Punk Rock brekkie: Bleeding Heart Bakery & Cafe in Chicago

By Summar Ghias

Brunch may just be my favorite pastime. But brunch well past standard brunch timings at a 24-hour café essentially morphs me into a kid in a candy store. You can only imagine my excitement at hearing about the new Bleeding Heart Bakery & Café, a welcome bright spot in Chicago’s otherwise dismal late-night dining scene. The restaurant has an edgy diner vibe with vivid tattoo inspired art on the walls and what the owners dub a “local sustainable punk rock brunch” all day, every day.

After road-tripping to Indiana for a concert (yeah, Lupe!), some friends and I were in need of grub. Not just any kind of grub though. Once we’d confirmed that the food was delicious (because really, the host would have told us if it wasn’t), we set out to order from the brunch menu and eye the well-endowed glass counter from afar in all its munchkin and mini-cake mound glory. After oscillating between sweet and savory, I settled on a wild mushroom polenta eggs benedict with roasted red peppers and what seemed like an exotic twist on the standard condiment: persimmon hollandaise. My friends got the farmer’s veggie skillet, the seasonal fruit pancakes and, wait for it, the fried vanilla bean yeast doughnut breakfast sandwich with eggs and cheese.

My disappointing but tasty looking Wild Mushroom Polenta Benedict.

Sadly, my entrée didn’t live up to its description. The persimmon hollandaise was completely lacking in the persimmon department and the mushroom polenta was equally vapid. The seasoned roasted potatoes on the side were its only saving grace.

The Veggie Farmer's Skillet with zucchini and green beans

My friends, on the other hand, gave their dishes thumbs up. There were plenty of veggies in the farmer’s skillet and the fruit pancakes were equally tasty. And of course, how could a deep fried tempura battered doughnut breakfast sandwich be anything other than mortifyingly delicious?

The pièce de résistance: Fried doughnut sandwich. Getting fruit as a side makes up for the rest, right?

Though my dish was sub-par, I have a feeling I’ll be giving this place another shot. After all, any 24-hour place with a Veruca Salt Waffle on the menu (or simply one that references Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at all) deserves a second chance.

Restaurant Info:
Bleeding Heart Bakery & Cafe

1916 W. Chicago Ave
nr. N. Winchester Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 904-1414
West Town


Meal: Late-night grub
Occasion: Post-Concert Reflection
Price: $
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: *** (punk rock)
Food: **
Service: **
Would I go back?:24 hour brunch on the weekends = obvi.

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