If there is one thing that people on the North Shore take seriously, it's brunch! And who can argue? What's better than spending a leisurely morning/early afternoon dining on all of the sweet and savory treats that a serious brunch has to offer. And if you are really lucky you might even score mimosa or two.
For the purposes of this list, we are not going to include the traditional pancake/breakfast type places that serve "brunch" on a daily basis. That's a whole other list for another day! This list is focused solely on those restaurants where brunch is more of a special event, served only on the weekends to hungry folks looking for an indulgent meal to last them the whole day – well at least until dinner.
Taste on Chestnut
507 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-441-0134
This new restaurant has an awesome brunch buffet. For $19.95 you can eat your fill, from made-to-order omelettes to smoked salmon to French toast to fresh fruit.
111 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette, 224-408-2464
If you love eggs benedict, you'll find lots to love about Firefly...you can have your eggs benedict with crab cakes, smoked pork or spinach Florentine. Brunch is served Sundays 10:00 am - 2 pm.
601 Skokie Blvd. Northbrook, 847-205-4433
The brunch at Prairie Grass is a North Shore favorite. With its extensive a la carte menu offering a variety of tasty benedicts, fluffy omelets, gourmet pancakes and savory prairie grass favorites, it's hard to choose just one thing. They also have a great kids menu. Brunch served: Sat: 10 am -2 pm; Sun: 9:30 am – 2 pm.
1150 Willow Rd., Northbrook, 847-480-2323
Don't be fooled that it's a bowling alley. Pinstripes is an upscale venue whose bistro style restaurant stands on its own merit. And their Sunday brunch takes it to a whole other level. Served every Sunday from 10 am - 2 pm, the buffet style brunch offers made-to-order omelets, prime rib, fresh seafood, waffles, mimosas and bloody marys (extra fee), delectable desserts including a chocolate fountain and a whole lot more. Adults $20, kids 6-12 $12, 5 & under free! It's quite a deal.
Jolanes Restaurant & Bar
1100 Milwaukee Ave., Glenview, 847-375-6986
With its unique location in the ABT Design Center, Jolane's offers patrons a casual yet contemporary dining experience with a bit if European flair and their a la carte brunch does not disappoint. Offering tempting sweet choices such as Nutella crepes and brioche French toast served with real maple syrup, diners can also dabble in savory selections – we've heard the wagyu burgers are a must, not to mention their quiche of the day. Patrons love the enclosed sun room and their coffee also gets raves. Brunch served Sat & Sun: 11 am - 3 pm.
623, Howard St., Evanston, 847-491-6778
This relatively new gastropub hits all the right spots. From its fun and lively atmosphere, to its cool and inviting décor, to the great service and we haven't even mentioned the food. The a la carte brunch menu has a little something for everyone, but they had us at "Warm Bag Of House Made Donuts." The food is fresh, tasty and reasonably priced and they usually have some great brunch specials not on the menu. Brunch served Sat & Sun: 11 am – 3:30 pm.
1625 Hinman Ave., Evanston, 847-570-8400
The food is yummy and home-made, and it's quiet enough to carry on a conversation. Brunch is served Sundays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
305 Happ Rd., Northfield, 847-784-9200
The Happ Inn is a great upscale family restaurant that always delivers. Although the brunch menu itself is somewhat limited, patrons are welcome to order off the main menu as well. Nothing here is too fancy, yet the atmosphere offers a bit more sophistication than your typical family style joint. Brunch served Sat & Sun 11 am – 3pm.
694 Vernon Ave., Glencoe, 847-835-8100
Everything at Guildhall has a quality of perfection, and the same can be said for their brunch. The a la carte menu features staples such as bagels and lox, lemon and ricotta hotcakes, and eggs benedict Guildhall style to the more innovative chorizo and hominy hash and smoked trout lyonnaise salad. In addition their menu of handcrafted cocktails and signature sodas is not to be missed. Brunch served Sunday: 10 am – 2pm.
601 N Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling, 847-777-6878
Probably one of the best kept secrets on the North Shore is Saranello's Champagne Sunday brunch. Known as an upscale family Italian restaurant, its brunch offering is sometimes overlooked, but for those in the know, it's quite a delicious feast. For $29.95 (children under 12 half price), the buffet brunch features a chafing station, carving station, build your own waffle bar, eggs & omelet station, cold fish table, sweets table, salad, fresh fruit and more. Price includes 2 glasses of champagne or mimosas or selections of specialty coffee drinks and juices. (Bloody Mary bar, extra). Brunch served Sunday 10 am – 2 pm.
Deer Path Inn
255 Easy Illinois Rd., Lake Forest, 847-234-2280
Although on the pricier side, the Champagne Brunch buffet at the Deer Path Inn is a true bruncher's dream. They have everything from bagels, eggs, meats to sushi and shrimp. The quality is top notch and if you come in the warmer months you can burn off some of your meal by strolling through the beautiful grounds and gardens. Unfortunately, if this sounds tempting, you will have to wait a bit to partake as the main dining area and hotel are closed for renovations until further notice.
Looking for something new? Jumping on the brunch bandwagon are some newer to the North Shore restaurants who have recently added or are about to add brunch to their menu offering. May be worth the try:
House 406: 1143 ½ Church St., Northbrook, 847-714-0200
A la carte menu featuring Cocoa Krispy Crusted French toast, quinoa salad and other sweet and savory treats.
Taste on Chestnut: 505 Chestnut St., Winnetka, 847-441-0134
Offering buffet and a la carte menus. Sunday: 10 am – 2 pm.
Ten Mile House: 1700 Central St., Evanston, 847-905-0669
A broad a la carte brunch menu featuring salads, wood fired breakfast pizzas and lots of other mouth-watering breakfast and lunch entrees. Please inquire when full brunch menu will be rolled out.
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