I live on the edge of Ukrainian Village, and in my humble opinion, my neighborhood is the best neighborhood ever. Redfin also agrees, after naming the UKV “America’s Hottest Neighborhood” last week. I’m just saying that my ‘hood is pretty good.
What I like most about my neighborhood is the delightful businesses that are scattered throughout it. I am right on the edge of Humboldt Park and on this particular stretch of California Avenue, there are some great places to dine and drink. One of them is Haywood Tavern—a cute little corner bar and restaurant that is low-key, yet delightfully charming.
The restaurant is well lit by day with lots of natural light, and was busy considering we were dining later than normal rush. As you enter Haywood Tavern, the bar is situated on the right side, while booths are along the wall on the left. As you walk further back, there is a back dining room that leads to a cute little patio adorned with string lights.
My friend Alivia was staying over for the weekend with her adorable pug princess, Cashew, for a much needed girls weekend of manicures, reality TV, wine, and of course, weekend brunch. Although I have had dinner at Haywood Tavern a few times, I have never tried the brunch and thought today was just as good as any.
Alivia is a “mostly vegetarian” gal, so I gave the menu a quick glance before we headed over to ensure there were some veg-friendly items on the menu, and thankfully there were. The brunch menu at Haywood Tavern is not extensive, but full of some deliciously described items; my mouth was watering and my belly was hungry!
First, we ordered a round of mimosas. When the drinks arrived, Liv and I were ready to jump in and order our entrees. We decided to start with the French toast with the daily toppings. When the dish arrived, we were conveniently ready for our second round of mimosas.
The French toast looked lovely, and tasted even better. There was a caramel-like sauce on top, with a chocolate-y toasted granola, as well as a sweet berry sauce on the bottom. Liv and I both really enjoyed it and even joked about ordering a second round.
Thankfully, our server arrived with our main dishes, reminding us we didn’t need to order another round of French toast. I might not be on my wedding diet anymore, but a second round may have been overboard.
For our entrees, I opted for the breakfast platter: two eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and grilled bread. Pretty simple but it was a little bit of everything I was craving and had already had my sweet fix with our French toast. I did not like the sausage though, it was just a little too thick and not as hot as I would have liked.
Liv opted for the baked eggs with a spicy tomato-red pepper sauce, spinach, and caramelized onions with a sliced baguette on the side. I think that she was surprised at the presentation—it was soup like.
I have ordered something similar at another restaurant before so it came as I expected, in a cast iron skillet, with two poached eggs surrounded by sauce. Liv was underwhelmed by the presentation, and even more by the taste.
For starters, considering it was something that had been baked, it was cold when it arrived. It was more of a soup than anything, and the cold poached eggs just weren’t doing it for her, so she kindly asked the server to replace it with two scrambled eggs. The sauce in her dish was delicious, but the lukewarm sauce with the runny egg yolks turned me off too. It just wasn’t appetizing.
Overall, brunch was good and I’d definitely dine here again. It is the perfect little gem of a neighborhood bar, but with really good food. I think that the baked eggs were just a fluke. I would recommend they get bigger glasses for mimosas, though. I felt like I was drinking my booze out of a kids cup!
The Bitches Say: B-. Haywood Tavern is a great local spot in the heart of Humboldt Park with a lovely atmosphere. Food options are limited and there were a couple of misses with our brunch food, but overall a good meal.
2759 W Augusta Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60622
Haywood Tavern serves Brunch Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.