Eat Brunch Around the World Without Leaving Chicago
6 restaurants to add to your rotation
Nothing quells the Sunday blues quite like a spicy Bloody Mary and some perfectly poached eggs. Or so we thought. After hearing what some of these globally inspired restaurants are serving up for brunch, we’re ready to shake up our weekend tradition. So it’s farewell for now, corner diner. (It’s not you. It’s the breakfast pizza.)
At the sleek Peruvian restaurant, a whole section of the brunch menu is labeled “Chefs Having Fun.” And there is something whimsical about Belgian waffles topped with crispy, honey-glazed pork belly and seasonal berry compote. But if you had one too many last night, ask for a shot of the citrus leche de tigre sauce. This off-the-menu item is a trick Peruvians use (or shoot) to cure hangovers.
118 W. Grand Ave.; 312-222-9700 or tantachicago.com
A Latin band performs at this brunch every Sunday morning, which is pretty cool in itself. And the Huevos Rancheros and Carnitas Chilaquales are pretty solid. But our favorite thing about this Latin American fusion spot is its dessert menu, which includes organic cotton candy with house-made caramel corn. Now that’s the breakfast of champions.
702 W. Fulton St.; 312-850-5005 or carnivalechicago.com
Fig & Olive
Blame it on the giant olive tree growing at the center of the bar, but having brunch here makes us feel like we’re sipping heirloom-tomato Bloody Marys in the South of France. One of our favorite menu items is the dainty crostini, which come out in orders of three to six. Play around with different flavors, since toppings run the gamut from salmon to prosciutto with ricotta and figs.
104 E. Oak St.; 312-445-0060 or figandolive.com
This Italian spot just launched brunch service. And while “salty” and “greasy” are typically our favorite words on Sunday mornings, we have our eye on the Sweet Crespelle served here. The Italian crepes are filled with creamy mascarpone cheese and served with roasted grapes.
1633 N. Halsted St.; 312-867-3888 or balenachicago.com
Yes, this is another Italian restaurant. But we have two words to justify its place on this list: Breakfast. Pizza. The 1960s-style spot has decor inspired by Fellini’s Rome, but nothing can compare to the beauty of a poached egg with sausage gravy on a perfectly crispy crust. This joint does serve Mimosas, but we recommend the more exotic Aranciata cocktail.
127 W. Huron St.; 312-754-0700 or dolceitalian.com
We could tell you lots about this funky Mexican spot (like, that its decor looks like a hipster carnival). But let’s cut to the chase: Its breakfast tacos are vastly superior to anything you’ll find at 2 a.m. Our current craving is the crispy-fish variety, wrapped in made-to-order hibiscus tortillas and topped with coconut custard, basil and carrot-jalapeño slaw.
2013 W. Division St.; 312-888-9485 or takitokitchen.com