Chicago isn’t known for its diverse and wide array of food, but it should be. Not many people know that Chicago has a great public transportation system, though by no means is it the scale of that in New York. Nonetheless, the CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) subway can take you from the busiest and popular areas in the Chicago Loop, akin to NYC’s Times Square, to the furthest and most suburban areas of Chicago. That being said, it’s easier to jump from one restaurant to the next due to the ease of using the CTA, which I ended up doing so I could get a taste, literally, of what it’s like to live in Chicago (and some tasty brunch restaurants I ran into).
- Batter and Berries (2748 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614) 4.8/5
Batter and Berries is a wonderful place to go for brunch because not only are the prices affordable, but the quality and quantity of the dishes are unmatched to anywhere I’ve been in Chicago. Known for their French toast, Batter and Berries offers a wide selection of different French toast flavors. I tried the French toast flight, which included a sampling of the blueberry, strawberry, lemon, caramel, and sugar cookie flavored French toast. All flavors were absolutely delicious. The French toast was cooked perfectly, not overly soggy or moist in the center, and I left craving the blueberry and caramel French toast.
- Yolk (501 W. Diversey Parkway, Chicago, IL 60614) 4.3/5
Yolk has many locations across Chicago and it’s definitely worth stopping into this bright and relaxed restaurant. With many vegetarian options, you and your travel buddy will be delighted by looking over the vast menu with tons of delicious options. My sister and I opted for the south beach greek yogurt and the kale egg scrambler. The south beach greek yogurt had a sweet and tangy taste when paired with the pineapples, strawberries, and walnut pieces. I found myself wishing there was more greek yogurt relative to the fruit pieces. The kale egg scrambler was absolutely delicious as the kale was perfectly cooked and the omelette melted in my mouth. Paired with the seasoned potatoes, this dish was a home-run.
- Summer House Santa Monica (1954 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60614) 4.3/5
Summer House Santa Monica is your upscale brunch restaurant, with an open and airy feel to live up to its Californian namesake. The menu reflects much of this as well.The options are seasonal, healthy, and fresh, which made me feel good about what I was eating. We ordered the grilled salmon burger with loch duart salmon, cucumber slaw, and arugula on a brioche bun. The salmon burger was tasty and wasn’t dry like most salmon burgers I’ve had in the past. The only complaint about the dish were the side of fries, which were small, thin, and crispy and tasted much more like garnish than a side. We also tried the emerald kale salad with shredded brussels sprouts, local apples, toasted cashews, and mustard-citrus dressing. This salad was one of the best salads that I’ve ever had and I’m sure any meat lover would appreciate this dish just as much as a vegan or vegetarian would. Each bite of the salad had texture, crunch, and flavor, which is hard for a salad to have, especially one without any source of protein.
- The Growling Rabbit (5938 N. Broadway Chicago, IL 60660) 3.3/5
Tucked away in Gransville is The Growling Rabbit, a popular brunch pub that has a lot of vegan options, including vegan chorizo, tofu, and vegan patties. We tried the vegan skillet with vegan chorizo, which was the best dish we tried at The Growling Rabbit. The eggs were cooked thoroughly and the vegan chorizo was flavorful and I couldn’t tell that it was vegan. We also tried the beer-battered chicken and waffles, which unfortunately was a disappointment. The chicken was tender and moist, however the seasoning on the chicken was reminiscent of wasabi and made the entire dish distasteful. Our last dish was the short stack of pancakes with blueberry compote, which were good but nothing out of the ordinary. The vegan skillet, however, is worth returning for.