If you're the kind of person who gets giddy the night before about breakfast and that first sip of coffee the next day, this list is your breakfast bible.
Daley's Restaurant has been at it since 1892 and you won't find Belgian Waffles with pork chops or chicken wings at those fancy downtown places selling $6 coffee concoctions. Speaking of the South Side, Chicago's Home of Chicken and Waffles is the real deal in soul food breakfast (with a second location in Oak Park). Wicker Park's Dove's Luncheonette is is a loving tribute to the diners of old Chicago with its 41-stool counter service, but chef de cuisine Tom Carlin turning out some show stopping burnt ends hash with eggs that 1955 never enjoyed. And, you can't beat the old-timey vibe at Lou Mitchell's.
There's plenty for families with little noshers, too. Yolk, a local success story that began in the South Loop in 2006 and now boasts seven more outposts in Chicago as well as others in Indiana and Texas, and Southern Belles expanding across the suburbs, welcomes kids to instill their love of having breakfast out. Cupitol, in Evanston and Streeterville, shines in the breakfast pastries department.
The hottest items filling breakfast menus these days include chilaquiles, chicken and waffles, soft buttery biscuits served as sandwiches or crowned with spicy sausage gravy and the ubiquitous avocado toast.