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Summer may be bidding adieu, but brunch season is here to stay. Though the bikinis are packed and the flannels have been unearthed, decadent breakfast meats, pastries, and other early morning comfort foods are always in style. (And you don't need Anna Wintour to tell you so.)
We took a trip to the Windy City to try some of the trendiest brunch dishes we could find. From gorgeous avocado toast to over-the-top, sugar-filled indulgences, these are the five entrees that have most Chicagoans talking. Scroll down to check them out.
You don't have to book a stay at the historic Hilton (though you should, because it's fabulous) to experience an avocado toast that, quite frankly, deserves an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Utilizing fresh tomatoes, herbs, greens, and edible flowers harvested straight from the hotel's urban garden, this marriage of beautiful color and texture brings light to Michigan Avenue's morning dining scene. Looking for something a little more indulgent? The Oreo French toast is a star, and because the dish is surprisingly more savory (the chef opts for the cookie and not the creme), you'll want to wash it down with some refreshing frosé. Ask for hilarious Francesca as your server to chase away any case of the Sunday Scaries and don't leave without also trying a honey-based cocktail. The urban garden boasts two beehives that produce their own blend of the sticky, sweet stuff.
Nestled inside the Gold Coast's six-story Restoration Hardware is the hip brunch spot Chicago has asked for and finally received. Ultra chic, though surprisingly unpretentious, the furniture store's central cafe space is an atrium for sunlight, rosé, and a bevy of amateur Instagrammers. Though the menu is simple and straightforward, the slow-roasted chicken with freshly-chopped chives, garlic confit, and buttery jus is a standout. Be sure to order a side of hand-cut fries for the best garlic aioli in the Midwest. It's perhaps the only thing that can divert your attention from the fabulous decor.
Don't rely on Taco Tuesdays as your only excuse to indulge in Mexican food. This tiered arepa is piled high with pickled vegetables, tender fried chicken, salty chorizo, and an irresistible peanut sauce that melds the complex flavors together. Pair the dish with a creamy coquito margarita for a feast that will have you saying "que sabroso!"
Okay, okay. We know there's now a Yolk on nearlyevery
Chicago street corner, but good food is good food, no matter how commercialized it may be. You'd be remiss to not indulge in the breakfast chain's cinnamon roll french toast on a difficult (aka hungover) morning. Between the gobs of sweet cream cheese and the pastry's signature egg crust, you'll be happy that you're out and noshing and not in bed swigging ginger ale with Tylenol. Trust us on this one.
Sweet, gooey, creamy, soft—literally everything you can ask for in a dessert. The word "cake" is part of "hotcake" for a reason and this pretzel, caramel delight more than delivers. In fact, we'd be totally content with throwing a candle on the short stack and enjoying it for a birthday celebration.
Joey is editor-at-large at Chowhound. When he's not writing or eating french fries, he's probably listening to Beyonce, playing volleyball, or practicing his stand-up comedy routine. You can order his debut cookbook, BASIC BITCHEN, at bit.ly/BasicBitchen.