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Chicago Best Brunch Bites of 2017

Ahh, we had so many bites this year! Seriously, we ate a lot in 2017, and we still have so much more to enjoy. In the meantime, as the Bitches do every year, we have recapped our Best Bites from 2017.

We had some really strong contenders for a lot of the various categories; sometimes it was hard to choose one! Read on and then share your thoughts on our best bites, and let us know where we should go and what we should try in 2018.

Be sure to check out our Chicago Best & Worst Brunches of the Year here.

Roister Brunch

Best Brunch Dish
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that our 2017 top winner would come from one of Chicago’s most notable Michelin-rated restaurants. For the Best Dish of 2017, I present the Anson Mills grits at Roister. This dish blew our minds.  The grits were made with scallop XO and egg yolk sauce, and Parmesan cheese. It was the most savory breakfast dish we have had in a while and it’s creative elements and delicious taste were totally deserving of the top title. Roister, 951 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL

Willow Room Brunch

Best Croque-Madame or Croque-Monsiuer 
Willow Room
Easily one of the best Croque Madame sandwiches we have ever had, the croque madame at the Willow Room came with thickly cut bread, and  it was toasted just enough to keep it from being soggy, as the entire sandwich was slathered with bechamel sauce. The sandwich oozed gruyere from every edge and was quite messy to eat, but all the more worth it. Willow Room, 1800 North Halsted St, Chicago, IL

Hearth Brunch

Best Steak and Eggs
The skirt steak eggs Benedict at Hearth was one of our favorite steak and egg dishes ever. Served with wilted spinach, a generous amount of house-made Hollandaise, and perfectly poached eggs, it was the perfect meat-y brunch dish. The steak was tender and cooked perfectly through, plus it came with a side of crispy house potatoes—top notch. Hearth Restaurant at the Homestead, 1625 Hinman Avenue, Evanston IL 

Au Cheval Brunch

Best Burger
Au Cheval
Although technically we brunched here in December of 2016, it missed the mark for our Best Bites list last year. No one should be shocked to find that Au Cheval made our list for Best Burger of the year. We odered it the best way possible, with an egg and pork belly. No matter the day or the chef, this burger at Au Cheval is consistently delicious. Au Cheval, 800 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL

GreenRiver Brunch

Best Cinnamon Roll
The cinnamon roll at GreenRiver takes the cake for our favorite cinnamon roll this year.  Completely covered in a delicious cream cheese frosting, the roll was a win—it was just superb. GreenRiver, 259 E. Erie 18th Floor, Chicago, IL

Grand & Ogden Brunch

Best Fried Chicken Dish (tie)
Grand and Ogden
So nice, we had it twice! Grand and Ogden’s chicken and waffles came out as two Belgian waffles topped with two chicken thighs and andouille sausage gravy. We came two week’s in a row just to order it! Grand and Ogden, 459 N Ogden Ave, Chicago, IL

Beatnik Brunch

Brunch at Beatnik, frankly, sucked. The only saving grace were the thoughtful dishes, among them our favorite, the fried chicken. Quite possibly the best fried chicken we have ever had; it was so juicy. The outer layer was crispy and seasoned perfectly, and the chicken itself was moist and flavorful, thanks to being marinated for what we imagine was a long time. It almost tasted as if there was a layer of cream in between the crispy batter and the chicken itself. Beatnik, 1604 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL

Bad Hunter Brunch

Best Oatmeal or Porridge
Bad Hunter
The sourdough bread porridge at Bad Hunter made with walnut butter and poached pears was the perfect stick-to-your-ribs goodness for warming you up on a cold day, which is definitely necessary here in Chicago. Bad Hunter, 802 W. Randolph St, Chicago, IL

Quiote Brunch

Best Baked Eggs
Anything with bread to dip in a red sauce is a winner in our book. And if it’s fresh sourdough from Publican Quality Meats, then it is a really special win. The huevos infernos at Quiote had warm eggs with yolks that oozed out into the red sauce that had the perfect amount of heat. These baked eggs had a kick of spice that put them a bar above any other baked eggs of the year. Quiote, 2456 N California Ave, Chicago, IL

River Roast Brunch

Best Brunch Appetizer
River Roast
We tried a few appetizers at River Roast during brunch, and they were all fantastic. Between the shrimp and crab toast, and the “golden goblets,” which were basically small little balls of fried chicken, it was too hard to decide on one winner. We are telling you, get them both.  Regardless of which one is better than the other (you be the judge), River Roast is winner takes all when it comes to the Best Appetizers of the year. River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St. Chicago, Il

Atwood Brunch

Best Breakfast Tots (tie)
Fancy tater tots deserve a title!  These tater tots at Atwood were served with house-made chili, cheddar cheese, scallions, and drizzled sour cream were spread on top of the crispy tots. You have the option of adding two eggs any style, if you really want to indulge and make it more breakfast-y. Hand’s down, these tots are a tater-lover’s dream at brunch. And honestly, who doesn’t love tater-tots? No one. Atwood, 1 West Washington Street, Chicago, IL

