But, hey, we know you're busy, so we're not exactly suggesting you start cracking eggs for a strada or flipping flapjacks. We've got five yummy grab-and-go options worth every calorie — at least once in a while. Just don't forget the wipe the crumbs from your mouth before walking into the office.
Croissants At La Fournette
It's no exaggeration when we say that La Fournette has the best croissants in the city — seriously. But we're not just talking with our buttery mouths here. This bakery is a family-run operation with roots dating back over 100 years in the Alsatian village of Schnersheim, France. We can't get enough of chef Pierre Zimmermann's sinful almond croissants. Slightly crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, this classic is filled with homemade almond cream and sprinkled with toasted, sliced almonds. And in case you're wondering if everything in this shop is just as mind-blowing — it is.
La Fournette, 1547 North Wells Street (between Burton Place and North Avenue); 312-624-9430.
The Liège Waffle At Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter
You can't help but be captivated by all the action in the kitchen when you walk into this tiny storefront. The rolling of dough, the amazing smells coming from the oven — these goodies are fresh. While it's hard to narrow down which delicacy to sink your teeth into, go for the Liège waffle. Named after a city in Belgium, this baby is the perfect combination of soft and crisp and doesn't require a fork and knife — or syrup — to eat. Tip: Things tend to sell out quickly, so as the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm — or the best breakfast you'll have all week.
Hendrickx Belgian Bread Crafter, 100 East Walton Street (between Huguelet Place and Michigan Avenue); 312-649-6717.
The Quiche At Delightful Pastries
We're choosing the Chicago French Market outpost of this popular bakery due to its proximity with the Ogilvie Transportation Center. Whether you're getting on or off of the train, breakfast doesn't have to be a preservative-laden breakfast sammie from the food court. If you're not in the mood for a (delightful) pastry, satisfy your savory side with a wedge of the quiche of the day. We've been known to dive into a ham and Gruyère combination on more than one occasion — but the vegetarian still takes us back to Paris, too.
Delightful Pastries, 131 North Clinton Avenue (between Randolph and Washington Streets); 312-234-9644.
Breakfast Panini At L'Appetito
One of your favorite lunch spots is also amazing for breakfast. Stacks of Italian meats are swapped with eggs, cheese, and your choice of ham or bacon and are then grilled between two pieces of ciabatta bread. We love this option if we know we can't take lunch until later in the day — it really sticks to the ribs.
L'Appetito, 875 North Michigan Avenue (between Chestnut Street and Delaware Place); 312-337-0691.
French Toast Bagel At Fabcakes
Um, our love for French toast in a convenient bagel option? Sold! Spread on a little homemade cinnamon butter or maple cream cheese, and you may never go back to the real thing. Wash it all down with a rose vanilla or a pepper fig latte and you just may have experienced your most unique breakfast yet.
Fabcakes, 714 North Wells Street (between Superior and Huron Streets); 312-397-3300.
Photo: Courtesy of La Fournette