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Chicago Best & Worst Brunches 2017

It’s that time of year again! We have gone through all of our 2017 brunches to share with you the best of the best … and the worst of the worst. We ate our way through Chicago, trying to reach as many new brunches as possible, while also trying to visit some neighborhood staples that have been on our list.

We are sharing with you our top spots, best new brunches, our favorite dishes and cocktails, and so much more. Here are the winners, and losers, of what we ate in 2017. If you want to now where the best brunch bites (and cocktails) of 2017 are, click here. Remember, Bitches: We brunch hard, so you don’t have to!

The Best

Best Brunch, Reader’s Choice
The people have spoken! We shared with you our top brunches of the year and had our reader’s vote on which brunch they think deserved the title, and Barrio was the winner! We can’t argue with that. Barrio is one of our favorite new brunches of 2017 and we would recommend anyone to have brunch there. Upscale twists on traditional Mexican dishes, plus a gorgeous setting and relaxed environment; what’s not to love? Barrio, 65 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL 

Barrio Brunch

Best Bottomless Brunch
AceBounce holds the title for our favorite bottomless mimosa brunch for the year. The restaurant also has bottomless Bloodies during their ping pong brunch. SCORE! AceBounce, 230 N Clark St, Chicago, IL

AceBounce Brunch

Best Family Spot
River Roast
River Roast is the perfect place to take the family, whether it’s a Sunday get-together, or a special occasion worth celebrating, the river front views, private dining spaces, and live acoustic music make this the perfect spot for families to gather. River Roast, 315 N LaSalle Dr, Chicago, IL

Best Weekday Brunch (tie)
Cafe Robey
Cafe Robey was a strong contender for one of our best brunches of the year. It’s easy to see why this is such a popular spot for instagrammers and brunch-goers alike. The hotel that houses it is charming, the space is beyond cute, and the breakfast and brunch offerings are absolutely fantastic. Cafe Robey, 2018 W North Ave, Chicago, IL

Cafe Robey Brunch

Maison Marcel
Maison Marcel, a new French bakery in Lakeview, is a perfect spot for a weekday brunch. The charming atmosphere, delicious food, and all-day French fare make it ideal for meeting up with someone, or working over coffee and a croissant. Maison Marcel, 3114 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL

Maison Marcel Brunch

Best Buffet Brunch
Travelle Kitchen and Bar
This isn’t your ordinary brunch buffet. While still offering a la carte options, Travelle Kitchen and Bar’s brunch buffet offers upscale breakfast and brunch items, such as fresh shrimp on ice, and a huge selection of pastries, meats, and cheeses. Located in the Langham Hotel, this is an upscale brunch buffet, where you can take in stunning views of the Chicago River while sipping wine and enjoying the well-thought out brunch dishes. Travelle Kitchen and Bar, 330 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL

Travelle Brunch

Best Fancy Brunch
Maple & Ash
It should come as no surprise, but the posh Maple & Ash has a brunch that’s perfect for fancy folks. From bottomless bubbles, to a filet mignon carving station, this brunch is worthy of it’s title. Maple & Ash, 8 W Maple St, Chicago, IL

Best Girls Day Brunch
Shore Club
Shore Club is the perfect spot to host a girls brunch with your best Bitches. Whether it is a birthday celebration, or a bachelorette party, this is the ideal spot to get cute and take a bunch of insta-worthy photos with your ladies. Located on North Ave Beach, expect to start here with brunch, and lounge beachside all day in their sandy cabana area with lake and beach  views. Shore Club, 1603 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL

Shore Club Brunch

Best Party Brunch
Ace Bounce
Put your party pants on and head over to AceBounce for an epic ping pong party that is sure to be the best brunch is Chicago to get day drunk with your friends. Bottomless mimosas and Bloodies, and an expansive brunch buffet make AceBounce our favorite pic for a party brunch in 2017. AceBounce, 230 N Clark St, Chicago, IL

Rhyme or Reason Brunch

Best Group Brunch
Rhyme or Reason
We love Rhyme Or Reason, the new, funky, 70s themed restaurant that opened in Wicker Park this year. Groovy jams and fun, creative comfort food items make Rhyme Or Reason our favorite spot to host a group brunch this year. Rhyme Or Reason, 1938 W Division St, Chicago, IL

Dusek's Brunch

Best Bro Brunch
Dusek’s Board and Beer
While we weren’t in love with Dusek’s Board and Beer we can’t argue that this isn’t the perfect place for a bro brunch. This gastro pub has something  for everyone on its extensive beer list, and the rustic, historic building will appeal to any gentleman. Dusek’s Board and Beer, 1227 W 18th St, Chicago, IL

