Dove’s Luncheonette

The folks behind next door neighbor Big Star launched this Mexican-ish diner last year, and predictably, the alcohol is reason enough to pull up a stool. The whole drink menu is on offer all day, but you’ve obviously got a Bloody Mary on the brain. The one here is a small but mighty number, with a zesty housemade base, celery root bitters, and a pile of smoked pepper at the bottom of the Ball jar. It’s nice and hearty—consider it a solid base for the Big Star margaritas you’ll consume afterward. Wicker Park, 1545 N. Damen Ave.,

Fat Rice

At dinnertime, the compact Fat Rice can quickly become overrun, but that makes its low-key midday offerings all the more appealing. Toast to a mellower, looser meal with a Belinha, a surprisingly subtle and herbal take on the normally saccharine Bellini, then order a carafe of bourbon tea for the table. And relax. For once, no one here is in a hurry. Logan Square, 2957 W. Diversey Ave.,


This city’s most appealing wine is sneakily a great restaurant too, so treat brunch here more like a meal to complement your vino than vice versa. There are 20 or so offerings by the glass, and most are under $10. If you can’t do wine this early in the day, look to the carefully curated draft beers or a Bloody Mary well garnished with cheddar and cured meat. Humboldt Park, 954 N. California Ave.,