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Best Weekday Brunch/Lunch Places?

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I want to take out a friend as a thank you to a nice weekday brunch or lunch. What are your favorite spots for weekday brunches and/or lunches?

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  1. Brunch places - those with menus which include breakfast items like eggs, pancakes, etc - are different from lunch places, which may have the same or similar menu to what they serve for dinner.

    I've tried most of the breakfast/brunch specialty places around town, and posted reports on some of them in the big brunch topic at www.chow.com/topics/364403 My favorites for breakfast/brunch on weekdays are, in order, starting with my top pick:

    1. Walker Brothers (6 locations in north/northwest suburbs) - Absolutely fantastic, from their terrific puffed-up cinnamon-y apple pancake to the great omelets to the exquisite stained glass d├ęcor. HIGHLY recommended!!! - www.walkerbrosoph.com

    2. Jam (Chicago/Logan Square) - Closest thing you'll find to a fancy haute cuisine place for breakfast/brunch, yet casual and inexpensive - www.jamrestaurant.com

    3a. M. Henry (Chicago/Andersonville) - www.mhenry.net
    3b. M. Henrietta (Chicago/Edgewater) - www.mhenrietta.com

    4. Bongo Room (3 city locations) - www.thebongoroom.com

    5. Southport Grocery (Chicago/Lakeview) - www.southportgrocery.com

    6. Batter & Berries (Chicago/Lakeview) - http://chicago.menupages.com/restaura...

    For lunch type places, it depends to a large extent on location. Where are you and your friend located? In general, I'd recommend places that are great for dinner and open for lunch. The top places downtown that immediately come to mind include Blackbird, Topolobampo, Naha, Sable, Purple Pig, Piccolo Sogno, and GT Fish. There are many good options in outlying neighborhoods and the suburbs as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsxtasy

      I'll second those with the exception of Walker Brothers, which would not make it to my top 50. I'll also suggest Tweet in Uptown, which is essentially a brunch restaurant (open 9-3) and Tre Kronor on Foster, which is a cute little place that serves Swedish specialties along with more traditional breakfast/lunch options.

    2. Chicago has some wonderful breakfast/brunch places. It sort of depends on where you are.

      I just had an amazing brunch at Longman and Eagle. They serve brunch all day weekdays and weekends. I had a perfectly cooked porchini omelete and my companion had a smoked salmon benedict that was out of this world. Great lunches served also.

      Jam is good.

      There is a wonderful, relatively new place on Diversey called Two Sparrows that is not to be missed for breakfast/brunch/lunch.

      Just to let you know I am not a fan of super sweet food and much prefer savory especially for breakfast/brunch.

      That puts Bongo Room on my second-choice list. Their pancakes are unbearably sweet for me.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chicgail

        Completely agree with Longman & Eagle. Whenever I get a weekday off, I make it a point to eat lunch at L&E. Hardly any crowds and a great menu. Their chicken and waffles is amazing and the tete de cochon is very rich and satisfying.

        1. re: danimalarkey

          Longman is one of our favorites for dinner and weekend brunch, although I have yet to have the luxury of a weekday off when I can grab brunch so I couldn't speak to whether it gets crowded or not. Now that I know I'll have to play hooky some morning.

      2. I agree with most of the suggestions below. At Walker Bros. the only thing I love is the baked apple pancake. The rest seems pretty ordinary.
        One addition to the list is Marmalade at Montrose and Damen. They have some good savory egg dishes, many but by no means all, with a Mexican flair.