Welcome! This article is the first of a new RoundTable food spotlight series that we’re calling “Evanston’s Best.” In terms of food and dining access, Evanston has an embarrassment of riches. Every few weeks, we’ll highlight some of the best that our city has to offer. 

Mother’s Day, traditionally the biggest brunch day of the year (sorry, dads!), is almost here, so it seems only apropos to lead off Evanston’s Best with the festive weekend meal that combines breakfast and lunch while handing you a pitcher of Bloody Marys. Gather up your friends and family and get thee hence to one of these outstanding local offerings.

(Caveats: The following restaurants are listed alphabetically, and all serve brunch foods on weekends. We understand this list is not comprehensive. Did we miss something special? Feel free to share your favorite in the comments below.)

The pesto goat cheese omelet at Blind Faith Cafe. Credit: Blind Faith Cafe

Blind Faith Café

525 Dempster St., 847-328-6875

After 40-plus years in business, owner David Lipschutz knows a thing or two about supplying craveable vegetarian food to the people. The brunch menu is a case in point: Aztec Hash (any style eggs perched atop a spicy seitan/mushroom/potato hash and sprinkled with feta cheese, $15.95), pesto goat cheese omelet ($15.50) with corn bread and roasted potatoes, gluten-free buttermilk pancakes ($15.50) bursting with blueberries or chocolate chips and more are all built to scratch the brunch itch.

Cupitol offers casual options for brunch. Credit: Cupitol

Cupitol Coffee & Eatery

812 Grove St., 847-868-8078

Every day is brunch at Cupitol, the popular casual meeting place on the southern end of downtown Evanston. Order your meal at the counter, and you’ll be assigned a table where your brunch is delivered. All pastries are made from scratch in-house, so you know that your mango-chocolate Danish or that flaky pistachio croissant will be both fresh and calorie worthy. I almost always order the Sweet Potato Bowl ($12) with a poached egg or the Spanish omelet ($14) stuffed with queso fresco, spicy chorizo and jalapeños, washed down with a Green Goodness smoothie ($5.50/$6.50) or a Freddo Cappuccino ($4.25/$4.75).

Fonda serves a variety of cocktails and no-alcohol mocktails at brunch. Credit: Fonda Cantina

Fonda Cantina  

1735 Benson Ave., 224-714-2866

Jean Banchet Award-winning chef Michael Lachowicz (Aboyer, George Trois) has entered the Evanston market with a splash. This new downtown spot – a partnership with his longtime team members Carlos Cahue and Miguel Escobar – is now serving almuerzo (brunch). Chilaquiles ($11) are available verdes or rojos (green or red), or opt for huevos con chorizo (scrambled eggs with spicy Mexican sausage, $12) or the classic huevos rancheros ($10)A Señorita Paloma ($14) and creamy flan ($8) are two ways to further gild the lily.

Frida’s offers an array of brunch classics. Credit: Fridas


618 Church St., 847-859-6342

An instant hit since it opened in 2019, Frida’s is the kind of brunch spot where the servers keep your coffee topped up and your water glass full. The large menu is filled with deliciousness, with many classics getting a Mexican spin, like the Fundido Benedict ($17), Hangover Chilaquiles ($17) or the Asada Hash ($22) with chipotle-marinated steak. I’m partial to the Crunchy French Toast ($14) with a granola crust surrounding the eggy interior, topped with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. 

Chicken ‘n’ Waffles is a delicious option at Good to Go. Credit: Good to Go

Good to Go

711 Howard St., 847-868-8226

On Evanston’s southern perimeter lies this wonderful Jamaican restaurant, and its brunch will give you distinctly sunny island vibes, especially if you’re lucky enough to score an outdoor table. Chicken ‘n’ Waffles comes two ways: Jerk ($16) or fried ($17), but you really can’t go wrong with either, especially with a healthy pour of maple syrup. Other favorites include the Oxtail Yeh Mon Omelet ($16), Shrimp & Grits ($20), and the Jamaica Me Crazy French toast flight ($14). 

Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge offers a dim sum brunch. Credit: Koi

Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge

624 Davis St., 847-866-6969

This is the place to go in downtown Evanston for dim sum brunch, and the menu is filled with small-plate delicacies from eight different Chinese provinces. BBQ pork buns ($6), scallion pancakes ($6), and pan-fried pork & veggie dumplings ($6) might be familiar, but how about congee pork and fermented egg ($7), Chinese crullers ($5) or Shanghai rice cake ($11)? And don’t miss out on the delicate xia long bao ($7), the famous Chinese soup dumplings. Koi also has a lovely collection of organic teas to complement your meal.

The eggs Benedict at Le Peep. Credit: Le Peep

Le Peep

827 Church St., 847-328-4880

If you’re in the mood for a personal-sized “Le Skillet” ($12.95-$13.50) piled high with potatoes, veggies, cheese, basted eggs and various other proteins, stop by this Evanston classic on the corner of Church Street and Benson Avenue in downtown Evanston. The Mini Greek Goddess omelet ($10.25), an egg-white omelet filled with spinach, tomatoes, artichokes, olives and feta cheese, is another solid option. Your cup of coffee is bottomless, the griddle is hot and the bacon is crisp. Ask to see the Throw Back menu – it’s a secret!

A sweet crêpe at Leonidas Chocolate Cafe. Credit: Leonidas Chocolate Cafe

Leonidas Chocolate Café

1907 Central St., 847-686-0190

Well, first and foremost, chocolate. So obviously you must order an iced mocha or some Belgian hot chocolate to go with your très French brunch, complete with crêpes both salées (savory) and sucrées (sweet) and – mais oui – quiche. The Lorraine crêpe ($13.75), with a rich filling of bacon, caramelized shallots, nutty Gruyère cheese and a sunny-side-up egg is always a delight (especially with the gluten-free buckwheat crêpe dough). So are the Belgian Liège waffles ($8.55), the yeasted dough crisped in the waffle maker and then dusted with powdered sugar and whipped cream. Don’t forget to grab a half-pound box of Leonidas chocolates for mom as a souvenir.

LeTour, the new French-Moroccan restaurant from Amy Morton and James Beard Award-winning chef Debbie Gold, just started serving brunch. Credit: LeTour


625 Davis St., 224-999-7085

Amy Morton and her James Beard Award-winning chef Debbie Gold just started serving brunch at LeTour, their French-Moroccan spot in the heart of downtown Evanston. The colorful, art-filled restaurant is suffused with daytime light courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling windows facing Davis Street, and once weather permits, the huge outdoor patio will be an option as well. Ooh la la! Take a seat and order some of the duck liver mousse ($14) with Medjool date jam or a swirl of fresh soft ricotta ($15) dotted with pomegranate, figs, pine nuts and honey, both served with a big hunk of toasted country bread for ripping and dipping. The spicy shakshouka ($16) with goat cheese and baked egg entices, as does the classic Salade Niçoise ($26) with seared tuna. Wash it all down with a Marrakesh Marie ($15), made with North African-spiced tomato water, harissa, preserved lemon and grilled olive. 

The Lucky Platter has been a reliable brunch option for decades. Credit: Lucky Platter

Lucky Platter

514 Main St., 847-869-4064

This South Evanston classic – open for 30 years – has seen generations of neighborhood families pass through its doors. They’re still clamoring for the healthy-ish tofu scramble ($13.99), rich fried green tomato Benedict ($13.49), airy Swedish pancakes with lingonberries ($11.99), and of course the iconic sweet potato fries ($5.99) and apricot-cheese flakey ($4.19). Add a sparkly Mimosa ($10) to take your brunch up a notch.

Mid Kitchen has a range of brunch options that can accommodate special diets. Credit: Mid Kitchen

Mid Kitchen

1512 Sherman Ave., 847-563-8454

Are you or someone you love vegan or gluten-free? You’d be hard pressed to find a place as willing to bend over backward to accommodate your dietary needs. Whether it’s the Warrior Bowl ($12), a vegan/GF offering chock-full of chia pudding, quinoa, oats, seeds, nuts and dried cranberries with almond and coconut milk, or the all-in Eggs Royale Benedict ($17) with lox, spinach and hollandaise on an English muffin – which is also available gluten-free – everyone in your party will feel seen. 

