best breakfast in chicago downtown

best breakfast in chicago downtown

Downtown Chicago, with its bustling streets and towering skyscrapers, is also home to some of the most delightful breakfast spots that can satisfy any craving early in the morning. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite before heading to the office or a leisurely brunch to kickstart a weekend, the heart of the Windy City has something to offer everyone. Here’s a guide to the best breakfast places in downtown Chicago, each offering something unique and delicious.

Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe

Located steps away from Millennium Park, Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe is a must-visit for anyone craving pancakes and more. Known for their signature Berry Bliss pancakes, Wildberry provides a diverse menu that includes a variety of pancakes, crepes, omelets, and sandwiches. The place can get crowded, especially on weekends, so arriving early or planning for a wait might be wise.

Lou Mitchell’s

Serving Chicago since 1923, Lou Mitchell’s is a historic diner that offers a classic breakfast experience. This iconic spot is famous for giving out donut holes and Milk Duds to customers while they wait. Their extensive menu features everything from egg dishes and omelets to pancakes and French toast, all made with high-quality ingredients that reflect their long-standing commitment to good food.

The Bongo Room

For those with a sweet tooth, The Bongo Room is an ideal destination. Located in the South Loop, this trendy spot turns breakfast into a decadent affair with offerings like chocolate tower French toast and white chocolate caramel pretzel pancakes. They also serve savory breakfast options and have a creative take on traditional dishes, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.


Yolk pushes the envelope with its innovative breakfast creations. With several locations throughout the city, including one in Streeterville, Yolk offers a modern diner feel with a menu that includes everything from eggs benedict and omelets to chilaquiles and crepes. Their fresh juices and gourmet coffee make Yolk the perfect place for a breakfast meeting or a relaxed morning.

Little Goat Diner

Stephanie Izard’s Little Goat Diner in the West Loop brings a playful twist to traditional diner food. The menu features comfort foods with a unique twist, like their “Fat Elvis Waffles” made with banana, peanut butter, and bacon. The diner also boasts a bakery, coffee shop, and bar, making it a comprehensive spot for all your breakfast needs.

Eleven City Diner

Eleven City Diner blends a retro vibe with modern culinary flair. Located in the South Loop, this diner transports you back in time with its vintage decor and classic diner offerings. From fluffy pancakes to hearty skillets, their broad menu ensures that everyone finds something to enjoy. Their in-house bakery and old-fashioned soda fountain add an extra layer of charm to the experience.


Beatrix is known for its health-conscious menu, making it a great choice for those looking for a lighter start to the day. Located in River North and other locations, Beatrix offers a range of delicious options, including quinoa cakes with poached eggs, light and fluffy angel food cake French toast, and a selection of freshly squeezed juices.

    Downtown Chicago’s breakfast scene is as varied as it is delicious, with each spot offering a unique take on the first meal of the day. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional diner experience or a gourmet meal, these top spots are sure to start your day off right. So next time you find yourself in downtown Chicago in the morning, be sure to stop by one of these establishments for a truly delightful breakfast.

    The Dearborn

    Nestled in the bustling Theater District, The Dearborn offers an upscale, yet approachable atmosphere perfect for a pre-theater breakfast or a leisurely weekend brunch. The menu is a blend of American and international influences, featuring dishes like Irish breakfast, avocado toast, and smoked salmon Benedict. The sophisticated decor and attentive service make this spot ideal for a special morning out.


    For a taste of Cuban cuisine right in the heart of Chicago, Cafecito is the go-to spot. Known for its robust coffee and unique sandwiches, this café provides a quick and flavorful start to the day. Their breakfast menu includes options like the guava pastry, chorizo egg sandwich, and a variety of pressed Cuban bread sandwiches, all perfect for a grab-and-go meal that doesn’t compromise on flavor.

    Goddess and the Baker

    Located near the riverfront, Goddess and the Baker caters to both early birds and brunch enthusiasts with its wide selection of breakfast offerings available all day. From gourmet bagels and pastries to colorful breakfast bowls and a rainbow of latte options, this vibrant café is perfect for those looking for something a bit different.

    Their green goddess bowl and rainbow cake are favorites among regulars.

    Dollop Coffee Co.

    Dollop Coffee Co. is not just about excellent coffee; their food offerings are equally impressive. With several locations throughout downtown Chicago, including a cozy spot in the Loop, Dollop serves up hearty breakfast sandwiches, fresh pastries, and a variety of bagels. It’s the perfect place for those who need a quick, satisfying breakfast along with their morning coffee ritual.

    The Allis at Soho House

    For a more luxurious breakfast experience, The Allis at Soho House offers a beautiful setting with floor-to-ceiling windows and plush seating. The menu features upscale items like the smoked salmon platter and avocado toast with poached eggs, alongside a thoughtful selection of smoothies and artisanal teas and coffees. It’s a great place for a business breakfast or a relaxed morning with friends.

      Tips for Enjoying Breakfast in Downtown Chicago

      Plan Ahead: Some of these spots can get extremely busy, especially during weekends. Consider making a reservation or arriving early to avoid long waits.

      Explore Local Flavors: Many Chicago breakfast spots pride themselves on using local ingredients and offering regional specialties. Don’t miss out on these unique flavors.

      Check Hours: Especially if you’re planning on dining during the week, check if the place serves breakfast all day or only during specific hours in the morning.

      Chicago’s downtown offers an impressive range of breakfast spots that reflect the city’s diverse culinary landscape. From traditional diners and gourmet cafes to international flavors and health-conscious eateries, there’s something to satisfy every palate and start the day off on a delicious note. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, these breakfast destinations are sure to enhance your Chicago experience with their unique offerings and charming atmospheres.