While Sunday brunch typically connotes images of heaping French toast and silver dollar cakes, we like a little morning buzz to jumpstart an otherwise lazy day. Bypass the mundane mimosas and take a slug at one of these unique aperitifs.
Bliss out on bellinis at Vinci
The wily Venetians have given us many useful things: blinds, gondolas and most importantly, bellinis. Thankfully, you need only travel to Vinci's on Halsted to get one. This rustic ristorante's Sunday brunch serves both the classic peach variety and a honeydew bellini ($7.50), an ambrosial mix of honeydew puree and sparkling prosecco wine perfect for chasing bruschetta. Now finish that delectable spinach frittata, chock-full of smoked Applewood bacon and goat cheese, order another round and pretend you're people watching on the piazza.
Brunch served from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday
See the sunrise at Salpicon
Never mind the sappy Eagles song of the same name; the Tequila Sunrise ($8) is a time-tested eye-opener that looks as beautiful as it tastes. At upscale Mexican eatery Salpicon, glasses of those golden rays sit alongside spicy stuff like the airy omelet de huitlacoche ($12), speckled with corn, mushrooms, onion, garlic and serrano chiles and dressed in a roasted poblano cream sauce. Otherwise get acquainted with Tequila Mary ($8), a heady blend of Herradura Silver and sangrita.
Brunch served from 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday
Sip lemonade at Silver Cloud
Any place that serves brie burgers alongside biscuits and gravy for brunch must pour some interesting drinks. Silver Cloud calls its bloody mary a "meal in a glass," and after gorging on a few, you might not make it out awake. Instead, try the Lemonade Elixir ($6), a refreshing blend of Stoli, raspberry liqueur and lemonade, or the light-yet-deadly Bucktown Lemonade—its recipe remains a tightly guarded trade secret. But since it's still early, why stop there? There's a wide variety of super-size Tropical Teasers to prolong your morning buzz ($6-$6.50).
Brunch served from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Go to hell and back at Feast
This smart Bucktown
spot has a thing for Svedka Vodka, which is just fine by us. We can't think of any better way to wash down crab benedict in a chipotle hollandaise. Breakfast cocktails include Love Juice ($6.50) with Svedka Citron, crushed strawberries and sparkling champagne, and the Mangotini ($9), made with Svedka Clementine, mango puree, Cointreau and a splash of cranberry juice. For our money, we'll take the Bloody Hell ($6.50), a hot mess of a mary built on Svedka Peppar and chipotles, because we love the name…and a good challenge. Brunch served from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Drink divinely at Dine
Piling your plate with chocolate cake for breakfast might look a little odd; Dine's White Chocolate drink sounds just as good...and it's far more socially acceptable. The West Town supper club's $11 special offers a serious sugar high: a smooth combination of Chopin, Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur, Creme de Cacao and a splash of cream with a cocoa dusted rim.
Brunch ($22.95 flat rate) served from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday
Still got room for a brunch-time buzz? Try a few more creative cocktails:
SushiSamba Rio serves up sake-guava combo Pika Pikas with brunch.
Cuatro's Bossa Nova brunch includes sweet $10-$12 Coquinhos (10 Cane rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice and muddled fresh pineapple).
Bistro 110 pours $8.50 French Margaritas (Jose Cuervo, tequila, Cointreau, sour mix and a splash of orange juice finished with a float of Grand Marnier).
sola mixes up $7 Sneaky Petes (Ketel One, Cointreau, lime, soda and Sprite).