INTRO – Nina Hazhala | Chicago, IL, USA
ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS why we are so in love with weekends is that we really love to have brunches together. It is a great way to dress up, meet and chat about what happened during the week, brainstorm our Lokal projects, and celebrate the end of the week with our favorite food.
The tradition of having brunches in the USA is pretty strong. Yes, some people are complaining that it is absolutely not difficult to make your own pancakes, scrambled eggs, and a pot of hot coffee at home. However, block-length lines can be easily spotted near most of the popular cafes and restaurants all around the country.
We asked some local Chicago bloggers to share their ‘top 3’ brunch spots in the city. Here are the places to add to your next brunch exploration.
MY NUMBER ONE favorite brunch/breakfast place is Hash on Western and Hirsh. I love it because it’s a chill little neighborhood spot with great music, incredible food, and the tiled tables are so cool! They have several hash dishes, and my favorite is the Humboldt. It has black beans, hominy, tomatoes, jalapeno, and Chihuahua cheese and is served over a bed of potatoes with Salsa Verde on the side. I get chorizo added to it and get sour cream on the side! They don’t serve drinks, but it is BYOB! I love bringing a tall boy of High Life.
FOR SOMEONE WHO APPRECIATES SPACIOUS and moody interior design as much as I do, PQM (Publican Quality Meats) might be a surprising choice for brunch. Despite the crowded deli atmosphere in this small West Loop butcher shop, I still default to the simple breakfast dishes and traditional recipes such as the Butcher’s breakfast, Seasonal Hot Dogs, and Ribollita soup (which I happen to serve at my wedding). The one thing that always tunes out the neighbors is the Bloody Mary with a snit of Miller high life.
The Ruin Daily – Come for the coffee and stay for the Egg Sandwich. Also serving up Metric coffee, The Ruin is the best sandwich spot in the city behind Chef Mario Manzini. Don’t sleep on their happy hour specials if you happen to be in the south of the West Loop.
Tanta – Having been to Peru, I can testify to the ingredients and the Japanese influence required to pull off an authentic, yet contemporary Peruvian cuisine the way Chef Jesus pulls it off. Always get their Cebiche Toreado, and if you’re still hungry, get the traditional Lomo Soltado.
ONE OF MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITES is Lula Cafe. I almost always get the Breakfast Burrito and a champagne cocktail. If you are going alone, I’d recommend sitting at the bar. There is awesome music bumping and it’s fun to watch all the coffee and drinks being made.