The Best Brunch And Breakfast Spots In Old Town, Chicago

Brunch at Nookie's | © Edsel Little/Flickr
Brunch at Nookie's | © Edsel Little/Flickr
Photo of Katie Mastropieri
1 November 2016

Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood houses some of the most diverse brunch experiences in the city. You’ll find sports bars, family-owned restaurants, and even contemporary, trendy and upscale dining.


Restaurant, Italian, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, $$$
Map View
Orso’s, Chicago
Orso’s, Chicago | © Ted Eytan/Flickr
Orso’s is normally known for its visually appealing atmosphere, but when it comes to Sunday funday, it’s known for its bottomless mimosas. It serves all-you-can-drink mimosas until 3pm. If that’s not music to your ears, then it’s good to know it has phenomenal outdoor dining and a romantic ambiance. It’s one of the few brunch spots in Old Town that takes reservations. It’s also noted that this restaurant is extremely accommodating to vegans and the portion sizes are often the size of your head.

Kanela Breakfast Club

Situated in a prime location on Wells Street, Kanela Breakfast Club consistently receives rave reviews on their Bloody Marys (with grilled cheese in it), loukoumades (Greek cinnamon donuts), s’mores pancakes and their eggs Benedict. The best part of this brunch is that the wait time is not overwhelmingly long like most without reservations. If you’re visiting in the summer, we recommend sitting outside on the patio. If visiting in the winter, then order their killer mint hot chocolate.

Kanela Breakfast Club, 1552 N Wells St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 255 1206

Happy Camper

Bar, Pizzeria, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, $$$
Map View
With tire swings hanging from the ceiling and a bar made of bullets, it’s easy to say that Happy Camper is the most American-looking bar on Wells Street – in a great way. With a lively atmosphere, this is a fantastic way to Sunday brunch without being overwhelmed by the college type of partying on Wells Street. By the same owner of Homeslice, Happy Camper also serves their Bloody Marys garnished with mini pepperoni pizza slices. There is an epic vintage Airstream RV set up inside the place as well.


Nookies has the earliest opening time for any BYOB in this area and is noted for their outstanding, friendly service. Needless to say, this is a great place to start your day for brunch, whether the mimosas are flowing or not. Secondly, it’s a phenomenal way to satisfy a sweet tooth considering their stuffed brioche French toast, and delicious crepes. Their seasonal specials generally include various cream and berry combinations. As a family-owned, local chain with all-day breakfasts, Nookies is an easy win with a limited wait time.

Nookies, 1746 N Wells St, Chicago, IL, USA, +1 312 337 2454


Bar, Restaurant, Beer, Cocktails, American, Pub Grub, $$$
Map View
If you’re searching for the best cinnamon roll or the best chicken and waffle platter in Old Town, then look no further. With a wide variety of food options, and an even wider variety of beer and cocktail options, The VIG is a great brunch option for that friend who is a picky eater. It’s good to recognize that this is also a brunch spot that opens early, takes reservations, and has every sports event on their 10+ TVs. Although it’s considered more of a bar than a restaurant, its upscale interior design is very attractive. Additionally, it gives off a comfortable, laid-back vibe.

Earl’s Kitchen + Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Cocktails, American, Beer, Vegetarian, $$$
Map View
Earl’s Kitchen + Bar borders Lincoln Park and Old Town in the trendy new city and has an outstanding brunch. Although the brunch menu does not have an extensive variety, the French toast is second to none. Furthermore, it’s Instagram-chic; their most popular cocktail, the Century Sour, comes with a personalized message in the froth atop the cocktail. It’s a very fun feature for those seeking out the hair of the dog option. Earl’s is originally from Canada (with more than 60 locations) but can still claim that everything is fresh and made in-house.

Elly’s Pancake House

Diner, American, $$$
Map View
Elly’s Pancake House, Chicago
Elly’s Pancake House, Chicago | © Chad Kainz/Flickr
Elly’s is a notable diner because it’s open 24 hours and is also known for their ‘twilight milkshakes’ and specialty pancakes. The icing on the cake: most locals state that you will not find faster service in Old Town for a sit-down brunch option. With ginormous portions and fantastic for those on a budget, Elly’s will satisfy your sweet tooth with their wide variety of comfort food.