6 Light Breakfasts in Chicago

Brunch is amazing and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who said otherwise. It’s the one outing that I’m excited to wake up early for and I definitely share the love of brunch with other Chicagoans. However, I also really really enjoy the smaller breakfasts at the local restaurants. These are the kind of mornings I enjoy most with my husband. We sit, have coffee, and munch on lighter fare as we watch the neighborhood wake up. Here’s some of our favorite spots in the city.

5411 Empanadas

If you follow me on Instagram, you may notice that I come here – A LOT. 5411 has a food truck that roams around the city, but it has a few locations for you to go in and sit, meaning the hubs and I come here at least once a month, if not more. These little empanadas are the perfect size – we each get 3 to be full but not lethargic. Plus they make great coffee.

overcoming the fear of missing out

Scone City

I’ve mentioned Scone City in a post about spots I love in Wicker Park a while ago, and I still love it! Great coffee, cool vibes, and delicious scones in every sort of flavor. I like the sweeter ones like almond raspberry or orange blueberry, while the hubs enjoys the more breakfast style like chorizo and jalapeno. Sit upstairs to be cozy, or downstairs to watch the street fill up!

Aviary Photo_130820509324658603

light breakfast in chicago - Scone City

Dove’s Luncheonette

Dove’s is definitely a popular place, but if you go early enough you can get a seat fairly quickly. Their menu is really unique and actually a bit Southern and Mexican influenced. They’ve got some great specials and breakfast standbys that are hard to pass up. Plus, it’s a perfect amount of food. Pleasantly full, not overflowing with leftovers. Just look at these honey almond crepes!

light breakfast in chicago - Dove's Luncheonette

Milk & Honey Cafe

I love this place. It feels like eating at someone’s home. You walk in, order at the counter, then pick a seat. Pour yourself some water, get your utensils ready, and enjoy! I know this orange and almond french toast looks heavy, but the bread is so fluffy that it doesn’t feel that way. There’s also things like huevos rancheros on the menu along with pastries and smoothies for even lighter options.

light breakfast in chicago - Milk & Honey

Bru Chicago

Bru gets a bit overshadowed by some of the larger and super popular breakfast joints on Milwaukee Ave, but they have some great light breakfast options. Crepes, bagels, croissant sandwiches, pastries, coffee, and smoothies are just the basics of what they offer. This is a great spot to enjoy a lazy and light breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up. You can sit at the bar, high top tables, or the couches and chairs in the lounge area in the back. Also a great place to get some studying or work done!

light breakfast in chicago - Bru

Lula Cafe

lula cafe logan square chicago

Lula is probably the only place on here where you’re almost guaranteed a wait time, but there’s a reason for that – it’s phenomenal. I went here with some girls for breakfast one weekend and we ended up splitting 3 entrees so we could try them all! You’re looking at a breakfast taco with goat meat, beet bruschetta, and a skillet with brussels sprouts and fried eggs. Yes, I’m drooling too. Pssst – this place is also featured in my post on Logan Square!

What are your favorite places in Chicago to grab a light breakfast? OR favorites in your hometown that I need to visit sometime? Share below!

Lydia Jane

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15 thoughts on “6 Light Breakfasts in Chicago

  1. Thanks for all of the suggestions! I just moved into the city so I’m always looking for places to add to my (long) list!


  2. I’m so not a morning person and yet brunch is somehow my favorite meal of the day. If I could justify visiting Chicago just for brunch, I would!


  3. It’s so hard checking out food posts. I always start craving all kinds of things that are bad for me. Like french toast and bagels… Mmm… carbs!

    The Milk & Honey cafe concept sounds cute and I dig the home-like vibes. I want to give their french toast a try, the light and fluffy instead of heavy sounds super good!!

    All the Cute 🎀
    Today’s Post: Floral Swing Tank


    1. Yea I’ve never been good at saying no to carbs or butter! I believe in the everything in moderation principle though, and treating myself to brunch now and then is fully worth it 🙂


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