Bubbly and baked goods aren’t the only stars in the local brunch showcase. Savory eggs and entreés, fresh seafood and dreamy avocado toast compliment cameos of specialty cocktails and mocktails, plus oodles of yummy options for the kids. Go fancy or casual whenever you want to Explore North Shore Restaurants.
Brunch Menus with a Sassy Spin
Put a Nuevo Latino spin on your midday feast at Libertad (7931 Lincoln Ave., Skokie). Sweet or savory, they offer variations like Torrejas, a challah French Toast with maduros (fried sweet plantains), toasted pecans and dulce de leche, or Steak + Eggs with chimichurri, sided by roasted potatoes. The “funkalicious” Lucky Platter (514 Main St., Evanston) dresses up poached eggs for a variety of Benedicts like Fried Green Tomato with spinach and roasted vegetable ragu on toasted cornbread and with hollandaise atop to go with the spicy Bloody Mary. Marvel at the big menu at Rise N Dine Pancake Café (102 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling) where pancakes and breakfast burritos might get upstaged by Cinnamon Roll French Toast or the Volcano Omelette with skirt steak, jalapenos, onions, mushrooms and mozzarella drizzled with Sriracha.
The Café and Bakery Brunch Bunch
Local cafés brew up more than just enticing coffee drinks. Brunch any day of the week at Cupitol Coffee & Eatery (810 Grove St., Evanston) where you can get classic or European-style breakfast combos, scrumptious sweet stuff, or morning sandwiches. Meg’s Café (317 Park Ave., Glencoe) reinforces the mimosas with their gourmet dishes including a bevy of pancake specialties, the Lox Platter and the Park Ave eggs with spinach, bacon, caramelized onions and goat cheese. With a coveted patio sporting a Lake Michigan view, Convito Café & Market (1515 Sheridan Rd., Wilmette) tempts with Beignets (New Orleans style deep fried choux pastry with powdered sugar and cinnamon) along with Classic Eggs Benedict, Avocado Toast, sides and salads with a Peach Bellini or cappuccino. At Three Tarts Bakery (301 Happ Rd., Northfield) their Avocado Toast comes three ways — with goat cheese, hummus, or tahini—or get the Quiche of the Week and a fleet of Breakfast Pastries. This list would not be complete without including Towne & Oak (921 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka). This bright, airy space offers up all your brunch'n faves like their Smashed Avocado Tartine with sliced radish, pickled shallot, herb salad, hemp & sesame seed mix, and their Greek Yogurt & Granola Bowl filled with vanilla bean infused yogurt, honeycomb, seasonal fruit and homemade almond-cranberry granola. You won't leave hungry!
If you fancy more of a foreign flair to your brunching, hit Peckish Pig (623 Howard St., Evanston) for authentic British eats like the The Full English with two fried eggs, English Bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomato, black pudding, Heinz baked beans and fried bread. Mimosas and brunchy cocktails, too, of course. Bar Siena (Westfield Old Orchard, Old Orchard Rd. & Skokie Blvd., Skokie) specializes in Italian plates along the lines of a Classico with cheddar scrambled eggs, sticky parmesan potatoes and polenta toast or a Sausage and Egg Calzone baked with cherrywood smoked bacon, spicy tomato sauce, cheddar and parmesan. Ever popular Sarenello’s Restaurant (601 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling) fills their rustic Italian breakfast buffet with a carving station, house-made pasta dishes, a gorgeous dessert table with Mimosas included and so much more.
A Social Affair
Get on the group text to set up a memorable gathering. The Hampton Social’s (Westfield Old Orchard, Old Orchard Rd. & Skokie Blvd., Skokie) brunch menu section is literally called “Share and Socialize” so you’ll know just what to do with the Monkey Bread, Short Rib Poutine, or Crab and Shrimp Bruschetta. Seal the deal with their Sparkling Seafood Tower and specialty drinks like the Hampton Frosé (and “zero proof” options). A weekend hotspot, Hangar Two by Tangled Roots Brewing Co. (1100 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview) boasts a big brunchy menu including the brilliant “Pacos” aka “pancake tacos.” Try Drunken Pacos: buttermilk pancakes adorned with champagne-soaked berries, applewood smoked bacon, spiced candied pecans, Nutella, vanilla whipped cream and maple syrup. Extend the party with a playdate at Pinstripes (1150 Willow Rd., Northbrook) where you can bowl, bocce and more after your bottomless mimosas or Aperol Spritz reinforce full menus featuring the classics plus Power Bowls, Avocado Toast and Chicken & Waffles.