The Best Brunch and Breakfast Spots in Chicago's South Loop

Chicago's South Loop is home to many brunch and breakfast spots
Chicago's South Loop is home to many brunch and breakfast spots | © Henryk Sadura / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Justin Kamp
18 July 2019

As the name implies, the South Loop is the southern extension of Chicago’s central financial district, and while there are still plenty of skyscrapers and high-end joints around, South Loop also captures a bit of the neighborhood feel that many visitors to the city’s North Side find so enchanting. It’s this versatility that makes the South Loop a great brunch sampler kit – there’s highbrow, lowbrow and everything in between. Here are the best brunch spots to choose from.

Mercat a la Planxa

Bistro, Spanish, $$$
Mercat a la Planxa
Mercat a la Planxa | © Mercat a la Planxa

If you’re looking for something outside of the normal American breakfast continuum, head to Mercat a la Planxa on Michigan Avenue. Mercat is a cool little Catalan tapas joint on weekdays, but on the weekends it opens its door bright and early and serves up a specialized brunch menu with the exquisite, exotic flavors one would expect from a Catalan feast. We’re talking eggs with truffle hollandaise and chorizo links or bacon-wrapped dates with Marcona almonds alongside bellinis and cava and thyme mixers. It’s savory, sultry and a great way to spice up the pancake-and-omelette routine.

Manny's Coffee Shop and Deli

Deli, Restaurant, Coffee Shop, American, Vegetarian, Fast Food, Soup, $$$
Manny’s is a staple. It’s the place that everyone has been to at some point, where stories are hashed and rehashed and memories come swirling back. It’s a quick hop and a skip across the river, but it’s highly worth it for the can’t-miss deli-style fare. Our go-to is usually the pastrami on rye, though they have a range of more breakfast-oriented crossovers to sate whatever hunger is in you. There’s simply nothing better than a Manny’s sandwich and a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning.

The Spoke and Bird

Cafe, Healthy, Coffee, $$$

This bespoke little corner café in the historic Prairie District is perfect for taking a long brunch on the patio. Their menu is full of eclectic gems like the bronut, a jelly-filled brioche donut, or the vegetarian mushroom melt. Their drink menu is a treat whether you’re craving something alcoholic or not, featuring coffee and tea creations alongside a range of craft beer options. It’s the perfect choice if you’d like to enjoy a midday meal in the fresh air.

Fatpour Chicago

Bar, Restaurant, American, Pub Grub, $$$
An offshoot of the original Wicker Park location, this South Loop spot is a bit cozier, while still retaining the massive selection of specialty beers that made the original such a hit. Their brunch menu is also fantastic, especially considering that Fatpour is a brewpub first and foremost. There are breakfast sliders, breakfast calzones and breakfast pizza. Think of a combination of breakfast food and bar food, and Fatpour will have it.

Chicago Firehouse Restaurant

Gastropub, American, $$$

This elegant spot is known more as a steakhouse, but its fantastic menu and understated beauty make it a great spot for a late brunch or transition into dinner. Housed in an old firehouse, the original restaurant was heavily damaged in a 2014 fire. While the remodeled place retains much of the stately marble-and-mahogany charm of the original, the update brings a sleeker, airier feel that’s perfect for dining in the daylight. The menu is similarly elegant, with brunch options ranging from high-end cuisine (short-rib benedict) to classic comfort (fried chicken).

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