Chicago, Lincoln Park

Bright & Beachy Brunch: Summerhouse Santa Monica

Apple cinnamon cookie at Summerhouse Santa Monica - Chicago brunch
Apple cinnamon cookie at Summerhouse Santa Monica in Lincoln Park

Let’s start with dessert, shall we? When I heard my friends Elliot, Elliot’s Mom, and Vina were headed to Chicago and had time to meet for brunch, I jumped at the opportunity to try Summerhouse Santa Monica in Lincoln Park for the first time – a newish Lettuce Entertain You restaurant featuring heaps of natural light, white walls, cheerful art, and fresh, California-inspired flavors, and local ingredients. Oh, and a bakery that greets you with open arms and sparks wide eyes upon taking two steps through the front door – an opportunity you simply can’t pass up at some point during your meal. It reminds me of the delightful bakery at my favorite Beatrix. So, after our meal, they warmed up an apple cinnamon cookie for us to share, with flavors mimicking the crispy top of an apple pie, especially with big apple pieces throughout. (Sidenote: why don’t apple pies have oatmeal in them?!)

Bakery and dessert at Summerhouse Santa Monica - Chicago brunch in Lincoln Park
Bountiful baked treats at the entrance of Summerhouse Santa Monica.

Before dessert, I ordered a perfectly portioned, simple, and light egg white omelet with kale, spinach, and Wisconsin cheddar, with a side of rustic wheat country toast. I also ordered a personal pot of green tea, which had flecks of brown in it, adding a toasted grain and nutty flavor. I couldn’t quite place the flavor or figure out what the floating pieces were. It wasn’t until we stopped at David’s Tea (another favorite!) after brunch that I learned it was Genmaicha tea, which translates to “brown rice tea”.

Spinach and kale omelette - brunch at Summerhouse Santa Monica in Lincoln Park in Chicago
Spinach and kale omelette at Summerhouse Santa Monica

Just had to show off the refreshing and thoughtful decor with two of my brunch buddies strutting out after a tasty brunch.


And a quick shot of the decor and large open, light dining room behind the bakery counter. With an eye-catching robin’s egg blue painting adorning the side wall, it seems Summerhouse Santa Monica has already answered the question of whether we’ll be returning soon.


I’ll be back for the 5-inch diameter chocolate chip cookie or gluten-free chocolate walnut cookie next time. Other Summerhouse Santa Monica brunch menu items that stood out for diners with a heartier appetite were the Smoked Salmon Hashbrown Benedict, the Sunrise Burrito with eggs, spinach, cheddar, avocado, and salsa, the Lemon Cottage Cheese Pancake, and morning sandwiches with scrambled eggs and toppings in between a house made english muffin. Wake up and smell the cheery Chicago morning – even if it’s not beach weather at Summerhouse Santa Monica.


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