Considering the popularity of both brunch and steakhouses these days in Chicago, it’s no surprise that some of the city’s finest steakhouses are getting in on the weekend action. From hot newcomers to timeworn classics, these are some of Chicago’s best steakhouse brunches right now.
Shaw’s Crab House: A perpetual favorite for brunch, lunch and dinner, Shaw’s Crab House features one of the most dazzling displays in town. The River North standby’s “Grand Buffet” lives up to its lofty name with a dizzying array of savories and sweets. This includes croissants, bananas Foster French toast, Parmesan-crusted cod, au gratin potatoes, chorizo frittatas, fried shrimp, smoked bacon, tater tot hash browns and more. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as the rest of the menu features surf & turf selections, omelets, waffles, an expansive cold seafood bar and a sweets table laden with cookies, cupcakes, parfaits and tartlets.
Tavern on Rush: The weekend brunch menu at this Gold Coast bastion is as expansive and crowd-pleasing as the dinner fare. A lot of the popularized lunchtime and dinner dishes are available at brunch, including staples like seared Hawaiian tuna, Tavern sliders and Azteca salads with crispy tortilla, avocado, Chihuahua cheese and black bean-corn salsa. These are adjoined by corned beef hash, eggs Lola (apple chicken sausage, chorizo, spinach basil pesto), chilaquiles, skirt steak and eggs, stuffed French toast and more. Currently, look for fall specials like a roasted beet and carrot salad, a king crab and pistachio pesto pizza, and a smoked salmon scramble with red onion, capers, parsley, tomato, bagel and cream cheese.
Chicago Cut: Renowned for its scene-y dinner service, Chicago Cut is also one of the few steakhouses to offer weekday breakfast. It’s a good way to kickstart the workday, especially when dishes like corned beef hash and prime NY strip with two poached eggs are available. Other items include beignets, citrus-smoked salmon bagels, eggs Benedict with prime filets, vanilla challah French toast, and Irish oatmeal.
Ditka’s Restaurant: Eat like an NFL coach at Ditka’s Restaurant, where some of the heftiest, most comforting dishes make up the steakhouse’s breakfast menu. This means pot roast hash scramble, biscuits and gravy, fried chicken and waffles, and a tenderloin Benedict with grilled filet medallions, poached eggs, hollandaise, and hash browns.
RL: One of the city’s premier power lunch epicenters is also quite a spectacle during brunch. Come for the ritzy scene and stay for the quiche Lorraine, rotisserie chicken hash and Belgian waffles with Chantilly cream. The Gold Coast Benedict is a favorite as well, made with potato cakes, smoked salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise.
Maple & Ash: The newest and ritziest addition to the steakhouse brunch scene comes courtesy of Maple & Ash. In line with the restaurant’s penchant for blending irreverence with serious skill, executive chef Danny Grant brought back the classic chef-manned stations, something rarely seen in steakhouses (or restaurants in general) outside of holiday buffets. The crown jewels are the beef tenderloin and maple-glazed ham carving stations, along with an impressive egg and breakfast station with customizable omelets, fresh fruit, granola and salad. Another fun flourish is the restaurant’s housemade ricotta agnolotti, which will be served table side for a bit of added pizzazz. It all finishes with warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies courtesy of pastry chef Aya Fukai. The whole shebang costs just $40 per person, which is a great bargain for such a prestigious restaurant such as this. Especially considering the onslaught of food available. For an additional $20 per person, diners can augment their meal with unlimited mimosas and bellinis.