Rhyme or Reason Brunch

Best Brunch Date Spot
Whether it’s a brunch date with a girlfriend, or a first date with someone you are currently into, we have given Ronera the title of the best Brunch Date spot. A relaxed environment that boasts yummy rum cocktails, we think that it is the perfect meeting place for brunch! Ronero, 738 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL

Ronero Brunch

Best Winter Brunch
We love the recently reconcepted Gwen Hotel, and Circa Restaurant on the fifth floor is our favorite pick for a winter brunch. With a curling rink on the large patio over looking downtown Chicago, and delicious winter cocktails to warm you up, this is a fun place to brunch during the cold months. Circa, 521 N. Rush St, Chicago, IL

Circa Brunch

Best Michelin-Rated Brunch
Roister debuted brunch this year, and we couldn’t be happier. Finally, this Michelin-starred restaurant has gifted us with weekend brunch. Delicious fried chicken and waffles, and an everything bagel avocado toast that is to die for are just two things that make this one of our favorite brunch spots. Roister, 951 W Fulton Market, Chicago, IL

Roister Brunch

Best Mexican Brunch
Paging our favorite Top Chef—hello Katsuji Tanabe! Our favorite reality TV chef opened Barrio this year, offering a relaxed, charming and spacious  restaurant with thoughtful traditional and modern dishes to celebrate the flavors and cuisine of Mexico. Barrio is one of our favorite brunches of the year. Barrio, 65 W Kinzie St, Chicago, IL

Barrio Brunch

Best Cajun Brunch
Heaven on Seven
The King of Cajun, Mr. Jimmy’s Banos himself, of course tops our list for best Cajun Brunch. His Chicago staple, Heaven On Seven is the pinnacle of a Cajun and creole lovers brunch spot. Come for the delicious Cajun menu items, and stay for the fun and lively atmosphere of the restaurant. You’ll truly feel like you are in N’awlins. A close second, Fifolet is also a favorite for Cajun fare. This cute little hole-in-the-wall restaurant is another ideal place for some down-home Cajun cooking.  Heaven On Seven, 111 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL and Fifolet, 1942 W Division St, Chicago, IL

Heaven on Seven Brunch

Best French Brunch
The Blanchard
The Blanchard offer’s some of the best upscale French fare that we have had in Chicago. Chef Ryan Burns is a master at the art of French cooking; some of his dishes made our favorite bites this year. This classy spot is an excellent recommendation for the Francofile bruncher. The Blanchard, 1935 N. Lincoln Park W, Chicago, IL

The Blanchard Brunch

Best Bakery Brunch
Maison Marcel
Maiking our “Best Of” list for a second time, Maison Marcel is our favorite bakery brunch of the year. Fresh croissants, cute macaroons, and a variety of other baked goods, Maison Marcel is our go-to for a carbohydrate craving. Maison Marcel, 3114 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL

Best Southern Brunch
Craving bisguits and gravy, shrimp and grits, corn cakes, or another soulful dish of the south? Look no further than Wishbone. A staple in the West Loop, this place has been serving Southern comfort food perfectly for the last decade. Wishbone, 1001 W Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL

Best Veggie Friendly Brunch 
Bad Hunter
Our top pick for a veggie friendly brunch spot should come as no surprise. Bad Hunter quickly became one of the most popular new restaurants this year, and rightfully so. The veggie-forward brunch menu and delicious cocktails make Bad Hunter our top pick for this title. A close second is Clever Rabbit, which also has a veggie-focused menu that is perfect for those who eschew meat. Bad Hunter, 802 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL and Clever Rabbit, 2015 W Division St, Chicago, IL.

Bad Hunter Brunch

Cellar Door Provisions
Grab a bottle of good bubbly, and head over to Cellar Door Provisions for the perfect BYOB brunch. Indulge in their unique and ever-changing brunch items, or stick with their classic quiche; you cant go wrong. The fresh-baked bread and bakery items are simply incredible. Cellar Door Provisions,  3025 W Diversey Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

Cellar Door Provisions Brunch

Best Decor
Beatnik missed the mark with everything during our brunch, except for the ambiance and decor. A front dining room with a skylight ceiling and tropical plants everywhere, Beatnik also hosts a collection of unique furniture pieces and antiques, like Egyptian doors from the early 1900s and a Parisian patisserie counter from late 18th century France, the decor is truly one-of-a-kind. Beatnik transports you to another land.  Beatnik, 1604 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL

