Hello readers – Happy Sunday! I’ll start off with a quick (yet important) question for you: Are you into brunch?
I sure hope you are because my feelings for brunch borderlines obsession. A Saturday or Sunday without brunch is like cake without frosting or hot chocolate without marshmallows.
As I was lying in bed thinking about where I should go for brunch today, Chicago decides to surprise me with a full day of “snow and rain mixture” – really, Chi-town? Can’t you wait till the weekdays for this type of stuff?
Luckily, there are plenty of brunch places within a 5 minute walking distance from my apartment, so I put on my mittens, earmuffs, puffy jacket, and boots, then ventured out to a cute little café called Esencia Urban Kitchen.

Let me take a step back. 25 days ago, I set a New Years Resolution to spend a day every month by myself. I wanted to set aside this time to think, self-reflect, and catch up with myself. Today was one of my “me-days”, and what better way to spend it than to hit up my favorite brunch spot early in the morning?
Since last July, I’ve been here several times (they also have outdoor seating over the summer). Esencia offers sweet and savory items, some with a mexican twist.
First things first – their coffee is amazing. It’s difficult not to judge a brunch place by its coffee, but Esencia definitely excels on this front.
When my friend, Maddy, visited last weekend, I brought her here (she knows my love for brunch). I got the Breakfast Wrap (scrambled eggs and spinach in a spinach tortilla), while she got an Egg White Omelette.
Breakfast Wrap + Egg White Omelette
They also have homemade salsa if you want a little kick to your morning.
Maddy visiting Chi-Town
Maddy visiting Chi-Town
On the sweet side of things, I’ve tried the blueberry pancakes with banana, which was exquisite. It’s actually one of the best pancakes I’ve ever had.
Blueberry Pancakes w. Banana
Blueberry Pancakes w. Banana
I specifically went in today thinking I’ll order the exact same thing because I’ve been thinking about those pancakes ever since I finished the last bite, but I got too curious about all the other food items. In particular, their french toast made from their fresh banana bread. Yums? Yeah, lets try it!
Banana Bread French Toast
Banana Bread French Toast
They caramelized the banana bread then dipped it in egg and fried it (I think?), which made the dish a little overly sweet for me. I might just stick with the pancakes next time, which will have to be in March at the earliest since I’m leaving for HONG KONG this Wednesday!
I guess I’ll be posting some Chinese/HK food next time round! Till next Sunday (or whatever day it is in your city…time zones are killing too many of my brain cells)

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