Headquarters Beercade. When you hear it mentioned, a few things come to mind —Great beer, fun, free arcade games, and a cool spot that is an all-around good time. Brunch though, for me, was not one of the things that came to mind, until now.
I have to admit, I didn’t actually know that Headquarters offered brunch until the lovely ladies at Monika Dixon Public Relations invited us to come check out their brunch menu. As we’re always trying to cover new, unique brunch offerings for our readers, we opted to give it a go! Since moving to Chicago a few years ago, I’ve been to Headquarters several times, and I always had a blast. The restaurant is just cool. The space is decorated in a vintage bar style, and lined with old school arcade games.
The back corner has great lounge tables and plush couches, with a moss wall as a backdrop. The decor is current and inviting. Most notable is their hot pink neon sign hanging high over the main area of the bar that reads “don’t grow up it’s a trap”. I have taken a couple dozen photos of that awesome sign; a great reflection of what the restaurant as a whole embodies. It is a fun place that literally does not take itself, or life too seriously. The restaurant offers a cool, fun, and chic bar scene—despite, or because of, its gamer vibe.
As I am sure many of you have experienced, decision making at brunch can be difficult when you’re hungry and everything sounds delicious. Having a special menu made was quite awesome, and it allowed us to try a few of their newer menu options all at once which was fantastic.
My friend Alivia accompanied me to brunch, and we were joined at the table by Allison and her friend Ashley. Our server arrived immediately,offering us the brunch cocktail menu, which offered a diversity of Bloody Marys— ranging from ones topped with wings and rimmed with ranch dressing, to a classic spicy bloody. We ordered a few different ones, which were delivered promptly to our table (in addition to a few mimosas!)
It was a great girls brunch, I must say. We had a lovely table near the front of the restaurant and the crisp fall air trickled in through the open windows.
Our first course arrived: a lovely, sweet apple and greens salad composed of beets, candied pecans, apples, and goat cheese. It was yummy. I should mention my friend, Liv as I call her, is vegetarian so I was happy to see that the majority of the menu items were veg-friendly. Thankfully, she is partial to mimosas as well so she would have been fine regardless.
Being in the mood for something savory worked out great for the next two dishes; the HQ benedict and the Classy Joe, Headquarters’ versions of an eggs Benedict and a sloppy joe, respectively. The Benedict was a pork belly confit, topped with poached eggs and a house made giardiniera and peppers, and of course a spicy hollandaise sauce. It was delicious. For someone who is not a huge fan of pork most of the time, I really enjoyed the seared pork belly.
The Classy Joe was good as well. But as you can imagine, it was messy. It was delicious none-the-less, just difficult to eat. My favorite dish had to be the quiche that arrived next. As a quiche enthusiast, it’s hard for me to not love quiche, but this one was exceptionally yummy. It was a simple veggie-and-cheese quiche with an utterly delicious crust. This was Liv’s favorite dish as well.
The final course was Tex’s Toast, Headquarters’ version of French Toast. it was delicious, but had a lot of sweetness going on. It was chocolatey, topped with raspberries, powdered sugar, and maple sugar. It was good but I could only muster two bites. I was more in the mood for savory.
To say I was stuffed when brunch ended would be an understatement. It was a really good brunch. I was surprised that a bar and arcade was able to make such impressive food. Plus, the brunch menu is much more than standard bar food—it has character and pizzazz.
The brunch menu is extensive and has something for everyone, but most importantly to it’s delicious. Head to Headquarters first time for the fun, keep going back for the food. Headquarters has done a fantastic job of curating a brunch menu that exceeds all expectations.
The Bitches say A-. Headquarters is a great spot to brunch and to have fun playing free arcade games all day long after. In the heart of River North, this is the perfect spot for group brunches or for a fun day date.
213 W Institute Place
Headquarters serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m..