Beatnik Brunch

Best Ambiance
Honey’s is simply put, charming and delightful. The ambiance of this space is relaxed and airy, thanks to the well-lit bar area, and gorgeous spacious dining room that is adorned with coffee table books, mid-century modern furniture, and large round booths surrounded by plants. Upstairs in the cocktail lounge, sit comfortably in the plush crushed velvet chairs and couches that are surrounded by candles. Honey’s, 1111 W Lake St, Chicago, IL

Honey's Brunch

Best Patio Brunch
Shore Club
You can’t beat the patio that faces Lake Michigan, the open windows in the main dining area, or the cabana beach area at Shore Club. When it comes to patio brunches, this place takes the cake. The views are unmatched, plus the added patio bar, corn hole and giant checkers make it even more of a reason to come sit outside. Shore Club, 1603 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL

Shore Club Brunch

Best Entertainment Brunch
River Roast
We love the live blues brunch at River Roast. During our visit, a string trio played relaxing music as we brunched riverside admiring the gorgeous city views. We highly recommend River Roast for lively entertainment during brunch. River Roast, 315 N. LaSalle St, Chicago, IL

River Roast Brunch

Best Sports Bar Brunch
25 Degrees
Our favorite sports brunch of 2017 had to be our brunch at 25 Degrees. A spot with a lively bar and several TV’s make 25 Degrees a great spot to come and watch the game. We came during football season and cheered on the Bears while enjoying $10 bottles of bubbly for the table. It’s ideal for day drinking and brunching over football or basketball, or baseball, or any ball for that matter! 25 Degrees, 736 N Clark St, Chicago, IL

25 Degrees Brunch

Best Bar Food Brunch
Perfect for bites and brews, Hub51 is our go to for a day of bar-hopping and brunching in River North. Hub51, 51 W. Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 

Hub 51 Brunch

Best Acoustic Brunch
Spanish guitar playing in a pleasant and charming atmosphere is precisely why Ronero is our pick for our favorite spot for a brunch date, and our favorite spot for an acoustic brunch. Ronero, 738 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL

Ronero Brunch

Most Instagrammable
The Blanchard
Just take one look at our photos from brunch at the Blanchard and you will want to rush over to Lincoln Park, Iphone in hand, to snap away yourself. The dishes are plated beautifully, and showcase an array of colors; almost pretty enough not to eat. The Blanchard, 1935 N Lincoln Park W, Chicago, IL

The Blanchard Brunch

Best Cafe
Cafe Robey
Cafe Robey is our 2017 winner for Best Cafe. More of a restaurant than a quaint cafe, Cafe Robey is the ideal place to pop in for a cup of coffee or to have a brunch meeting. The menu is more diverse than that of a cafe, which we of course appreciate. Cafe Robey, 2018 W North Ave, Chicago, IL

Cafe Robey Brunch

Best Hipster Brunch (tie)
Forbidden Root 
Forbidden Root was definitely another favorite of 2017. This organic brewery boasts house-made brews from botanicals and unique gastropub menu items.  Thanks to it’s West Town/Ukrainian Village location, you can expect a chic hipster crowd here any day of the week. Forbidden Root, 1746 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL

Forbidden Root Brunch

Another staple just west of Forbidden Root is the “homey-chic” Rootstock located in Humboldt Park. An eclectic neighborhood staple that has been a pioneer and an intricate part of the growing restaurant scene in this area, you can expect to find creative types chatting about various subjects over wines from the restaurant’s extensive and thoughtful list. Rootstock, 954 N California Ave, Chicago, IL.

Rootstock Brunch

Best Bang for your Buck
The Purple Pig
Jimmy Banos, Jr., like his father Jimmy Banos Sr., is a huge part of the restaurant scene here in Chicago. As the owner of the Purple Pig, one of the most popular spots in the city for foodies and non-foodies alike, he recently debuted counter service breakfast items. Indulge in morning offerings that highlight the restaurant’s unique cuisine, with dishes like Italian flatbread piadina sandwiches to a fried egg English muffin with foie gras butter. You can experience the Michelin-rated restaurant in a fast, easy, and inexpensive way; no two hour wait times either! The Purple Pig, 500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL

The Purple Pig Brunch

Most Affordable
Takito Kitchen
If you’re craving Mexican fare that is delicious and moderately priced, then Takito Kitchen is where to go. We were pleasantly surprised by how much we loved this spot. Takito Kitchen, 2013 W Division St,
Chicago, IL 60622

