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No matter what time of day or day of the week, somewhere in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood is guaranteed to be serving brunch. Find the best places by following your nose – and our guide.
Since 1995, this Wicker Park staple at the corner of Ashland and North Avenue has perfected the art of the all-American diner. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert are served here 24 hours a day, every day of the week, 365 days of the year. Hollywood Grill’s vibe matches its name impeccably: brightly colored booths lined up underneath a painted mural of the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles, a flashy yellow gumball machine, and a kitschy bar lined with multi-colored tiles and bright red retro stools. From 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. kids eat for $1.99 and everything on their early riser menu is only $6.99 between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. If you’re feeling the old-school vibe, try the meatloaf or the continental breakfast. If you’re a more innovative eater, there’s the apple caramel waffle or the avocado Benedict. Either way, there’s always fresh fruit pie à la mode.
With a fireplace inside and a quiet patio outside, Milk & Honey Cafe is a year-round breakfast destination. Head to this welcoming, counter-service spot for huevos rancheros (served “casserole style” with scrambled eggs, black beans, salsa, and a blend of cheeses) and orange brioche French toast (topped with toasted almonds and maple syrup).
Don’t be fooled by the picture-perfect cakes decorating the front window – there’s more to Alliance than special occasion cakes. Head here for breakfast pastries, including perfectly flaky almond croissants and the deliciously buttery French pastry kouign-amann. And while you’re here, you might as well pick up some macarons “for later.”
Vegetarians and vegans flock to this Wicker Park hipster haven for comfort food with a vegetarian twist. Favorites at Handlebar include the fried avocado tacos, served with cabbage slaw, tomatoes, queso fresco, refried beans, and house-made ranch. A majority of the menu can also be prepared vegan upon request, plus there are many gluten-free options. Handlebar also adds a slight twist to the classic vodka-tomato juice Bloody Mary. Instead of a splash of Worcestershire sauce, which many bartenders reach for first to add a rich flavor, Handlebar tosses in some Guinness. They then top it off with a cornmeal-breaded, deep fried pickle.