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weekend brunch downtown?

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Brunch-mad Torontonians in town for a weekend seek unique/delicious brunch spots for Sat or Sun mornings. We will be staying in the Loop so prefer within a 30 minute walk - Loop, South Loop, River North, West Loop... Would prefer not to wait in line more than 30 minutes so if you suggest super popular places that don't take reservations, please suggest a strategy (eg. show up when they open?). Remember we are from out of town so it doesn't matter if the place has been around forever, as long as it is still good.

I am considering the following but open to all suggestions: Heaven on Seven, Frontera Grill, Orange, Wishbone, XOCO, Bongo Room.

We prefer a substantial style of brunch to fill us up all day. We don't like buffets.

Thanks in advance

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  1. Heaven on Seven is more like a cajun breakfast than a brunch, but it is one of my favorites in the Loop area. That being said, they don't open until 10:00 on Saturday, and I don't believe they're open on Sunday. On the other hand, most think of HoS as a lunch spot, so they're not usually very crowded for breakfast.

    Bongo Room draws a crowd Saturday and Sunday, so you'll probably want to be there when they open. I find their pancake offerings to be quite substantial (they even offer half-orders).

    1. Wishbone is a good hearty southern breakfast/brunch meal that, I promise you will keep you filled up all day. I don't know when they open, but I've never waited long. Still, it wouldn't hurt to get there early, especially on a weekend.

      My second choice would be Bongo Room, but there is almost always a 45-min + wait after about 10 am, so, yes, go early.

      Orange is good, but if I were choosing between Bongo and Orange, it's Bongo easy.

      I have never been to brunch at Frontera -- in fact I'm not sure they have brunch (website says they open @ 11:30, but there is brunch menu) and XOCO is brand new with still mixed reviews.

      I know a lot of people really like Heaven on Seven. I am not one of them. I'm not shy about spicy food, but everything I've had there has been so spicy, I couldn't taste anything else. I believe that Wabash Ave. location is better than the one on Ontario.

      Two other really good breakfast options would be Ina's on west Randolph and Meli Cafe on Halsted Street in Greektown, just west of the Kennedy.

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      Ina's
      1235 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

      Meli Cafe & Juice Bar
      301 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60661

      1. Try Flo
        www.eatatflo.com

        1434 W Chicago Ave
        Chicago, IL 60642-5232
        (312) 243-0477

        Outstanding and different from your typical brunch. The huevos verdes will blow you away. And the green chile bloody mary is spectacular!

        1 Reply
        1. re: rebeks

          I haven't made it to flo's yet, but there's no excuse for using "zabione" as a description on the menu. It's like Jennifer on Top Chef saying "suh-beesh."