Best Lincoln Park Brunch

March 07 2014 - 9:00 AM

Lincoln Park has a bad reputation from rowdy DePaul bars and kiddie filled restaurants. I love trekking out to Logan Square for a good meal – it just isn’t always feasible early in the morning when you’re about to eat your hand. Lincoln Park is the perfect central location to meet with a group of friends for a heaping plate of pancakes or a refined scone (I’ve heard they serve other things than carbs, too). Here are a few of my go-tos when I’m in the area.

1. Kingsbury Street Cafe

There aren’t a whole lot of “foodie” yet not fancy spots in LP. You could opt for a pricey brunch at Perennial (and it would be amazing ,I’m sure), or you could venture a bit farther from the park and check out Kingsbury, just across from Whole Foods. Walk in the door and you’ll understand why I’m in love with this place. Mounds of muffins, chunky cookies and seasonal specialties gleam at you through the bakery case. I’ve never been met with a wait like Bongo Room, even with a group. Plus – and this is my second favorite part – they take reservations! It’s a healthier spot for brunch, with delicious vegan and meat options alike.

2. Nookies

You gotta love Nookies. And I know my parents do! This mainstay has been around for quite some time. I’ve visited a number of their locations, including the Nookies – Too in LP on Halsted, which has more of a diner feel, and the Old Town Wells St. location. Whether you’re in the mood for a traditional omelette, a deli sandwich, the freshest squeezed orange juice you’ve ever tasted or something a bit different (see the carrot cake french toast above), they’ve got it all at Nookies – and they’ll give it to you with a smile. Incredible service is at par with the hefty menu. I’ll tell you a little secret if you don’t tell anyone; the Old Town location tends to have a shorter brunch wait than the LP one.

3. Summer House Santa Monica

Something old and something (very) new…Summer House is Lettuce Entertain You’s newest endeavor, and they’re drawing quite the Sunday brunch crowd. One warning: if you’re planning on walking in, do so on a Saturday when the crowd is smaller. I’d recommend taking advantage of their reservations as well. This hotspot has just about everything you could ever want in the a.m., from breakfast tostadas, to bacon bloody marys, to salads and even tacos. You might even find some nutella waffles if you’re lucky. Bonus: you’ll feel like you’re in Cali, with the sunshine streaming in from the retractable roof and a beach club vibe. Yet again, my weakness is the bakery case. Don’t miss the cookies or the housemade English muffins.