It is a known fact that brunch in Chicago is a pretty big deal. It becomes a day long affair of exploring the city’s incredibly competitive restaurant scene. The competition at hand?  Who takes home the crown for the best brunch in the city. The judges? A city of highly inquisitive and possibly hungover foodies. Everyone is always looking to add to their brunch list as evident by the many brunch listicles that come out each year.

Sometimes we choose our brunch locales for reasons such as who has the best bottomless mimosa specials or who has perfected the coveted chicken and waffles combo. But maybe we should raise the bar for our brunch expectations. it’s totally fine to have a brunch with a spread of fine cuisine versus just a standard stack of pancakes and omelettes.

Allow me to introduce to you the heart of the city’s hidden gem; Beacon Tavern.


A Gem in the Heart of the City

Located conveniently between the iconic Wrigley Building, sits Beacon Tavern where inventive fare awaits. When we think of tavern, it’s easy to think of a bunch of beer glasses clinking at the bar as everyone sits around and watches sports. However, at this tavern guests are greeted with a wall that features a wide array of the world’s finest wines. I first was introduced to the wide array of wines when I first visited the tavern during Somm Slam V.

The interior is posh with a nod to tradition. It has that tavern feel such as wooden finishes and plush leathers. There is a touch of class but just enough where it doesn’t feel stuffy.

Best way to describe the mood of this luxe tavern is an approachable luxury. This motif is especially clear within  the menu items.

Not Your Typical Brunch

First thing that come to mind when thinking of brunch are typical items such as a stack of pancakes, pretty standard omelettes, and of course mimosas. But standard and typical aren’t the words that I would use to describe the cuisine of Beacon Tavern.

Sure eggs and grits are iconic brunch staples, however, Beacon Tavern has their own twist on some breakfast classics.

We started with the oysters hailing from the two coasts. I just always felt like oysters are a great way to kick off an afternoon of fine dining and Beacon’s oysters didn’t disappoint. The only thing I would change is that they come with more than 6.

For my main dish, I ordered the Eggs in Purgatory which featured a blend of both spicy and savory. This dish included cheddar grits, spicy puttanesca, baked eggs and parmesan cheese. As someone who only eats her Mama’s grits, I think it’s safe to say my Mom has some competition.

I easily devoured this dish and I enjoyed the culinary prowess of executive chef Bob Brosky. I especially loved the oozing from my eggs as it streamed its away throughout the grits. Talk about a great distribution of flavors! It’s risky to put two potentially watery sides in one dish but Beacon Tavern absolutely nailed it.

My friend Jill started with the French Toast. While the dish was incredibly delicious, my friend shared that this may best be served as dessert. The toast has a cake-like texture which would come as a delight to dessert lovers.

For a savory addition to her meal, Jill later ordered the Blackened Redfish which comprised of sauce gribiche, frisée, basil, fried egg, and fries. Judging by the sudden silence after she took a bite, it’s safe to say that this was indeed a hit.

Do We Have Room for Dessert?

The answer to the above question? No, but we’ll make it work. While our tummies were bursting at the seams, we still managed to leave some room for some decadent delights.

We indulged in an array of sweets including some freshly made macarons in the flavors of lemon and vanilla.

However, the standout dish was the Roasted Pineapple. Just writing those words is making my mouth water. Sugar-coated madeleines, drizzled caramel and a scoop of vanilla ice cream made for perfect pairings with the dish. I had never heard of a roasted pineapple until that day but now I am completely sold on the concept. This dish is shareable, but I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to keep it all for yourself.

Runner up for a dish that made my sweet tooth overly enthusiastic was Beacon Tavern’s signature cheesecake. Let’s just say, you won’t be able to find this cheesecake on the menu of your local Cheese Factory. The bread components were gingerbread, the cheesecake was topped with our favorite roasted pineapple, and the dish was made complete with a scoop of mango sorbet. While all the ingredients were a treat to my palate, the presentation was impeccable. No boring cheesecake triangles here, it was almost too pretty to eat. Emphasis on almost because this dish was gone in mere seconds. I fully gave into my gluttony and I’m not ashamed.

Until We Meet Again

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my not so typical brunch at Beacon Tavern. It’s for sure a hidden gem that’s so conveniently located in the busiest part of the city. However, it’s certainly not a tourist trap due to the location. This ensures that it maintains an element of prestige yet approachable luxury.

Plus, unlike other brunch spots it wasn’t overwhelmingly crowded with ridiculous wait times.

This is the perfect spot for a special occasion, brunch with the parents, or maybe you just simply want to treat yourself before a day of shopping along the Magnificent Mile.

For me, it was a great way to close my birthday weekend and I’m looking forward to making my way back to the tavern.



*Food was provide complimentary courtesy of Beacon Tavern. All opinions are my own