Miss Ricky's Brunch

Best Elevated Diner Brunch
Miss Ricky’s
Miss Ricky’s in the Virgin hotel is our pick for quickie diner-style brunch that is a way more than little more upscale than any IHOP or Waffle House. Miss Ricky’s serves diner classics and strong coffee in a fun and charming environment. Miss Ricky’s, 203 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL

Miss Ricky's Brunch

Best Rooftop
Tanta debuted brunch this year, and we welcomed them to the club by enjoying brunch and pisco sours on their gorgeous rooftop patio. Enjoy the restaurant’s take on brunch through inventive Peruvian fare. Tanta, 118 W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL

Tanta Brunch

Best View
If you are looking to get a captivating view of the city while brunching, look no further than the Michelin-starred GreenRiver. Situated on the 18th floor, GreenRiver offers stunning views of both downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan to the east. Sit outside on the terrace, or enjoy the views in winter while inside looking out the vast windows that surround the space. GreenRiver, 259 E Erie St, Chicago, IL

Quiote Brunch

Best Newcomer
Quiote is small but mighty. This stylish and unique Mexican restaurant opened in Logan Square in early 2017 and has been on our got-to brunch list ever since. Small plate brunch service showcases thoughtful takes on traditional Mexican dishes and innovative twists on breakfast classic. Enjoy cocktails in their Mezcal lounge downstairs after brunch; you wont be disappointed. Quiote, 2456 N California Ave, Chicago, IL

Kitty O'Sheas Brunch

Best Hotel Brunch (tie)
Our two winners this year could not be more different than one another. Atwood is a modern and chic spot hotel restaurant  that offers delicious brunch dishes. Located on the first floor in the Alise Hotel, is is located right on the corner of State, it is near the theater district and Millennium Park, and is surrounded by the best stores downtown Chicago has to offer. The space is beautiful and the food is great; don’t judge a book by it’s cover; this hotel restaurant is a step above most. Atwood, 1 W Washington St, Chicago, IL

Atwood Brunch

Kitty O’Sheas
An Irish pub as a hotel restaurant would seemingly be a surprising choice for the title for “Best Hotel Brunch”, but again, don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Kitty O’Sheas is a classic Chicago gem. Located in the Downtown Hilton, the restaurant has a patio that looks over Millennium Park. Servers with Irish authentic Irish accents add charm to the place, but what takes the cake is their mouthwatering selection of traditional Irish/English  brunch dishes, such as bangers and mash or the winner of our brunch, chocolate Guinness pancakes with crispy chicken. Kitty O’Sheas, 720 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL

Kitty O'Sheas Brunch

Best Comfort Brunch
Wishbone’s simple menu offerings of traditional Southern food makes this the perfect place to go to for comfort food. Pulled BBQ pork, a jambalaya omelet, macaroni and cheese, and North Carolina Fried Chicken, the restaurant knows comfort food. Wishbone, 1001 W. Washington Blvd, Chicago, IL

Wishbone Brun

Best Brunch for Tourists
Cafe Brauer
Situated in the heart of Lincoln Park over looking the pond of the Lincoln Park Zoo, Cafe Brauer is the perfect place for tourists to brunch if plans include a day in Lincoln Park. Gorgeous views from the patio offer picture-perfect backdrops of Lincoln Park, the city skyline, and the lake. Cafe Brauer, 2021 N Stockton Dr, Chicago, IL

Café Brauer Brunch

Best Brunch for Parents Visiting
Take your parent’s to Travelle next time they are visiting. Share with them all of the beauty that downtown Chicago has to offer thanks to the restaurant overlooking the Chicago River . Stunning views, exceptional service, and upscale thoughtful menu items make Travelle a perfect spot to show mom and dad your distinguished knowledge of Chicago’s brunch scene. Travelle Kitchen and Bar, 330 N Wabash Ave, Chicago, IL

Travelle Brunch

Best Neighborhood Brunch
In all of the neighborhoods throughout the Chicago area, we believe everyone of them should have a place like Rootstock. The perfect, loungey, neighborhood gathering place, Rootstock is a place where everyone knows everyone, or you meet your neighbors that you always see but never knew. The menu offers unique dishes, and the wine list is thew best in the city. Seriously, Chicago voted. Rootstock, 954 N California Ave, Chicago, IL

Rootstock Brunch

Best Hangover Brunch
City Mouse
City Mouse is a cool upscale diner that is the perfect place to roll out of bed and meet the friends you were drinking with the night before for a brunch to cure your hangover. If you need a greasy, gooey something to cure your ailment, we suggest the gas station breakfast sandwich, made with hashbrown, egg, cheese, grape jelly, and sausage, this is just what the doctor ordered. City Mouse, 311 N. Morgan St, Chicago, IL

