In the past few weeks, Chicago’s brunch scene has exploded exponentially. Across the city, restaurants new and old have rolled out new brunch programs, which run the gamut from seafood-centric and Chinese to Argentine, Mexican, and more. Here are the newest brunch menus in town and what to be eating on weekends these days.
Smack Shack: This new seafood entry in Fulton Market comes by way of Minneapolis, where Smack Shack originated as a lobster roll-focused food truck before putting down roots as a wildly popular restaurant. With expansion to Chicago’s Google Building in the West Loop, the company has officially expanded its nautical wares. After recently opening, the restaurant has already rounded out its repertoire with a new brunch program inspired by New Orleans’ French Quarter. Brunch starts at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Duck Duck Goat: Elsewhere in Fulton Market, red-hot Duck Duck Goat has added more contemporary Chinese fare to fawn over with the introduction of weekend brunch. Naturally, the focus here on Sundays is dim sum, which includes items like duck egg rolls, pork buns, scallion pancakes, and wood-fired duck hearts.
Arami: While Duck Duck Goat covers the Chinese landscape, Arami offers a Japanese brunch alternative in West Town. With dishes like chicken sausage steam buns, brunch bento boxes, matcha French toast beignets, ramen, and tonkatsu sandwiches, there’s lots of unique Sunday morning offerings to be had.
Bub City Rosemont: Fresh off expansion to Rosemont, Chicago’s popular barbecue haunt has added brunch to the mix, complete with a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. Available every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., Southern-accented dishes include biscuit sandwiches, chicken and waffles, and cinnamon sticky buns.
Forbidden Root: In case West Town’s new botanical brewpub is impossible to get into in the evening, Sunday brunch should help alleviate the wait times. With a menu focused on twists of American classics, diners can expect dishes like malted hanger steak with provolone scrambled eggs, pork belly and kimchi pancakes with tokaji maple syrup, French toast with smoked peanut butter mousse, and ramen with duck confit and poached duck egg.
Artango Bar & Steakhouse: For brunch with a bit of a South American kick, Artango Bar & Steakhouse, which recently moved and reopened in Lincoln Square, fits the bill nicely. On deck from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, the eclectic menu features dishes like crepas with dulce de leche, parilla-grilled sirloin with fried eggs, French toast with apple cider and fruit, and lomito, an Argentine grilled skirt steak sandwich with avocado and fried egg.
Saint Lou’s Assembly: The West Loop’s hot new “meat ’n’ three” concept has introduced a new cafeteria-inspired brunch program to its weekend protocol. Rooted in counter-service traditions of the South, Saint Lou’s features a tantalizing lineup of items to fill your tray with. Meats to pick from include chicken fried steak, sausage Wellington, and fried chicken with red pepper jelly. To accompany, guests can pick from sides such as hashbrowns, mac & cheese, yogurt, and more.
Dos Urban Cantina: When those Mexican brunch cravings sink in, head over to Dos Urban Cantina in Logan Square. The contemporary Mexican restaurant just added an ongoing Sunday brunch buffet, which consists of a three-tier spread of savory and sweet items. Standouts include a guacamole bar, chilaquiles, sweet corn tamales, empanadas, Mexican chocolate coffee cake, and cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. The full buffet is priced at $24 per person and brunch is served Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. A range of Mexican cocktails are available to drink.
3 Greens Market: In other buffet news, River North’s quintessential buffet haunt has added brunch service on weekends from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. There’s a hot buffet of breakfast dishes sold by the pound, along with a Bloody Mary bar, burgers from Small Cheval, pastrami sandwiches, coffee drinks, cocktails, and more. Brunch items include fried chicken, buttermilk and gluten-free pancakes, biscuits and pastrami gravy, cheesy grits, smoked sausage, and frittatas.