Heaven on Seven Brunch

Heaven On Seven
Heaven on Seven’s tater tots were the perfect balance of greasy, cheesy goodness, and well balanced flavors, thanks to the combination of pork, cheese, green onions and a fried egg. Heaven On Seven, 111 N. Wabash Ave, 7th Floor, Chicago, IL

Shore Club Brunch

Best Lobster Roll
Shore Club
While most of the dishes at Shore Club were overly-pricey and underwhelming, we have to give credit where credit is due. While we didn’t have many lobster rolls to choose from this year, we were still impressed with the ones at Shore Club. If you brunch there, get them! Shore Club, 1603 N Lakeshore Dr, Chicago, IL

Kitty O'Sheas Brunch

Best Mac and Cheese
Kitty O’Sheas
This mac and cheese was drool-all-over-the-place delicious. Cheesy macaroni noodles mixed with short rib and corn bread, topped with salted caramel and crispy Tabasco onions. Salted caramel? We don’t even understand how it was possible to have in a mac and cheese, but believe us when we say it worked. Kitty O’Sheas, 720 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL

The Blanchard Brunch

Best Crêpes
The Blanchard
Citrus zest crêpes, with the added 4 ounces of seared foie gras, how could this not win the title for Best Crêpes?  These were absolutely incredible; the traditional French crêpes came served with a dark rum spiced banana puree, caramelized bananas, and topped with the juicy seared foie gras and powdered sugar. It was the perfect combination of sweet and savory, with all of the components perfectly complementing each other.  The Blanchard, 1935 N. Lincoln Park W, Chicago, IL

Ronero Brunch

Best Brunch Cocktail
We absolutely loved the Brugal Spritzer at Ronero, made with extra dry rum, lemon, pineapple and sparkling wine. Rum experts as they are, it is perfectly fitting the restaurant created a specific brunch cocktail that showcases rum in all the right ways. Take note: This cocktail is only on the brunch menu, so if you want to order it another time, you’ll have to ask! Ronero, 738 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL

MAD Social Brunch

Best Benedict
MAD Social
Our winner for Best Benedict is the short rib Benedict made with braised Korean style short ribs, toasted pretzel buns, Brussels sprouts, kimchi, togarashi Hollandaise, and house potatoes. It was packed with flavor and all of the components worked really well together. Mad Social, 1140 W. Madison St, Chicago, IL

Maison Marcel Brunch

Best Original Brunch dish
Maison Marcel
Purple cauliflower grits? We had never heard of them, but we just had to order them, and thank goodness we did. This dish was the most original and unique brunch dish in 2017.  Not only did they look beautiful, but they tasted just as good. Made with cauliflower, beets and turnips, and served with with poached farm eggs on top, for a creamy and savory touch , it was flavorful and filling. Maison Marcel, 3114 N Broadway Street, Chicago, IL

Honey's Brunch

Best Breakfast Salad
Served with duck confit, potato, and pickled butternut squash—this  Lyonnaise salad at Honey’s was exquisite and earned the title for Best breakfast Salad. Frisee greens and a soft boiled egg made this our dream brunch salad to start our meal with. Honey’s, 1111 W. Lake Street, Chicago, IL

Cafe Robey Brunch

Best Avacado Toast
Cafe Robey
Out of all of the avocado toasts we have ever had, the avo-toast at Cafe Robey might be the best of the bunch. That’s why it is our 2017 winner for Best Avocado Toast. Made with smashed avocado, pickled red onion, chili flakes, and espelette oil, we topped it with both an egg and jumbo lump crab meat. We beg of you to order it! Cafe Robey, 2018 W North Ave, Chicago, IL

Rhyme or Reason Brunch

Best Toast
Rhyme or Reason
If looks could kill, the edamame toast would assassinate you in a heartbeat. This toast is not only beautifully presented, but if you are not an edamame person, fear not. This toast tastes just like avocado toast, thanks to the creamy texture, and the added richness of ricotta and two poached eggs on top. Rhyme Or Reason, 1938 W. Division, Chicago, IL. 

