But later this spring, if you’re up in Chicago for a weekend baseball game or an overnight getaway and are on the hunt for eggs of a different kind – say, on a plate, in a sandwich or inside a skillet – you can find them at some of the city’s best brunches, along with plenty more. Interestingly, the concept of brunch is said to have actually been popularized in Chicago during the 1930s when movie stars, celebrities and other wealthy folks riding the rails cross-country would stop off in town between trains for a late morning meal. If you’re looking to grab the same near Wrigley Field, U.S. Cellular Field or the heart of the city, here are some suggestions:
BEFORE A CUBS GAME:
Southport Grocery and Café
Located just a few blocks west of Wrigley Field, but a world away from the gameday chaos that surrounds the ballpark, the Southport Grocery and Café (3552 N. Southport Ave.) allows for great people-watching from its patio seating along the sidewalk.
Its menu, meanwhile, includes entrees such as Brisket & Gravy featuring house-smoked brisket gravy over buttermilk biscuits, “The Southern” omelet with housemade sausage, red onions and pimento cheese, and pancakes that are made from cupcake batter.
Just a few blocks east of Wrigley Field at 3611 N. Broadway St., you’ll find a world of waffles at the appropriately named restaurant.
With a sweet and savory selection of more than a dozen unique options, waffles include Red Velvet with strawberry compote and whipped cream cheese, Mexican Chocolate with orange anglaise topped with spicy cocoa powder and shaved dark chocolate, and even a coffee-braised short rib waffle topped with Wisconsin cheddar and scallions.
BEFORE A WHITE SOX GAME:
The Bridgeport neighborhood near U.S. Cellular Field isn’t renowned for its dining options. But when it comes to brunch, Nana hits a home run.
Located less than a mile west of the ballpark at 3267 S. Halsted St., Nana offers a wide array of delectable options include huevos rancheros, grilled shrimp and fried oyster po’ boys, cinnamon-apple pancakes and a specialized version of eggs Benedict called the “Nanadict.”
Situated at 1227 W. 18th St. in Chicago’s eclectic Pilsen neighborhood about three miles from The Cell, Dusek’s opened to fanfare in 2013, in large part because of its equally eclectic brunch menu.
Among its fares are biscuts and duck neck gravy, oyster hash, choucroute latke and a concoction called the “Juicy Lucy” featuring ground beef, red onion-bacon marmalade, butter lettuce and heirloom tomatoes on a house-baked pretzel bun with a side of duck fat fries.
OR, IF YOU’RE DOWNTOWN:
If you’re staying downtown and seeking brunch, it’s often best to go west. For example, to The Publican, located at 837 W. Fulton Market St. in the West Loop, where the entertainment website thrillist.com says the brunch formula is simple:
“Order a cocktail, some fresh oysters, and the Breakfast Bollito Misto (w/ maple sausage, corned beef heart, pork belly, and a poached egg), and the flavorful smoked Arctic char omelet (w/ dill, crème fraiche, and salmon roe), and their $3 bottomless coffee. You can’t go wrong.”
Located in West Town, just beyond the Kennedy Expressway, Flo sounds like your typical diner, but it’s actually a quirky spot that’s Latin-themed but best known for its Fruity Pebbles French toast.
To wash the food down, there are also three varieties of Bloody Marys, eight types of mimosas and a Breakfast Shot with house-made bacon-infused bourbon and butterscotch Schnapps with an orange juice chaser.