Eggs? Muffins? French toast? Where to find Chicago's best breakfasts

Breakfast in Chicago isn’t an afterthought for many restaurateurs and chefs. For some, it’s their bread and butter.

The terms local and sustainable may be buzzwords for some but it’s also what many chefs are serving for breakfast. Chef Jeff Mauro at Jam is lucky to have a weekly farmers market at his disposal because it’s where he sources many of the fresh ingredients for his Logan Square breakfast and lunch spot. Nana in Bridgeport features a list of its local farmers and producers on its website. Make sure to arrive early if your breakfast plans are over a weekend because both locations are popular.

Bringing the kids along? There is no reason to trade in your Bloody Mary’s for sippy cups at spots like Ann Sather’s in Lakeview. And Lou Mitchell’s is a breakfast institution, and a popular spot for politicians and presidents to stop by for a cup of coffee (and a photo op).

Whether you need a great, casual breakfast restaurant near the Loop or want to venture into Chicago’s neighborhoods, you’ll find options from solid to spectacular at our top 10 breakfast recommendations. 

Lou Mitchell's

Mitchell's has been pleasing patrons since 1923, offering old school diner food at its best. Politicians are known to pop in, including Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and George Bush. As soon as you sit down, you're presented with a basket of...  Read More

Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe

Everything about this place is big - the menu, the portions, the flavors, and unfortunately, the lines for a table. But once you're seated, you'll get to select from a large, can't-go-wrong menu of pancakes, skillets, French toast, Belgian...  Read More

Ann Sather Cafe

A neighborhood institution since its Belmont Avenue location opened in 1945, there are now three locations in the city. Once owned by a local named Anne Sather, the Swedish-influenced restaurant is now run by Chicago Alderman Tom Tunney. The...  Read More


This is a tiny, affordable and fantastic breakfast spot on the North Side, bordering the Ravenswood and Lincoln Square neighborhoods. It will be difficult to order, because all the creative, gourmet twists they put on their breakfast dishes and...  Read More

JAM is known for its contemporary food presentation but that doesn't mean taste is an afterthought at this popular Logan Square breakfast, brunch and lunch spot. Chef Jeff Mauro and his team develop use locally grown and sustainable ingredients...  Read More

Large pieces of artwork line the exposed brick walls while light bathes the interior through the floor to ceiling windows in Nana in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood. The family-owned and organic restaurant is very much interested in serving...  Read More

The menu at Lula's is an eclectic mix of American eats. Try the Cornbread French toast, which was two squares of light and crisp-on-the-outside cornbread, served with berries, coconut-scented streusel and sweet corn anglaise. They also do a...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of m. henry

This Andersonville neighborhood favorite is beloved for its new American-styled breakfasts, adorable setting, and use of locally sourced and organic food. They also have a small but fantastic carry-out bakery. It's family-friendly but also a...  Read More

Little Goat Diner
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Boka Restaurant Group

Celebrity chief Stephanie Izard's adorable modern diner includes creative and delicious breakfasts, including dark chocolate chip crunch pancakes, Fat Elvis waffles, and a fun dish named "Kimchee & Bacon & Eggs & Pancakes Asian Style...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Yolk.

This breakfast, brunch and lunch chain is expanding into new locations across the city because, well, the food is amazing. Yolk has all the standard breakfast foods you'd expect, like omelets, frittatas, crepes, oatmeal, French toast and eggs...  Read More


Meet Jamie Bartosch

Jamie Bartosch is a lifelong Chicagoan who thinks her hometown is the greatest city in the world. She is an award-winning newspaper reporter, a freelance travel writer, and the mother of two great kids.