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.
Cozy little nook! – I thought this place was perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast. It was definitely crowded, but the decor and feel was very cozy, and the food was great. I would recommend the raspberry banana pancakes if you have a sweet tooth!
Major Disappointment – I gotta say, not only was it NOT good, it may have been the worst breakfast I've ever had. I am not exaggerating either. When my poached eggs were solid yolk inside and my supposed under-cooked bacon was crispy, I knew I was in for some major disappointment. When the waitress stopped by to ask how everything was, my reply was "to be honest, I'm disappointed considering how much hype this place gets - I was expecting GREAT food". My waitress said, and I kid you not: "Well, you didn't get anything special, you only got plain pancakes with eggs and bacon". I then pointed out my well done bacon and non-poached eggs and she said, "well everyone likes their poached eggs differently - let me know if you want me to get you another batch". I just looked at her like "duh, of course I want a new 'batch' of eggs and bacon. To top it off, yes I only got plain pancakes, but the pancakes were very heavy and dense, probably the worse pancakes I've ever tasted. In my opinion, pancakes should be light and fluffy, not heavy like bricks. I'm still scratching my head at all the good reviews of this place, because poor cooking aside, the meal was not good in any way.
A religious experience – Was in town for a wedding this weekend and was taken to Bongo Room by some former bucktown inhabitants who raved about the food here but warned us that the service was lacking. While we did have to wait awhile to get seated with six people in our party it was well worth it! The eggs benedict was the best I have ever had. Everyone in our party shared the raspberry banana cheesecake pancakes and the white chocolate caramel pretzel pancakes and I swear its like a religous experience to eat them. We could hardly set our drinks down without being offered a refill and while you could tell they were concerned about turnover, they still let us add on one extra pancake after our check was closed. Maybe we went in with lowered expectations due to the other reviewers, but I thought the service was top notch and I will be dreaming of the food for weeks!
Great decor, atmosphere and service...but average food. – I went to this cozy breakfast spot with a group of 5 friends; the wait was long since the place was bustling on a Saturday morning. After about half an hour, we got seated and were handed menus by a super friendly waiter. My friend that had been there before recommended the Eggs Benedict BLT (with spinach, tomatoes and bacon) so I got that. Some others got the Crab Benedict and another one of my friends ordered a breakfast burrito. The place was cute, but the food was bland. BLT Benedict was not worth the $14; the Hollandaise sauce had little flavor. Crab Benedict had even less flavor plus the saltiness of canned crab. Burrito was average.
Bottom line: Good service, unique decor and atmosphere, but food that isn't that great.
Great Pancakes, Rude Owner – The pancakes at the Bongo Room are amazing. They might be my favorite food on the planet. The coffee is great, so is just about everyhting on the menu. The food is out of sight.
The owner is rude, obnoxious, and makes the entire experience unpleasant. He is a true first class ____.
Everyone is different – I'm sorry, but this is by far the best place to get brunch (weekends are tough) in Chicago. I go back and forth between this place and Lula, but I can't believe anyone would have bad customer service from this place. And even if they did, the food is just so good that I think it's worth it!
Breakfast to write home about – I visited Chicago several times last summer and stayed two blocks away from the Bongo Room. Since, coming home to New York City I have been searching for something comparable and have yet to find it. This place is a jewel, and I daydream about making a day trip to Chicago just so I can go have breakfast.
Everything about this place is wonderful. The food is delicious, and beautifully presented. They have very large portions but also offer half-orders, so unless you are very very hungry I suggest a half-order. The service is wonderful. The decor is unique and quirky just like the neighbourhood they are set in. The only drawback I can think of is their closing time. They usually close at 2PM so a late-riser like myself only gets so much time to spend enjoying her breakfast.
I love this place and wish every day that they would open one in New York. Until they do, I will keep thinking up excuses to go to Chicago to eat here.
Good food, long wait – The Wicker Park location of the Bongo Room leaves a lot to be desired. The food is usually delicious (pumpkin pancakes doused in cream cheese glaze, yum!), but the place is tiny, cramped and loud. During winter, a seat by the door leaves you and your yummy pancakes cold. The South Loop location is a lot better. More seating, a waiting area, and a friendlier waitstaff.
Worst customer service in Chicago – I have been to the Bongo Room several times. While the food is okay the customer service is absolutely atrocious. By far the worst in Chicago. I will never go back.
Best Breakfast Date! – Such an adorable chic breakfast spot! It's the perfect place to take a date or recover with a tasty treat from a long night before. The wait is well worth it, but you can usually miss the rush if you get there early. What could possibly be better than an oreo/pancake combination! Wonderful!
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