The 10 Best Breakfast Sandwiches In Chicago
Search online and you'll find several odes to the simple utilitarian joys of the sandwich. When crafted carefully, choosing the right mélange of ingredients, it's a perfect meal any time of the day.
A great sandwich for breakfast? That is a perfect start to the day. Following are ten of our favorite breakfast sandwiches across Chicago. Put them in your hands, gobble them up and enjoy. As always, these lists are subjective; please share your favorites in the comments or on social media.
Reno's Egg BLT
It’s always easy like Sunday morning at Reno's weekend brunch and on their morning menu. They have perfected wood-firing to make fantastic pizzas later in the day, but in the morning one goes there to indulge in their solidly-executed bagels and airy English muffins. I like to keep my breakfast fairly basic and Reno’s Egg BLT delivers on flavor despite its seeming modesty with a scrambled egg, bacon, lettuce and tomato. This Logan Square restaurant boasts a variety of bagels, but most often I get this sandwich on their rich olive and herb bagel. The combination of the ingredients in the BLT gives credence to the “less is more” adage and goes great with the equally-simple and crisp lager, Pittsburgh Brewing’s American for only $3, making for a great morning-after boost. — Carrie McGath
Reno is located at 2607 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Eleven City Diner's Bad A#@! Breakfast Sandwich
When you’re in or around the South Loop, the options for places to eat can be pretty overwhelming. There are joints of just about every type running the gamut in price range. When you’re hankering for breakfast, however, a diner is often your best option. Eleven City has two locations, in the North Side and the South Loop, and their atmosphere, pricing and food can’t be beat. If you’re in the market for a sandwich, look no further than the Bad A#$ Breakfast Sandwich. It features your choice of two meats, Wisconsin aged cheddar, jalapeño and two eggs. Oh, and it comes on challah bread. Pair it with a mimosa or Bloody Mary and you’re good to go! — Sophie Day
Eleven City Diner is located at 1112 S. Wabash Ave.
Nightwood’s Bagel Sandwich
Chicago will never be known for its bagels, no matter how hard we try, but the places that do dabble in them only do so enough to keep them special. Nightwood’s Sunday brunch menu, like all the menus at the Pilsen locavore hotspot, contain various tweaks depending on what produce is in season. Their bagel sandwich, however, is a constant with its Rushing Waters smoked trout cream cheese spread, slaw, bacon and an over-easy egg. It isn’t a redefinition of the wheel, it’s just a simple sandwich turned out impeccably. — Chuck Sudo
Nightwood is located at 2119 S. Halsted St.
Sarks In The Parks' "The Loretta"
It’s probably the North Shore boy inside me that includes the Loretta on this list, but that takes nothing away from this sandwich. As it did when I was 16, this sandwich still has the properties to remove the hangover obtained from Friday night’s excesses. Served on griddled French bread, the Loretta comes with your choice of meat (bacon, ham or turkey), which is topped off by bell pepper, tomato, onion, mayo and melted brick cheese. Get a side of hash browns to go alongside this hangover honey. It complements nicely and gives your gut the grease it needs to coat your sensitive, Jameson torn stomach lining. — Ben Kramer
Sarks In The Park is located at 444 W. Fullerton Pkwy.
Trenchermen’s "Kyle's Breakfast Sandwich"
I waxed on the virtues of this delicious sandwich in our post about Trenchermen’s brunch menu . The fact I can’t stop including their stuff on these lists is testament to how versatile this restaurant is. You can get a fantastic multiple course menu, or a hearty breakfast sandwich like this to eradicate all hangovers. This one has tender pork shoulder, tangy sauerkraut and spicy mustard. Paired with their excellent cup of coffee, it’s the perfect way to start the morning and forget about the night before. — Melissa McEwen
Trenchermen is located at 2039 W. North Ave.
The Roost Carolina Kitchen's Chicken Biscuit
My love affair with The Roost’s chicken biscuit breakfast sandwich is well documented at Chicagoist. It was one of the best things I ate in 2013, is a top pick for my favorite food truck and was one of my favorite new restaurants to open last year when they finally set up a brick and mortar shop. I even got to live the dream and have owner Joe Scroggs show me in person how he makes my perfect breakfast sandwich. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to breakfast sandwiches, The Roost is still top bird to me. Although I love the classic spicy fried chicken and cheddar, sandwiched between their buttery biscuit, there are a few additions to the menu at their shop I wouldn’t turn down. The Rheney is my favorite, adding bacon to my standard order because of course, everything is better with bacon. If you want some fire in your belly, you can grab The Ali, their Nashville Hot chicken topped with a fried egg and dill pickles to cut the burn. And if you really had a rough night and need a strong sandwich to soak it all up, The Stevie piles on bacon, a fried egg and cheddar over their signature fried bird. It’s a little perfect piece of Southern cuisine to start (or save) your day. — Lisa White
Z&H Market Cafe’s “The Snorky”
I love the marriage of peanut butter, chocolate and bananas. It evokes the simple pleasures of an overindulgent childhood. Whenever I find myself in Hyde Park (usually in the middle of a bike ride) and need some fuel, I grab this simple take on that old standby. The Snorky is made with peanut butter, banana and Guittard chocolate on a flaky croissant. Honestly, I could eat this without the croissant but the rich buttery flavor of the bread blends well with the other ingredients to make this a filling treat, a reward for pushing my body and bike to the limit. —Chuck Sudo
Z&H Market Cafe is located at 1323 E. 57th St.
Monte Cristo at The Chicago Diner
A fondness for French toast (and French things) led me to the Monte Cristo, a sandwich occasionally maligned for that which seems to be its ultimate advantage—the coveted balance of sweet and savory. I prefer this griddled goodness with just ham (no turkey), but in a vegetarian’s stead, I take what I can get. Seitan bacon subs in for ham, but as with most everything at Chicago Diner, the lack of meat is undetectable among the king of gooey cheese and the queen of griddled bread. A healthy dollop of tangy, seed-studded Creole mustard lightens the mood with proper zing. This vegetarian breakfast sans eggs is worth the wait. Luckily brunch lives daily at both locations.— Kristine Sherred
The Chicago Diner is located at 3411 N. Halsted St. and 2333 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Carriage House's Fried Chicken Biscuit
Despite the ubiquity of brunch in this town, not many restaurants exceed and delight Monday through Sunday. Carriage House manages to inject appreciated peculiarities into Carolinan cooking at dinner and, not surprisingly, sustains a hearty and homey brunch. Skillet cornbread slathered in rich foie gras butter and homemade jam doesn’t disappoint, so why deny the fried chicken its due? Hardly a sandwich, the crisp edges of that buttermilk biscuit strain to hold back the moat of meaty pimento gravy that has already claimed a handful of ultra-crispy potatoes. You’ll need that steak knife and a very peckish appetite, but being stuffed rarely feels so good. Add a house Bloody and call it a day darlin.’— Kristine Sherred
Carriage House is located at 1700 W. Division St.
Three Aces' Porchetta Pull-Apart Sandwich
There are so many reasons I love Three Aces and serving brunch daily has to be at or near the top of the list. Since that is in place, I could cheat and list their burger (one of the best in town) as a breakfast sandwich. But why do that when I can branch out and recommend this gutbuster of a menu item featuring house made everything, from the porchetta all the way to the roll, lemon aioli and garlic and hops pickle. That’s a lot of sammich for your piehole and worth every bite. —Chuck Sudo
Three Aces is located at 1321 W. Taylor St.