Cheery Ovo Frito Café is open only for breakfast, lunch and brunch. Credit: Ovo Frito Café

Ovo Frito Café

1936 Maple Ave., 847-859-6966

The owners hail from Mexico and Belize, so it’s no surprise to see many dishes with Latin flare on this sunny menu. Zinnia’s Spicy Chilaquiles ($15) are an eye-opener and the zarzamora brioche French toast ($14.50), stuffed with pastry cream and topped with fresh blackberries and coulis is a winner. I tend to order the veggie bowl ($16), which basically offers an entire farmer’s market with two over-medium eggs, cheese and guacamole. Bonus points for all the egg-themed art on the walls!

Why not at brunch? It’s never a bad time for macarons at Patisserie Coralie. Credit: Patisserie Coralie

Patisserie Coralie

600 Davis St., 847-905-0491

The many flavors of quiche at this charming coffee shop and bakery would be reason enough to stop by. Add in the lovely croissants, jewel-like macarons, stunningly crafted entremets (the Great British Baking Show would be jealous!) and excellent coffees and tea, and you are transported directly to Paris. Grab a packet or two of madeleines and sable Breton for the road.

Try a house-made scone at the Peckish Pig. Credit: Peckish Pig

Peckish Pig

623 Howard St., 847-491-6778

Chef-owner Debbie Evans moved here from Liverpool, and you can sense that in her brunch menu especially. The Full English ($17) packs quite a cholesterol punch, what with the eggs, English bacon, sausage, black pudding and baked beans, but it’s a tried-and-true classic. Kedgeree ($12), another British favorite, combines mild curried rice with smoked fish, chopped egg and peas. And the house-made scones ($7)? Only a real arse would miss out on those, slathered in Kerrygold Butter, jam and clotted cream. The smashed avocado toast ($12) is another winner, here layered with turmeric-lime mayo, bacon, confit tomatoes and a poached egg, all on toast from Evanston’s own Hewn Bakery. 

The breakfast chimichanga at Ten Mile House is massive. Credit: Ten Mile House

Ten Mile House

1700 Central St., 847-905-0669

As of this writing, TMH is closed for renovations, but is set to reopen 5 p.m. this Saturday, May 6. For now, you can still pick up some scrumptious DB3 donuts next door. But once TMH is up and running, head on over for the cauliflower steak ($14) with over-easy eggs and veggie hash, topped with black-pepper béarnaise sauce, or the Hangover Fried Rice ($16) with smoked pork, fried eggs, fresh veggies and a good hit of ginger. Happily, the famous crispy grilled cheese ($14) also graces the brunch menu. Sit outside on sunny Central Street and watch the cars go by.

Have your brunch amid art at Zentli, in the old Curt’s Cafe spot on Dempster Street. Credit: Zentli


1813 Dempster St., 224-999-7486

One of Evanston’s newest restaurants just started serving brunch, and there’s reason to celebrate! Zentli, a festive Mexican spot in west Evanston near Dempster Street and Dodge Avenue, is a sister restaurant to Skokie’s storied Libertad. At Zentli, you’ll find vegetarian enfrijoladas ($14), crêpes with cajeta and fruit ($12), both red and green chilaquiles ($13) and esquites ($7) – Mexican street corn – among other delectables. Toast to your good fortune with a margarita or michelada ($13).

Julie Chernoff is Food Editor at the RoundTable and a longtime food and culture writer. She loves all things Evanston and has lived here since 1989. Contact her at food@evanstonroundtable.com.

Join the Conversation


The RoundTable will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted. Your full name and email is required. We do not post anonymous comments. Your e-mail will not be posted.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Thank you so much for the Evanston Mom Day restaurant listing w great photos – I’m saving this “happy” report for occasions when I am excited by visits from either my daughter a definite LeTour style, or my granddaughter who strongly suggests Fonda Cantina for her next new try as both already enjoy Koi. Ceal Hanchar ceal_h@yahoo.com

  2. Sylvie, three great suggestions! Trattoria DOC does not have a separate brunch menu, nor does Kabul House, although they do serve their regular lunch menus. La Principal DOES serve a special brunch, but did not have the information on their website! When I called just now, they said the only way to see the brunch menu is to come in to the restaurant. So I will check it out this weekend and then add it to the list. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  3. How about Trattoria D.O.C and La Principal, on Main Street? I’m pretty sure. they offer brunch. And does Kabul House on Dempster?