By Jacqueline Runice
Even if you save the bagel with cookie dough cream cheese or bacon stuffed French toast for a holiday – a body still craves a satisfying, flavorful breakfasts to get through the morning and quell the hangry. Plenty of Chicago eateries have seen the light and have lightened up morning options – these are easily some of the best.
Kanela Breakfast Club
2127 W. DIvision St.
Chicago, IL 60622
With six locations in Andersonville, Lakeview, Old Town, Streeterville, Ukrainian Village and Wicker Park, Kanela Breakfast Club brings local, organic scratch-made morning and afternoon vittles to the hungry masses. Under the substantial number of healthy options, you’ll find Chia Seed Pudding (vegan) that’s chock full of almond milk, agave nectar, coconut shavings, blueberries and almonds; an Acai Bowl (vegetarian) with organic acai blended with berries, banana, and honey, topped with house-made granola, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, coconut, almond butter, fresh seasonal fruit; a vegetarian Egg White Omelette filled with mushroom, avocado, tomato, onion, broccoli and green pepper sided with salsa verde and toast. The Mediterranean Quinoa Salad is a good choice for those who like more of lunchy breakfast – it offers quinoa, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, feta, red onion, olives, roasted red peppers and oregano.
In 2009, Matt Matros spent his life savings to open the first Protein Bar at Franklin and Adams in Chicago. He was way ahead of the healthy eating curve and now spreads the tasty and healthy eating gospel around Chicago, Colorado and D.C. Expect healthy ingredient substitutes like quinoa, flaxseed tortillas, Greek yogurt and house-made sauces; lots of protein options (natch); “superfoods”; and vegan and gluten-free choices. Order a egg scramble bowl or wrap with whole eggs, double eggs or egg whites – they come as Morning Mexicali; Steak and Eggs; Sunrise Spinach and Pesto; or Big Bacon. Oatmeal Plus insures you’ll stay full longer since you’re fueling with the signature organic steel-cut oats and quinoa blend. Try the berry, peanut butter and acai or the savory with turkey bacon, Parmesan and olive oil.
671 N. St. Clair St.
Chicago, IL 60611
You can, of course, get de rigueur avocado toast and freshly squeezed sweet Valencia OJ at Beatrix, but also fabulous juicy spins like pineapple, pear, ginger and a Blue Boost of pure blueberry juice, white grape, basil, among other liquids that love your body. In fact, the number of healthy (and actually flavorful) breakfast items at the various Chicago locations is impressive: cauliflower grits with fried egg, crispy Brussels sprouts, Parmesan; Shalsouka – spicy tomato sauce, poached eggs, kale, feta, warm naan; pepper and egg white sandwich (shishito, jalapeño, pepperjack, organic kale and spinach); and, count ’em – 10-grain oatmeal with sun-dried sour cherries, dark brown sugar, toasted almonds. Quinoa cakes with poached eggs is a protein punch enhanced by tomato-basil sauce, poached egg mayo and window herbs. Get your fill at Beatrix Fulton Market, Streeterville, River North and the Loop.
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2018 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
Café Robey, a French-American bistro located inside the new Wicker Park boutique hotel, The Robey, offers health-friendly options when cheating on your diet is off the table. Consider Breakfast Salad with Kale, Walnuts, Red Beets, Sunny Side Up Egg & Goat Cheese with a Citrus Vinaigrette; a bowl filled with seasonal fruit and berries; and a Yogurt Parfait with Honey Lime Yogurt, Fresh Berries & Toasted Oats. Change up your Avocado Toast (Chili, Pickled Red Onion, Espelette Oil) by adding an egg or crab or both.
Chicago French Market
131 N. Clinton St.
Chicago, IL 60661
Commuters know about the convenience and quality of eats in the Chicago French Market and although lunch is perhaps the busiest time, there are plenty of tasty, healthy options. Aviato Eats offers natural breakfast bowls in which you pick your base, Acai, the Brazilian super fruit rich in antioxidants, or Matcha with steel-cut oats for long lasting energy. Choose among various fruits, oat crunch or cocoa nibs and add agave or nut butter. Stop at Flip Crepes for a feta avocado bowl or a veggie filled crepe and visit the European-style grocery shop, City Fresh Market , for just squeezed orange juice, an abundance of produce, yogurt and other grab and go options. Finish with coffee or freshly brewed tea at Polpetti Espresso Bar and you’re good to go and go and go.
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