Where to get brunch on Saturday in Chicago
It may be less loved than Sunday, but Saturday is a perfectly acceptable day to brunch.
David Burke’s Primehouse David Burke’s name is on the door of this modern steakhouse, but make no mistake—chef Rick Gresh is the one in the kitchen. Under the duo’s jurisdiction, warm popovers stand in for bread, filets are unstoppably tender and rich, and brunch gets served in bento boxes with themes like “griddled” (pancakes and French toast) and “hangover” (burgers, fries and sunglasses). It’s not your mama’s steakhouse. Yet your parents will want you to take them here again and again. 616 N Rush St (312-660-6000). El: Red to Grand. Bus: 3, 10, 26, 33, 36, 125, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151. Breakfast, brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch (Mon–Sat), dinner. Average main course: $45.
Frontera Grill Since opening its doors in ’87, Frontera Grill has been the spot for an intensely flavorful, impeccably fresh slice of Mexico, courtesy of celebrity chef and Top Chef Masters winner Rick Bayless. With the help of chef Richard James, the menu changes often, but the flavors are always punchy and bright. Expect stellar versions of Mexican classics like enchiladas, mole and flautas; spot-on ceviches; and, for Saturday brunch, white-corn pancakes with whipped goat cheese. 445 N Clark St (312-661-1434). El: Brown, Purple (rush hrs) to Merchandise Mart; Red to Grand. Bus: 22, 29, 36, 65. Brunch (Sat), lunch (Tue–Fri), dinner (Tue–Sat). Average main course: $15.
HotChocolate Don’t let the name fool you—it’s not just desserts here. And to be honest, the seasonal, savory side of the menu is just as tempting as the sweets. For brunch we recommend the duo of salads (egg and tuna, both richer and more delicious than any version you’ve had before), but only if you start with the incomparable brunch breads—a selection of coffee cake, croissants and other breakfast breads that rivals chef Mindy Segal’s plated desserts. 1747 N Damen Ave (773-489-1747). El: Blue to Damen. Bus: 50, 56, 72, 73. Brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch (Wed–Fri), dinner (closed Mon). Average main course: $20.
Longman & Eagle This place, owned in part by the Empty Bottle guys, is staffed by hipsters who know hospitality and a chef (Jared Wentworth) who knows pub grub: He turns the quizzical texture of beef tongue into a hash alternately crisp and fatty, and he deep-fries clams to perfection. While the gluttony of some of the dishes can throw things off balance, enough cheap whiskey (dozens are available for three bucks) can cut through just about anything. Booze has its place at brunch, too, where a menu of morning cocktails and plenty of duck eggs helps bite the hair of the dog. 2657 N Kedzie Ave (773-276-7110). El: Blue to Logan Square. Bus: 56, 76. Brunch (Sat, Sun), dinner. Average main course: $18.
Tweet Michelle Fire’s theory for her restaurant is “good food for nice people.” That’s putting it mildly. Her popular brunch offerings include addictive standbys like the “Bib im Bop,” a play on bibimbap, a Korean casserole of rice, veggies and egg; organic corn arepas topped with organic eggs and avocado; and biscuits and gravy made with Amish sausages from Michigan and Indiana. Fire also features dishes made from the recipes of artists whose work covers the walls. 5020 N Sheridan Rd (773-728-5576). El: Red to Argyle. Bus: 81, 92, 151. Breakfast, brunch (Sat, Sun), lunch (closed Tue). Average main course: $15.