Party Earth Review Originally opened in 1993 as a quaint deli, The Bongo Room has since evolved into one of the city’s most recognized brunch spots. Nestled among the record stores and vintage clothing shops of Wicker Park, the venue’s walloping... ... read full review
1470 North Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
Blue Line: Damen
M–F 8am–2:30pm, Sa–Su 9am–2pm
Wicker Park / Bucktown, Chicago –
Originally opened in 1993 as a quaint deli, The Bongo Room has since evolved into one of the city’s most recognized brunch spots.
Nestled among the record stores and vintage clothing shops of Wicker Park, the venue’s walloping pancakes alone are enough to draw in patrons willing to wait upwards of two hours on the weekends, while a seasonally changing menu keeps regulars flooding back for a taste of something new.
Girlfriends and artsy types quickly fill the barely twenty tables inside, where they enjoy towers of chocolate bread French toast or one of four eggs Benedict dishes before diving into the myriad mimosa and Bloody Mary options available.
The clamor of conversation fills the air from the moment Bongo opens, forming an uproarious backdrop for the solo visitors and hipster couples sipping coffee and sharing stacks of fruity hot cakes at the small counter bar.
A minimal décor of pastel wallpaper, candelabras, exposed brick, and Romanesque pillars creates a soothing environment beneath the noise, though most patrons are too busy to notice, given their focus on the graham cracker-crusted white chocolate and four-berry cheesecake flapjacks.
Considering the eager hordes that continue to gather every weekday morning, The Bongo Room clearly beats a drum that countless people like to follow.
Young crowd of creative types, stylish girlfriends, young professionals, and hipster couples, early 20s to mid-30s.
Ambient jazz, electronic, and acoustic indie hits.
Contemporary fare with a focus on local and seasonal ingredients. Breakfast and lunch served weekdays, brunch served weekends. No reservations accepted. The Bongo Room has a second location in the South Loop at 1152 South Wabash Avenue.
Brunch $12–$15, breakfast $6–$11, lunch $11–$14. Coffee and juices $3–$5, brunch cocktails $7–$9.
Casual to business attire: t-shirts, jeans, sundresses, khakis, loose-fitting collared shirts.
Weekend brunch for the big crowds, though there is a long wait, or earlier in the week for a still busy but more relaxed breakfast and lunch scene.
Tons of eclectic shops and clothing stores along Milwaukee Avenue. The Wormhole (1462 North Milwaukee Avenue) provides steamy cups of fair trade coffee and refreshing iced yerba mate perfect to take along on a window-shopping walk.