Brunch at Deleece / Grassroots

It’s true that in Chicago, winter brunch means no alfresco dining, but you could say this weekend ritual makes up for what it lacks with other charms.

An image of a facade of the famous Deleece restaurant with the signage out front.

Like a few weeks ago, just days after Christmas: three of us walked down shoveled sidewalks, fat flakes of snow falling all around us, out of that cold and into the exposed brick walls, white twinkling lights and contemporary style of Deleece in Lakeview.

A closeup image of a sachet of herbal tea with a white cup on the side.

Seated at the back end of the wall lined by small tables, we kept our coats on and ordered hot tea, our waitress bringing steaming water in individual glass carafes with black-rimmed necks that make them easier to handle.

An image of tall glass of tea on a table with a woman at the back.

From where I sat on the wall side, cradling my mug between my warming hands, I had a full view of the restaurant: nicely sized with room for customers to get in and out (unlike another brunch spot I visited recently), a wide bar, loads of streaming sunlight pouring in through the front wall of windows to the street.

An image of restaurant interior with a cozy ambiance and lighting.

Beyond warmth though, there is this: Of course I can’t speak for you, but on a Sunday in December, I tend to have a much bigger appetite than on one in August.

A closeup image of Deleece menu.
I made full use of it at Deleece. After a starter (Deleece’s words, not mine) of homemade, cluster-filled granola with vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit as sweet as summertime ($5) loaded into a bowl much more like a platter, I moved onto my main entree: two scrambled eggs, crisp herbed breakfast potatoes and toast with butter and honey on top ($5), and I ate every bit of it all, fully satisfied.

An image of a sumptuous meal on a white plate with an orange slice at the side.

(I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed myself:)

An image of a breakfast meal with scrambled eggs and toast.

In fact, by the end of the meal, it was hard to think of anything to complain about on that bright Sunday afternoon, when we walked out with full bellies, into the streets turned near-silent by snow, and stepped into the car, headed home.

Deleece Restaurant
4004 North Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613-1909
(773) 325-1710
*Deleece on

About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home,, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

29 thoughts on “Brunch at Deleece / Grassroots”

  1. Deleece has been one of my favorite restaurants for almost fifteen years. As life has changed for me, I haven’t been there for a while — but it’s nice to know that the good ones are still chugging along. (Of course, “chugging” unintentionally implies a certain weightiness or girth, possibly inspired by the description of your meal and in no way intended as a commentary on either you, your dining companions or Deleece itself!) 🙂

  2. I am headed to Chicago in a couple of weeks — can’t wait! Any tips for dining downtown? I am meeting another out-of-town friend for a dinner.

  3. i lived in lakeview, but sadly, never knew deleece. sounds like a perfect brunch spot to hole up in for a few hours for warm conversation.

  4. That sounds good – I love going out for breakfast and granola followed by scrambled eggs sounds just about perfect for this time of year. I would comment on how cold it is here at the moment but guessing it is nothing compared to January in Chicago!

  5. Sounds cold. Actually, I wanted to let you know that I am thinking of starting a group for food bloggers. It is going to be named
    “Let’s all move to the Caribbean and eat food al fresco”

    Our purpose will be to fulfill our mission statement, which happens to be our name.

  6. Yum. I’ve been to Chicago twice, to visit my then-boyfriend who went to college there. We’re married now :), that was a long time ago, and we were just talking about how we’d like to go back. Thanks for this little taste of your neighborhood.

  7. this sounds great. breakfast/brunch is my favorite meal of the day, by far. being in chicago burbs i am always looking for a new spot to visit in the city. weekend excursions are the best. looks like this has moved onto my list!

  8. Ruth, Glad to have you! Thanks for saying hi.

    DavidM, Ha! Don’t you worry; I won’t take “chugging” personally (although maybe I should at least after all I ate that day!). Nice to hear from someone who’s a long-time fan of Deleece. Thanks for saying so!

    Anne, Which neighborhood will you be in? Are you primarily in the Loop? I’m mostly familiar with the North Side, but I’d love to send some suggestions your way. E-mail me – shannalee [at] foodloveswriting [dot] com!

    Giao, It’s so fun to have a former Chicagoan reading. Have we talked about what your fav brunch spots were? I’d love to know!

    Gemma, You’re sweet. I think I’m just a bad sport about the cold weather, but I’m working on it — good brunches help!

    Tim, Excellent. Sign me up and when can we leave? Anne’s already in, so I think we’re on to something.

    Misty, Ha! Indeed.

    Leftoverist, Oh, you’re kidding! A Chicago love story. You two should make a return trip for sure, just not now, ha. Wait (for your own sake) until we’re looking pretty again, say May? maybe June? Oh, I hope those months come soon.

    bodelou, I’ve grown up in the ‘burbs myself – while they’re harder to find, brunch places do pop up in some of the little downtowns. Do you know Blueberry Hill (several locations) or Harner’s in Aurora?

    Kim, Wow. If this post made a Californian wish for snow, it has exceeded my wildest dreams. I’d still take your neighborhood, especially now! PS almost finished your jam this morning and yummm it’s been so nice.

    Novelista, Thanks!

    Caitlin, Yes. I love love brunch.

  9. I’m so glad you are enjoying the jam! And not to make you jealous, but I was gallavanting around town today in jeans and a light long-sleeved shirt. Granted, I wore a scarf and jacket when I left the house this morning, and probably will when I leave work, but it is really “ok in just long sleeves and a sweatshirt” weather out here. 🙂

  10. Kim, Jealous, jealous, jealous! The next time I can wear a light shirt and jeans out of the house will be in say, 12 weeks?

  11. Eek! We’ve been talking about moving to “where it snows” some day, and it’s a little scary to me. It will be an adjustment to be sure!

  12. The experience of this was just gorgeous. Thanks for letting us tag along! And thanks for having a real appetite! So much good stuff you’d miss otherwise!

  13. Kim, Are you really?? That’s amazing that you’re even willing to consider it, I think. For now though, enjoy every bit of sunshine you get!

    Susan, Aw, thank you! And come!

    Kamran, You’re kind. You know I’m loving my new camera, and winter daylight isn’t so hard to look at, right?

    My First Kitchen, Kendra, if and when you come to Chicago, we will go anywhere you like. Come!

    Jessie, What a nice thing to say! I hope I do make you hungry!

    Lo, Thank you! So true about the appetite – I take it when it comes, and it comes much stronger when my body’s trying to keep from freezing!

    RedMenace, Thanks so much! And oh boy, I am right there with you on winter.


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