Sweet or savory; healthy or the belly bomb: Chicago's best breakfasts

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.  



The menu at Lula's is an eclectic mix of American dishes elevated by sheer culinary invention. If you love a lox plate (which is offered here) you'll find the smoked lake trout scramble with arugula, dill, and whipped cream cheese a thing of...  Read More

Lou Mitchell's


Lou Mitchell's has been flipping fluffy omelettes since 1923, offering old timey diner food at its best. Politicians are known to pop in, including Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and George Bush but they won't get a box of Milk Duds upon entering...  Read More



Cupitol is an all-day eatery located in Streeterville and Evanston that serves just what you crave after the sunrise. Choose various breakfast sandwiches and protein breakfasts like housemade corned beef hash poached eggs; a deliciously sloppy...  Read More

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


Everything about this place is large - the menu, portions, flavors, and unfortunately, the lines for a table. But once you're seated, you'll get to select from an encyclopedic menu of pancakes, skillets, French toast, Belgian waffles, crepes and...  Read More



John Daley, an Irish iron worker who came to Chicago to work on building the elevated line, saw a need for a restaurant to feed all the men constructing the University of Chicago, The World's Columbian Exposition and the Rapid Transit Line. More...  Read More

Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Yolk.


The first Yolk opened in the South Loop in 2006 and has added seven more outposts in Chicago as well as others in Indiana and Texas. The appeal appears to be fresh food, large portions and reasonable prices. What's not to love? Yolk is known...  Read More



You'll find the ever expanding list of Southern Belle's Pancake Houses in Barrington, Bedford Park, Minooka, Plainfield, Yorkville and Carpentersville always packed with people who love them some breakfast. Of course, there are all the...  Read More

Chicago's Home of Chicken & Waffles
Photo courtesy of Chicagos Home of Chicken and Waffles


The Bronzeville spot debuted in 2008 (with a second location in Oak Park in 2010) and owner Tonya Johnson's aim is to "serve food that takes you back to the good ole' days when your grandmother would be in the kitchen, waking up the entire house...  Read More



Older Chicagoans fondly recall "luncheonettes" and diners where you could get a cup of joe and a platter full of well greased breakfast foods for very little dough. No doubt, Wicker Park had its share in the 40's to 60's but now we have Dove's...  Read More

Ukranian Village


The latest Kanela location in Ukrainian Village is just as impressive as the spots in Andersonville, Lakeview, Old Town, Wicker Park, and Streeterville. All Kanela locations feature a warm and cozy ambience amid the zeal of the kitchen and...  Read More


Meet Jacky Runice

Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and...  More About Jacky