There’s a reason why Chicagoans will wait hours—often in frigid winter temps—in line for breakfast or brunch: It’s because A.M. meals here rule. From Blackberry Blisscakes (tastes as good as it sounds) to porchetta sandwiches, here are the best breakfasts and brunches in Chicago that are worth the wait.

Summer House Santa Monica

This restaurant in the Lincoln Park neighborhood is where you go with your girlfriends when you’re all dressed up and are living your best life. It’s bright, it’s loud, it’s young, it’s fun and it’s always busy, from morning until evening. Brunch is the prime time to go (though you can’t go wrong with dinner, either), and it’s crowded. The menu is huge, and they have everything you could dream of for breakfast or brunch, from fancy eggs to waffles and pancakes, and all those trendy items with avocados. Tons of avocados.


This River North modern restaurant may ask you to wait 45 minutes for a table, but it’s worth it. From the green juice to the avocado salad to the green chili enchiladas or the cauliflower grits (everything here is green and sorta-healthy and delish), they have something to satisfy everyone. It’s a loud restaurant, however, so don’t expect a quiet morning. This is a place to wake up.

Shaws seafood tower for brunch in Chicago

Shaw’s Crab House

If you’re craving seafood, this is your spot. At Shaw’s, you can get it all, every bit of seafood, during their weekend brunch. Binge on crab, oysters, shrimp—and some traditional items. It’s a good deal. The restaurant’s located right downtown near a lot of the big hotels, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to roll yourself home afterward.