City Mouse Brunch

Most Surprising
Grand and Ogden
Grand and Ogden is one of those places that you pass by a lot but have never stopped in. We were pleasantly surprised by how wonderful the brunch offerings were, that we came two weeks in a row. Grand and Ogden, 459 N. Ogden St, Chicago, IL

Grand & Ogden Brunch

Worth the Trip
Although located  in Evanston, Hearth is definitely worthy of a trip up north. A warmly rustic restaurant in Evanston favoring sustainability, classic pairings, and simple ingredients, Hearth is located inn a historic hotel and it provides the perfect venue to share time, enjoy ambiance, and delight in delicious cuisine and good company. Hearth, 1625 Hinman Ave, Evanston, IL

Hearth Brunch

Worst Decor
We love that Tryzub has brought contemporary and traditionally Ukrainian fare to the heart of Ukrainian village. A new restaurant with a hip vibe, Tryzub’s decor is unfortunately all over the place. The restaurant is trying to create a young atmosphere, yet still pay homage to the historic traditional decor. Brunch was good but the restaurant could step up when it comes to the interior. Tryzub, 2201 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL

Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen Brunch

Most Overrated
Dusek’s Board and Beer
Dusek’s Board and Beer was awarded a Michelin-star and is a place that everyone in Chicago seems to know and like, but we didn’t see what all the hype was about. Aside from the extensive and impressive beer selection, the food was average and the service was sub-par. Dusek’s Board and Beer, 1227 W 18th St, Chicago, IL

Dusek's Brunch

Most Disappointing
While given the title of “Most Likely to Improve” above, we were still incredibly disappointed with the brunch at Beatnik. The cocktails we tried weren’t amazing, the food came our super slow, and the service was atrocious. We were excited to have an all-girls birthday brunch at this chic newcomer, but the meal was ultimately a disaster. Hopefully we see major improvements next time we dine there! Beatnik, 1604 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL

Beatnik Brunch

Most Gimicky
Bourbon On Division
Bourbon on Division to no surprise is a bourbon focused spot. Unfortunately we think the restaurant work too hard on making the menu and cocktails bourbon-themed, and should have focused on making good food and good cocktails. The food was underwhelming and the cocktails were’t anything to write home about. Bourbon on Division, 2050 W Division St, Chicago, IL

Bourbon On Division Brunch

Biggest Let Down
Publican Anker
Publican Anker was the longest wait time for a disappointing meal. A sister restaurant of the ever popular Publican, we had high hopes when the restaurant opened in Wicker Park. Unfortunately, the restaurant wasn’t offering brunch reservations when we went to check it out. A long wait time for an underwhelming meal (what’s up with the non-traditional pub bacon?) equates to a disappointing brunch among three food critics. Publican Anker, 1576 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL

Worst Brunch Attempt
Wilde Bar and Restaurant
For all the recommendations and praise Wilde has received, we were left wondering if it’s the theme and décor that leaves the impression, because the food certainly does not. We might come back for dinner, but we certainly would not recommend it for brunch. Wilde Bar & Restaurant, 3130 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 

Lack of Creativity
Nookies Tree
While we while we love consistency of brunch at Nookies Tree, we didn’t love the burnt coffee or lack of creativity throughout the menu. Our meal was just average and nothing to write home about. Nookies Tree, 3334 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60657

Worst Overall
Kaiser Tiger
With the lowest grade from the Bitches all year, Kaiser Tiger “wins” this award. The food was completely undesirable. While the service was okay, the fact that everyone at brunch was unhappy with their meal truly speaks to the brunch at Kaiser Tiger. The only saving grace  were its drinks, but that’s what one should expect for a sports bar with lots of games and a party-centric atmosphere.  Kaiser Tiger, 1415 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL

Kaiser Tiger Brunch

Most Underwhelming
The Rookery
The food is the only thing that saved this place from an even lower grade. The fried chicken thigh and French toast were delicious, but the service and subpar Bloody Mary has barely placed this spot in the “average” category. The Rookery, 2109 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 

The Rookery Brunch

Worst Service
Public House
Inattentive servers that were just plain clumsy left us bruised and battered from brunch at public house. Howling for a manager is never a good thing. The service was awful here and gives truth to the common  assumption that you can’t get good service at a sport bar. Public House Chicago, 400 N. State Street,  Chicago, IL

Public House Brunch


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