UPDATED JUL 14, 2020
Whether you’re in it for the Instagram opps, an excuse to day drink, or just the chance to get in on some good grub, brunch is pretty much unbeatable. So, we’ve rounded up the healthiest ones in Chicago.
With menu sections titled “Grains” and “Greens”, you know you’ve stumbled onto some healthy grub. When it comes to brunch, this California-inspired chain is all about acai bowls, buckwheat pancakes, and house-made smoothies to kick off your day with good-for-you ingredients such as coconut butter, spinach, and yams. Check them out in Lincoln Park, River North, and The Loop.
You may recognize Milk & Honey’s all-natural granola mixes from the grocery store, but trust us: it’s even better coming straight from the source. Their Wicker Park breakfast menu also offers up a variety of a more traditional morning entrees, but the stand-out item is simple and healthy: vanilla yogurt, fresh fruit, and house-made granola. Or, essentially, milk and honey — get it?
Loosen your belt buckles. You’re in for killer combos of breakfast items like steak and eggs, country benedicts and biscuits, and sausage gravy. Sounds like it will give you a heart attack? Here’s the catch: it’s all vegan and vegetarian. Chicago Diner’s flavorful, protein-rich, and locally-sourced meals defy stereotypes of bland, un-filling healthy dining, making it popular among both omnivores and vegetarians. Stop into one of their two locations: one on Milwaukee Ave. in Logan Square and one on Halsted St. in Lincoln Park.
If you haven't hit up Baker Miller in Lincoln Square, you’ve been missing out. The restaurant side of this local grain mill is whipping up amazing oatmeal, grain bowls, and grits. Since BM can also fulfill your cheat day cravings with biscuits, homemade butter, and jam, there’s really no reason to go anywhere else (well, besides all the other amazing places on this list).
Like in many other cities across the nation, this chic, healthy favorite has popped up in Chicago, bringing with it brunch options that will delight healthy vegans and carnivores alike. Based on the philosophy that “food should make you feel better, not worse”, True Food Kitchen is serving up everything from tea and smoothies to smashed avocado toast, quinoa-based banana pancakes (gluten-free lovers, this is your jam), and butternut squash pizza that you can pair with interesting cocktails.
There’s a reason Avec is always on the list of Chicago’s best restaurants, and with its Mediterranean theme, it’s one of the healthiest Sunday brunches around. We’re crazy about the breakfast hummus, complete with the best pita you’ve ever had. Want to judge for yourself? Get to the West Loop right at 10am.
You may know River Valley from the local farmers markets, where they sell unreal mushrooms, granola, and salsas. But their Ravenswood shop is also serving up unique brunch with fresh ingredients loaded with vegetables. Fried green tomatoes, avocado benedict, and beet salad are all up for grabs, and after brunch, you can grab some of that incredible granola to go.
Serving daily in a historic art deco building in Uptown, Tweet is an art-filled eatery that strives to serve antibiotic-free, hormone-free, and organic. With entire gluten-free and vegetarian menus, individuals with dietary restrictions can dig in to classic breakfast items such as gluten-free pancakes and healthy breakfast burritos. Oh, and the servings are HUGE. The beloved lox platter, for example, offers heaping portions of lox, fresh fruits and vegetables, a hard-boiled egg, and a bagel. Come hungry!
From the chia cereal bowl to the quinoa cakes with poached eggs, Beatrix provides healthy breakfast in a chic space. Your friend wants boozy brunch, but you’re prepping for a marathon? Beatrix has you covered with cocktails served up alongside delicious juices, like mango, orange, and pineapple nectar. With four locations, there’s no excuse not to stop in!
Celebrated as one of the forerunners of Chicago’s farm-to-table movement, this Logan Square eatery is trendy, inviting, and downright delicious. A favorite among everyone from sophisticated foodies to the neighborhood’s hip and hungover 20-somethings, Lula’s brunch crowd is always lively. It’s popular for a reason; diners will find casual yet finely-prepared fare cooked with healthy, locally-sourced ingredients. Check out Lula’s Seedy Brown Butter Granola, house-made bone broth with charred lemon and marash chile, or try the latest signature sandwich in Lula's breakfast sandwich series.
Boasting the first certified-organic rooftop farm in the United States, you can be sure that everything you consume at Uncommon Ground’s two cafes will be made with the very freshest of ingredients. You’re also guaranteed plenty of savory-yet-nourishing brunch choices. We’re partial to the seasonal vegan veggie hash (chock-full of carrots, mushrooms, squash, and other good-for-you stuff), salmon and avocado toast, and organic Greek yogurt and granola — mmm!
The folks at Lincoln Park’s Blue Door Farm Stand believe the “season should dictate what’s on the table”, so the menu’s always changing, but you can be sure it will be fresh and delicious. Last we checked, you can indulge in Ava’s egg white omelette (a protein-packed serving of spinach, kale pesto, avocado, bacon, Swiss, havarti, green tomato relish, and mozzarella), whole wheat wraps stuffed with plenty of veggies, or, for those craving lunch, a veggie burger served with mixed greens.
Where modern dishes are made with locally sourced ingredients and vibrant, global flavors, Centre Street Kitchen in Lincoln Park aims to be at the intersection of “eating well, doing well, and being well”. At their weekend brunch, try the Berry Salad with house granola, honeyed quinoa, mint, and crème fraîche or go savory with the Breakfast Banh Mi, served with smoked pork rillette and scrambled eggs on a wheat baguette with all the fixings. Even better — Centre Street Kitchen integrates community initiatives into their restaurant. Who can argue with a brunch that benefits?
Get the latest news on Chicago’s fitness scene.