A mandatory mom-only bruncheon is what happens when the kids wake you up on a Saturday morning by sticking light up swords in your eyeballs. Your little medieval knights don’t care that you have no recollection of your last adult conversation, or why babysitters keep cancelling exactly one hour before dinner reservations. You’re in desperate need of some girl time. Bonus points for female company over the age of four.
Any way you look at it, the weekend calls for a mimosa garnished carb fest with your mom squad. A few hours without the kids is not too much to ask, mamas! But you must choose your location wisely, because brunching with other sleep-deprived divas in mom jeans and messy buns is not material for an ordinary brunch venue. You need room to laugh, cry, and maybe even dance with a drag queen. Read on, it’s for your sanity.
Here are six brunch spots where you can openly mix coffee and bourbon, hit up a post-brunch cookie buffet, befriend a drag queen, and best of all, not have to share your custard-filled French toast.
Cherry Circle Room in the Gold Coast
You want to start off brunch with the necessities, so promptly order the CCR Milk Punch, which is coffee mixed with bourbon, rum and milk. If coffee is not your cup of tea, opt for a delicious Gin Fizz, made with Earl Grey tea and, well, gin. Everything on the menu is designed to delight. Read: it will all pair perfectly with caffeinated booze, so you’re all set to close your eyes and point. Your server will take over from there. The CCR is in the Chicago Athletic Club, across the street from Millennium Park and the Art Institute. You can also skip the tourist spots and head up the Mag Mile for retail therapy and people watching.
Jam in Logan Square
You can never go wrong at Jam. The staff picks up on the moment your coffee is getting low, and has the absolute best ratio of orange juice to champagne known to mankind. Jam does not mess around with their service or their tiramisu pancakes. These cakes are as divine as their legendary malted custard french toast, and you will have no idea how you survived motherhood without either of them. The daily waffle is less predictable however, which can get confusing if you’ve gone heavy with their perfect mimosas. Don’t get discouraged, just try something new. Maybe the pistachio waffles atop lemon curd next to a generous scoop of strawberry sorbet doesn’t sound so bad after all.
Dove’s Luncheonette in Wicker Park
The Tex-Mex infused spot in Wicker Park also carries Dark Matter Nitro coffee on tap, so you’re about to go from sleep-deprived to who the hell needs sleep when I have this liquid gold?! Their avocado toast has a cult-like following for a reason–Dove’s nails it every time. The giant pancake is another fun order, which arrives in a skillet, filled with peach compote and topped with lemon cream and granola. But first, Dark Matter Jack.
Lula Cafe in Logan Square
There are times a boozy, greasy brunch simply does not erase the decisions of last night. While Lula Cafe isn’t considered a vegetarian restaurant, they have veggie friendly dishes to give any carnivore order envy. The grain bowl with apple and greens, the tofu veggie scramble and the vegetarian breakfast burrito will all serve the soul well. Also vegetarian? The Gin Bloody Marys.
Beatrix in River North and Streeterville
Onward and upward with a healthy brunch regimen (vegetarian Bloody Mary in hand), Beatrix hosts an array of dishes that make vegetarians and meat lovers swoon. The egg white veggie omelet, cauliflower grits and eggs and a flavorful assortment of freshly-squeezed veggie juices will make you feel like you woke up at noon–in a hotel room–by yourself. But sometimes even green drinks need chasers, so definitely don’t walk past the cookie bar empty-handed.
Hamburger Mary’s in Oak Park
There is a time in every mother’s life where a man in a wig, bustier and 8-inch stilettos is the only answer. Hamburger Mary’s is fun, naughty and the perfect place to get outfit inspo for your next girls night out. It is open for brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., with the Diva Brunch show starting at noon. Reservations are always a good idea here, as tables book up fast.
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