You had me at ‘Boozy Brunch!’
One of my favorite categorized meals is Brunch. Seriously, you get the best of both worlds! If you’re in the mood for a sweet or savory breakfast – the options are there. On the other hand, if you’re more of a lunch and dinner person – those options are there for you as well. Heck, if you want both at the same time – go for it (I won’t judge).
Chicago has a number of phenomenal boozy brunches to fill up your weekend! The recommendations below are great for gatherings, birthday, or bachelor/bachelorette events as they offer drink and food deals. What’s better than a birthday gathering and endless amounts of food and drinks (aside from not feeling a little rough the next day)?!
In my opinion, these brunch deals are the best when the sun is shining and the weather is warm. The vibes are always happy and energetic. However, if you want to drink away your winter blues
Or what I like to call the Land of the Free.
Located in the heart of River North, this restaurant is two stories and turns into more of a club at night. During the Brunch deal from 10:00am – 4:00 PM (weekends), the food is served downstairs and there is plenty of seating both upstairs and downstairs. A majority of the people usually end up standing upstairs because they can’t help but dance to the DJ’s music playing in the background! The roof and windows open up throughout the day if weather permits.
The food options at Fremont are delicious! They have an omelet and carving station which I highly recommend. Obviously this line takes a little longer than the self-serve options, but it’s worth the reasonable wait! Pizza, mac ‘n cheese, salads, fruit, and vegetables are a few items on the lunch side of the menu. My favorite part happens to be the waffles, boozy brunch treats (to be honest I always ditch the bozzy part of the treat and just eat the dessert…a vodka infused cupcake just doesn’t appeal to me), and their donuts from Donut Vault. You donut want to pass up on these cake donuts!
The only issue my friends and I have faced in the past was that they make you pay at the end sometimes rather than collecting money at the beginning. This gets tricky because often times friends will come and go throughout the day and it’s hard to keep track of who owes what. Believe it or not, nobody likes a dine and ditcher.
Be sure to make a reservation WELL in advance in order to experience this boozy brunch. Fremont books up fast, so I recommend booking AT LEAST a month out in advance. You can request a reservation through their website or call for a party greater than 6.
Perfect for birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, or brunch itself. Don’t forget to tip your waiters/waitresses as they’re running around trying to keep your glasses full all day long.
Steak Bar is very similar to the concept above but it feels less clubby to me. Steak Bar reminds me of the adult version of a candy store. I’ve been there for both brunch and a night out (or two), and I’ve enjoyed it each and every time. Steak Bar also has two floors with food served on each floor; however, the dessert room (that’s right, a whole room dedicated to desserts) is located downstairs near the entrance.
The food is similar to Fremont’s and the drink deal works the same (pricing varies). Although both restaurants get busy, the service is usually pretty good. Waiters/Waitresses come around to fill your glass and there are options to add different fruit juices to the champagne. You have the option to go to the bar if you’re waiting too long (mix in a water every now and then…you’ll thank me later). You have the option to just to the brunch deal if you’d rather order your own drinks on the side.
Give this place a try! Great place for those cute little donut wall Instagram posts. Again, don’t forget to tip the hard workers!
Best bang for your buck when it comes to Zella! I’d recommend experiencing Zella when it’s warm out; however, I’ve gone in the winter when it was below zero and still had a great time. There is usually a line, so I highly recommend standing in line at least 30 minutes in advance…. or longer during the warmer months. I personally think Zella’s customers usually consist of post college age people. They have a patio outside which is highly recommended! They also have heaters outside in case it’s a semi chilly fall day.
The best part about Zella is that it’s only $36 (10:30am-3pm) for all you can eat and drink (mimosas, bloody Marys, Miller Lite, (what I like to call a Miller Latte when you’re drinking that early), and Coors). I’m not sure about you but there are only so many hours that I can handle champagne. Zella gives you the opportunity to switch it up so you don’t get bored (or experience a sugar overload).
The food is located in one section and the waiters are constantly swapping out the food, which is really nice. Last thing I want is a scoop of potatoes that have been sitting out for 4 hours. Not only do they swap out the old food for new food, but they also change up the menu. You might have breakfast potatoes for one serving (yes, you’ll be back for more), and then hash browns for another. The food always seems pretty fresh considering it’s buffet style.
Zella is calling your name! They don’t book reservations so get in line early. This isn’t as “bougie” as Steak Bar or Fremont but it’s still a great time!
Go have some fun and treat ‘yoself to a few donuts or two!