Chicago >Food & Dining > Bongo Room
1470 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6062241.908572 -87.674804
Neighborhoods: Wicker Park, West Side
Cult favorite brunch spot serves decadent dishes like chocolate French toast.
Decadent brunch dishes with everything covered in amazing vanilla, chocolate and fruit sauces. Don't skip the savory side of the menu either.
Waiting for your brunch at Bongo Room has always been par for the course, but it's worth every hungry second when plates of massive hotcakes smothered with blueberry coulis and vanilla cream arrive at the table.
Great breakfast food, worth the wait! – Ok, so the lines are long but the food is worth it. The ingredients are fresh and the breakfast is never boring. If you're looking for breakfast food that's a step above, try this place out. Portions are huge and delicious. Yum.
Brunch for foodies – OK - the wait's no fun. And you can't spend a ton of time sitting around chatting after you've finished eating. But you probably spent nearly 1.5 hours sitting outside chatting and waiting to get in! For crying out loud, this place is great. So great that they can close at 2 or 2:30p everyday, always have a huge wait, couldn't possibly fit any more always full tables into either of their locations and don't need wait staff kissing up to you so you'll come back.
As for the food, if you want boring comfort food - go somewhere boring. This is NOT a diner, this is NOT up-scale IHOP and if all you really want is scrambled eggs, move right along. If you want unique breakfast combinations that change with the seasons, Bongo Room is just the place for you. And even better - when you can't decide between one of their incredible sweet options (say the chocolate tower French Toast) and one of the more savory options, just get a half order of each!
No more Bongp Room – My boyfriend and I dine at Bongo Room fairly often and we have always enjoyed it. We don't usually mind the wait, the service or the tight seating because we enjoy the food. However, I took my friend there on a Sunday and had a horrible experience. My friend was visiting from Texas and I took her to "the best breakfast/lunch in Chicago." They practically stood next to our table trying to take our plates away. Then apparently there is an unwritten rule that you have to swallow your last bite, pay and run out of the restaurant as fast as if it was on fire. I have never been so embarrassed as I was when we were "cut off" and asked to leave. I work in the restaurant industry so I tend to cut people a little more slack, but I will never be back or recommend this place to anyone ever again. I work hard to make people feel welcome and I was horrified when my friend and I were treated so poorly!
Good food but beware of the crowds – When we got there on Saturday before 10, there was already a half hour wait. Although seating took a while, the service once we were there was good - not great - but not awful. I got the Neapolitan Pancakes and my friend got the strawberry french toast, both of which were large portions but tasty.
very rude service - worst ever experienced – my friend and i met early saturday morning 10:30am for brunch at this fabled hipster hangout. as i got there to put my name down, there were two open tables for two. no line in sight. my friend and i were told to wait outside or back in the crowded restaurant and our wait would be 30 min. twenty minutes later, when upon asking on the status of our wait and seeing a number of open tables - while a line had formed in the back of the restaurant. we were told rudely that bongo room would prefer not to serve us if we insisted on asking them about why we were not seated. i must say, the attitude that accompanied that rude remark was not welcome at that hour of the day especially for a brunch spot. i don't think i have ever experienced even that level of snootiness even at clubs.
any magical brunch food that they might be able to produce does not warrant withstanding this level of poor service. recommend trying many other great brunch places in the neighborhood at much less hassle.
Great Lunch at this hip breakfast joint – My wife and I stopped here on a Friday after our Chicago Greeters tour of Wrigleyville/Lakeview. She ordered smoked chicken salad, I had the chicken and avacado sandwich with potato salad. Wife and I agreed the potato salad was great. Nice dill flavor.
This place seems more famous for its breakfast, but we enjoyed our lunch very much.
On a Friday, it was fairly busy around 1pm, there were at least three families with kids. I expected a more 'hipster' crowd, but maybe they show up on the weekend.
Easy to get to via the blue line.
Overrated & snooty...Avoid! – Sorry, but there are too many fantastic brunch places in this city to warrant having to put up with snooty service, mediocre food, cramped seating arrangements, and a patronage that seems to have meandered a little south of their natural habitat and doesn't seem to be bothered by these facts.
I'm Still Confused – During an early fall visit, our wait took place outside in the cold as we were not made aware of the waiting area in the back. The sidewalk was full of people waiting in the cold to get into the Bongo Room. Everybody was so hip in the way they were dressed on this cold fall morning. Their attire consisted of winter hats, warm coats, and flip-flops? I was a little confused by peoples attire as well as the hype surrounding this restaurant. I had visited this place before during the weekday and could only remember the coffee as being exceptional. I waited in hunger-induced anticipation.
Once seated at the bar, I ordered eggs benedict which came with a heaping pile of uncooked, rosemary laden, potato chunks (yuck). The service was poor and the food was tasteless. I wouldnt recommend this place to anyone looking for a good breakfast experience.
Terrible Experience – I didn't even get to try the food the acting manager was so rude. We walked into the restaurant, submitted our name and headed to the back bar to wait. Not knowing it wasn't a traditional bar, it was customer seating, we sat down. The host came over and rudely saying it was for customers, not politely asking us to get up. After we got our table we ordered 2 mimosa's. It was a Friday afternoon & the waitress then demanded we order our food. We hadn't even looked at the menu! The acting-manager then came over to demand that we order as well- "in the next 5 minutes". At this time, we had been at our seat for about 5 minutes tops- We had just gotten our waters. They were so rude that my girlfriend, and her friends, who used to be loyal to them will never go back.
Better choices in the neighborhood – Have eaten at Bongo Room twice for brunch. Food okay, long wait, overrated atmosphere. Second time we were encouraged to have coffee at the bar and after we were served they asked us to get up so they could seat other diners there. Manager was uninterested in the poor treatment. Won't be back. Try another restaurant two blocks away around the corner for better service and quality food.
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