There’s a certain decadence to brunch; snacking the afternoon away with friends and food.
Yes, it is decadent, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. In fact, with everything Chicago’s restaurant scene has to offer, brunch is the perfect opportunity to enjoy exquisitely-prepared dishes made with fresh, wholesome ingredients. We gathered up the healthiest, most mouthwatering brunch spots in Chicago. Get ready to dig in!
With menu sections titled “Grains” and “Greens,” you know the California-esque Left Coast is all about the healthy options. Get an acai bowl, one of the five delicious wraps, or the sweet & savory crepes. The current restaurant is located a bit out of the way in Lincoln Park, but a brand new one will be opening up soon in River North.
Milk & Honey Cafe
You may recognize Milk & Honey’s all-natural granola mixes from grocery and health food stores. But take a trip to this popular breakfast and lunch spot in Wicker Park to enjoy Milk & Honey’s famous granola straight from the source. Their breakfast menu offers 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. So, basically milk and honey.
Get ready for killer combos of breakfast items like steak & eggs, country benedicts and biscuits & gravy. Sounds like it will give you a heart attack? Here’s the catch: It’s all vegan and vegetarian. Don’t go running for the door, though. Chicago Diner’s flavorful, protein-rich, and locally-sourced meals defy stereotypes of bland, un-filling healthy dining. Which is why the restaurant is popular amongst both omnivores and vegetarians. Stop into one or two locations: One on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square, and one on Halsted in Lincoln Park.
If you’ve not yet 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, and, naturally, bread on bread on bread, there’s really no reason to go anywhere else (well, besides all the other amazing places on this list).
Bite, on Western Avenue in Ukrainian Village, is everything you want your brunch place to be: Intimate, sun-lit, comfortable, and fresh. Its brunch selection includes light, healthy options with fresh ingredients — while you’ll find classic favorites like housemade granola and pimento cheese eggs benedict, look out for unconventional but ever-so-appetizing breakfast items. Want to start your day with grilled cheese and tomato fennel soup, a veggie-filled bi bim bop, or a seasonal breakfast salad? Here’s your place.
True Food Kitchen
This chic, healthy favorite has recently come to Chicago, bringing with it brunch options that will delight healthy vegans and carnivores alike. True Food Kitchen is serving up everything from tea and smoothies to quinoa johnny cakes, edamame dumplings, and butternut squash pizza that you can pair with interesting cocktails.
This organic, family-owned restaurant serves American brunch favorites with a Mexican flair. Think chipotle-lime avocado fries, chickpea frittes, garden omelets, and blue scotch kale salad. With locally and sustainably sourced ingredients from USDA organic vendors, Nana leads Bridgeport’s burgeoning restaurant scene. Stop by to check out this cozy, loft-like space filled with original art and cuisine.
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 in your life. Want to judge for yourself? Get to the West Loop right at 10am.
River Valley Farmer's Table
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 delights. 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 their servings are HUGE. The beloved lox platter, for example, offers heaping portions of lox, expanses of fresh fruits and vegetables, a hard-boiled egg, and a bagel. Come hungry!
From the eggs to the pancakes to even the burgers, Beatrix provides healthy breakfast in a chic space. Friend wants boozy brunch, but you’re prepping for a marathon? Beatrix offers cocktails alongside delicious juices, like mango, orange, and pineapple nectar. With two locations within walking distance of each other, and a third in the West Loop, you are also more likely to get a table during the brunch rush.
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 amongst 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. Looking for some über-healthy vegetarian eats? Check out Lula’s tofu and vegetable scramble, the breakfast burrito, or the grain bowl.