Little Goat (Photo: Ten Photos)
So you had a little too much to drink last night. It’s Chicago. It happens.
The important thing is, we Windy City dwellers are pros at handling the aftermath. Your prescription: brunch, that beloved meal that combines large amounts of food with acceptable day drinking. Next time you’re looking to cure what ails you, here are some of our favorite brunch spots for the morning after.
Wishbone is a southern-infused Chicago brunch classic. Crowds clamor for the Red Eggs (two eggs any style on corn tortillas topped with cheddar, chili ancho sauce, scallions, sour cream and cilantro salsa) and the spicy bloody mary, both of which have just enough heat to help you sweat out last night’s party.
Or for a milder touch, we’re pretty sure the Crab Cake Benedict and the Biscuits and Gravy have healing properties, as do the friendly (and patient) servers, who understand your pain. With locations in Lakeview and the West Loop, you can take your pick.
Nachos for brunch? Yes, please, at Little Goat, where the homemade masa chips are topped with barbecue pork and plenty of cheese. Owned by Stephanie Izard (of “Top Chef” fame), this modern interpretation of a classic diner has an enormous menu that makes breakfast, lunch and dinner available all day in the West Loop.
The Los Drowned sandwich (braised beef with Havarti cheese, peppers and onions, avocado and mayo) is crave-able and the daring Bull’s Eye French toast, which is sweet onion brioche French toast with eggs, crispy chicken and BBQ maple syrup, is a shocking revelation (in a good but admittedly weird way).
Tack on an intense craft cocktail, like the Goat Smash (Old Forester, lemon, Chartreuse, Benedictine, mint) or a local brew, like Half Acre’s Daisy Cutter, and your day is officially off to a good start.
Dusek’s Board and Beer had us at “beermosa”—beer, booze and fresh flavors, like apple and grapefruit. It’s the perfect primer all the brunch glory to follow: beignets, wood roasted crab and artichoke dip (think a souped up version of the classic appetizer, plus an egg) and the Juicy Lucy, aka one of the best burgers in town.
Dusek’s, located in the Pilsen neighborhood, is upstairs from the beloved bar, Punch House, so if a beermosa doesn’t do it for you, order their Breakfast Punch, made with Letherbee gin, fresh orange, lime, clove, sparkling wine. Your headache will thank you for it.
Some hangovers are better treated far, far away from alcohol. At Orange, which has locations in Roscoe Village and Lincoln Park, you’re safe from temptation, since they don’t have a bar.
One sip of the fresh-squeezed orange juice and the orange roast coffee (trust us on this one, the nose of orange totally works) and you won’t miss the booze. Plus, the sacrifice is worth it, considering this is the only spot in town you can order “fruishi,” i.e. fruit sushi. Add to that a carb-o-licious pancake flight (flavors change weekly) or green eggs and ham—the green comes from basil pesto—and your morning (or afternoon) is complete.