Bourbon On Division Brunch

Best Spiked Coffee
Bourbon On Division
The “Helluva Way to Wake Up,” an iced coffee concoction made with Old Forester, was really good at Bourbon on Division. A honey rosemary syrup, and a delicious and unique whipped bourbon cream, a place with a spirit in it’s moniker had better deliver, and they did. Bourbon On Division, 2050 W Division St., Chicago, IL

Clever Rabbit Brunch

Best Pancakes
Clever Rabbit
We ate a lot of pancakes this year, and they all were great. But with pancakes being a dish that should be difficult to screw up, we had to go with the most memorable stack of 2017. Clever Rabbit’s sweet potato pancakes. were our pick for the Best Pancakes of 2017.  Spiced mascarpone, candied pecans, and a blis barrel aged maple syrup , these were not your momma’s pancakes. Clever Rabbit, 2015 W. Division St, Chicago, IL

Eden Brunch

Best Hash
We loved the yummy pork belly hash with sweet potato, black garlic romesco, apple, and bay labneh at Eden. This elevated breakfast hash was flavorful and filling, taking the award for the Best Hash. Eden, 1748 W. Lake St, Chicago, IL

City Mouse Brunch

Best Healthy Dish
City Mouse
The roasted Brussels sprouts grain bowl at City Mouse is the clear winner of  our Best Healthy Dish. Vegan-approved, it is made with cabbage, pickled mango, almond, and a spicy coconut vinaigrette; a complex, delicious dish. City Mouse, 311 North Morgan St., Chicago, IL

Rootstock Brunch

Best Omelet
If you like cheese-y, rich goodness, look no further than the breakfast omelet at Rootstock. Made with MontAmore cheddar, charred broccoli, country ham and served with a side of Werp lettuces, it is the fanciest omelet you might ever have in Chicago. Rootstock, 954 N. California Ave, Chicago, IL

Mortar and Pestle Brunch

Best French Toast (tie)
Mortar and Pestle
This French toast, with its brioche bread, took French toast to a whole new level. Simple, yet delicious, this perhaps was one of the best brunch dishes and renditions of French toast that we had this year. Mortar and Pestle, 3108 North Broadway, Chicago, IL

Forbidden Root Brunch

Forbidden Root
After ordering the coconut milk French toast at Forbidden Root, topped with pistachio gelato and crumbled pistachios we were in awe of how moist and juicy the thick pieces of bread were without milk or eggs. It certainly deserves to share the title of Best French Toast. Forbidden Root, 1746 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL

Cellar Door Provisions Brunch

Best Quiche
Cellar Door Provisions
Hand’s down, Cellar Door Provisions has the best quiche in the city. We aren’t the only ones who think so, as it is regarded by many other foodies as the best. The quiche is like none you have ever had before; it is rich and creamy, and the texture is silky, like heaven in a bite. It might be because the restaurant cultures, ferments, dehydrates, and powders to make all cheeses in house. Color us impressed. Cellar Door Provisions, 3025 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 

Roanoke Brunch

Best Mimosa
The blood orange mimosa was a considerably strong drink with prosecco, blood orange liqueur, and a splash of orange juice, making it our favorite mimosa of the year.  Roanake, 135 W Madison St, Chicago, IL

Public House Brunch

Best Bloody
Public House
We still are a sucker for Bloodies with the works, which is why Public House wins for our Best Bloody of the year. Public offered a nice one, served ice cold and with a massive skewer. The drink was good, and the skewer served as a pre-appetizer appetizer unto itself—all that mozzarella, bacon, a pickle, even an entire chicken wing and bourbon-glazed jump shrimp. Public House, 400 N. State Street, Chicago, IL

25 Degrees Brunch

Best Breakfast Sandwich
25 Degrees
While known for their burgers, it shouldn’t be too shocking that 25 Degrees also killed it in the breakfast sandwich game. Out of a brunching bunch of five, we all agreed that it was one of the best breakfast sandwiches ever, thanks to the herb aioli and the buttery bun. 25 Degrees, 736 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL

Barrio Brunch

Best Chilaquilles
The chilaquiles at Barrio takes the title of our Best Chilaquiles dish. Made with pork belly, a tomatillo salsa, fried egg, queso fresco, jack cheese, pickled red onion, and a cilantro crema, it wasn’t overly complicated, and was ezactly what you would want from an authentic modern take on chilaquiles. Barrio, 65 W. Kinzie St, Chicago, IL

Cellar Door Provisions Brunch

Best Pastry
Cellar Door Provisions
The only restaurant to receive two Best Bites awards this year, we would be remiss to not give Cellar Door Provisions the title of Best Pastry as well as Best Quiche.  Almost everything the restaurant serves  is made in house; the bread, butter, pastries, and many spice blends. The pastries are freaking delicious, and it is wonderful to watch as the pastry chef’s roll and prepare dough in the back of the restaurant, and you can see your baked goods come fresh out of the oven. Cellar Door Provisions, 3025 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL

Dixie Brunch

Best Brunch Dessert
The cinnamon rolls at Dixie came out looking like monkey bread in a cast iron skillet. But, presentation aside, these cinnamon sugar-y buns were outstanding. The buns were crispy on the outside thanks to the crystallization of the cinnamon and sugar, and doughy on the inside; perfect to satisfy any sweet tooth. Dixie, 1952 N. Damen Ave, Chicago, IL


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