Six Great Places to Booze Up Your Brunch

What is brunch without a little booze? Sure, there's coffee and orange juice, but the lazy weekend repast is just so much more satisfying adjoined by a brunch cocktail or two. From crafty Bloody Marys to coffee cocktails, here are our picks for Chicago's most essential boozy brunch beverages. 


Lillie's Q
Lillie's Q Bloody Mary, photo by Neil Burger

The Promontory: This sprawling Hyde Park Mecca certainly has a way with warming cocktails. Two of their standout drinks off the brunch cocktail list offer novel twists on classic hot cocktails, including a riff on Irish coffee and hot buttered rum. The former features Tullamore Dew, La Colombe coffee, maple whipped cream, and nutmeg, while the latter contains brown butter-infused rum, maple syrup, cinnamon stick, and "winter magic." 

Lillie's Q: The Bloody Mary is a great drink to riff off of, considering the sheer blank-canvas versatility of tomato juice + liquor. At Lillie's Q, they raise the bar by using moonshine as the spirit of choice, served in a mason jar with spicy housemade Bloody Mary mix and a stick of housemade beef jerky. 

Dove's Luncheonette: The entire cocktail menu at Dove's Luncheonette is a dreamy, inventive, and refreshing twist on the brunch norm. Of the many tempting options, there's La Hora made with Tromba Blanco, Aperol, orange cordial, spiced grenadine, lime, and JP Chenet Brut; a mezcal old fashioned made with Besk, cinnamon, and grapefruit bitters; and a coffee cocktail featuring Dark Matter coffee, Cruzan Blackstrap Rum, Hacienda Vieja Reposado, Amaro di Angostura, and housemade almond milk. 

The Radler: For something bright, floral, and life-affirming, try the Glass Coffin at The Radler. The German restaurant combines gin with elderflower, allspice dram, pear syrup, lime, and egg white for this refreshing brunch option. 

mfk: Bourbon gets creamy (and it works!) at mfk, where the Soco Leite cocktail is just one of a handful of inventive brunch cocktails on hand. The Spanish-leaning restaurant makes this cocktail with Portuguese brandy, bourbon, half and half, and nutmeg. 

Flo: "Brunch" and "shots" don't usually go together, unless you're a real party animal. But at this Mexican-accented West Town staple, you'd be wise to think twice. The restaurant does a nice "breakfast shot" by mixing house bacon-infused bourbon with butterscotch Schnapps. It's served with an orange juice chase. 

- Matt Kirouac