Roll French Toast

8. Batter & Berries

This small but cozy brunch joint is worth the wait. Whether you sit at a personal table or the long community table, you are sure to find a comfortable dining experience. Waiters are friendly and love to help brunchers decide what to order, even pulling up pictures from the restaurant Instagram so you know what magical food awaits.

Location: 2748 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Sweet suggestion: French toast flight

9. Sweet Maple Cafe

Just outside of the West Loop, Sweet Maple Cafe is a great spot for a short and cozy getaway from Chicago’s urban rush. Their all-day comfort-food brunches are simple, of generous serving sizes and the quality is hard to beat. If you want to get your country grandma feels on, Sweet Maple Cafe is the place for you.

Location: 1339 W Taylor St, Chicago, IL 60607

Sweet suggestion: Good-Old-Fashioned Pancakes

10. Valois

Ever wanted to dine like Barack Obama? Grab a casual bite at Valois, his favorite neighborhood spot. Not only can you choose from an Obama special menu, but you can get any of your favorite American classics. It’s cafeteria style so you can see your food before ordering, but don’t be alarmed for it is infinitely better than your high school.

Location: 1518 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615

Sweet suggestion: Three Pancakes with Fruit 

Next time you are in Chicago, be sure to check out one of these 10 Best Chicago Brunches!