Brunch is a cherished weekend institution — the best way to celebrate the end of a long week or relax before the next begins. The downtown Chicago rentals at NEMA Chicago are just around the corner from some of the city’s best brunch destinations. From mimosas and bloody marys to buttermilk pancakes and eggs Benedict, these neighborhood favorites offer brunch staples with their own distinctive twist, and cater to the mood and craving of the day.
Just a few blocks from NEMA Chicago, on South State Street, is the newly opened location of the Honey Berry Cafe. With an extensive breakfast and brunch menu, including an impressive lineup of specialty pancakes, Honey Berry is a spot perfectly made for a leisurely late-morning meal. Dig into tasty choices like the fig and bacon omelette, a sweet and savory delight. You’ll also find five varieties of eggs Benedict, and breakfast skillets serving up everything from chorizo and hash browns to roasted jalapeños and avocado. But before deciding on anything, look over the selection of pancakes. More than a dozen imaginative varieties await, but we couldn’t resist the Signature Honeyberry option, which comes with berry mascarpone filling, fresh berries, vanilla crème Anglaise, and blackberry coulis. And, of course, don’t forget about the mimosas and bloody marys...
Roots Handmade Pizza on the South Loop features an inventive brunch menu, but this fourth location in the Quad Cities pizzeria empire is worth a visit for its sprawling outdoor spaces, from its two ground-level patios to its retractable glass roof, all colored by bright and cheery décor. Roots Pizza’s mantra — “Everything we make is comfort food.” — extends to its brunch menu. You’ll find classics like popcorn chicken and waffles, sweet corn biscuits and gravy, and a selection of brunch pizzas, which serve up toppings such as bacon, sausage, and green peppers on the American Breakfast Pizza, or chorizo, jalapeños, potatoes, and eggs on the Juan Deere. Or, for lighter fare, options like the avocado toast or make-your-own veggie-filled omelette leave enough room for indulging in the specialty Roots bloody mary or bottomless mimosa. And, on top of all that, NEMA Chicago residents can show their NEMA Life app to get 15% off their meal.
The aptly named Bubbly Brunch at Grant Park Bistro provides classic brunch fare on its patio, as well as limited indoor dining. Pick your favorites from a variety of breakfast staples in the Midwestern Breakfasts offerings, or choose among the trio of Land, Lake, and Avocado Benedicts, which include ham, smoked salmon, and avocado, respectively. Rounding out the menu are scrambles of either vegetable with pesto or smoked salmon; Hand Helds, which are a range of sandwiches and burgers; and a Sweet Tooth selection of pancakes, pastries, and oatmeal. Weekend brunch is served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and features a bottomless mimosa special for an hour and a half of champagne-filled brunching. Grant Park Bistro also offers NEMA Chicago residents a 15% discount — just show your NEMA Life app.
A visit to Bar Louie’s Printers Row location offers gastropub favorites with a brunch mimosa special. The shareable “kicked-up flatbreads” and a salad can serve as a first course to the hot honey fried chicken, pulled pork sandwich, craft burgers (including their 100 percent plant-based Impossible Burger), skillet-served mac and cheese, or beer-battered fish and chips — perfect indulgences to enjoy on their pleasantly leafy patio. Bar Louie’s menu can also be delivered and ordered for takeout, for added convenience.
Finally, we’d like to mention Yolk, a popular South Loop spot for brunch — it’s just around the corner from NEMA on South Michigan Avenue. Stop in, and you’ll find a ton of tempting breakfast and lunch selections. NEMA residents will find a 15% discount there, too.
Wherever residents of NEMA Chicago opt to indulge in brunch this weekend, each of these close-to-home destinations offers brunch staples and specialties that just might be the highlight of your weekend.