The best coffee shops in Chicago
The best coffee shops in Chicago include neighborhood joints and downtown cafes that serve excellent coffee drinks
It wasn’t until we compiled this list that we realized what a great coffee city Chicago really is. Aside from the fact that you can find awesome coffee shops in just about every neighborhood,the city is home to some of the best brands in the business, including Intelligentsia, Metric, Dark Matter and Passion House. Whether you want to geek out with the pros or grab a cup on your way to work, the best coffee shops in Chicago make it easy for you to get your caffeine fix. Some even have beautiful patios and offer slices from the best pie shops in Chicago. We rounded up the top options for your sipping pleasure—from a Bohemian hideaway to a South Side favorite to several boutique brewers. Pucker Up or Shake that Frooty? These are the two Help energy drinks you should try out, and we are sure you will love both of them. Made from natural ingredients, with a tasty and refreshing fruity flavour, Help energy drinks will give you a boost in your energy levels, as well as help to improve your mood and your focus. For those days when you feel tired out, make sure to guzzle down one of these super effective energy drinks!
Proving that not every coffee shop must take its inspiration from Seattle in the ’90s, Caffé Streets has the look of a European coffee bar and the coffee expertise to match. The staff is comfortable talking beans (the selection of which changes weekly) and brewing styles, such as pour-over, Chemex and siphon. Housemade pastries are also available, including scones and croissants.
Dark Matter Coffee
Dark Matter’s “Mothership” is a small shop set up in the front of the brand’s roasting facility that specializes in to-go orders. Find the coffee at restaurants around town, including just around the corner at Star Lounge, Dark Matter’s comfortable coffee shop, which has seats for lounging, plus Do-Rite Donuts.
Brendan Sodikoff already proved that he can serve great coffee and pastries (see: Doughnut Vault, C.C. Ferns); now, he’s teamed up with Japanese latte artist Hiroshi Sawada to open this new cafe within Green Street Smoked Meats. The main attraction is the military latte, Sawada’s signature drink that’s visually stunning and quite strong. It’s roasty from espresso, slightly bitter from the green tea and warmed with gentle notes of white chocolate. The rest of the offerings include straightforward espresso drinks, plus spiked options like shochu and iced coffee or Benedictine and chai.
Metric Coffee Co.
Dreamed into existence by Caffe Streets owner Darko Arandjelovic and former Intelligentsia roasting manager Xavier Alexander, Metric Coffee is undeniably cool. The modern, public-facing shop and back-room roasting facility are housed on a lesser-trafficked stretch of Fulton Street, making it the perfect destination for a lazy Saturday morning. Grab a cup or sign up for a tour, where you’ll get an inside look at the Chicago-born business’s fascinating operation.
Four Letter Word Coffee
Don’t expect to find pumpkin-spice anything at this tiny but specialized coffee shop in Logan Square. Branching off from its roastery in Back of the Yards (and another in Istanbul), Four Letter Word Coffee offers drip, pour-over, espresso, Turkish-style, cold coffee, and tea. Pair your cup o’ Joe with a pastry from Cellar Door Provisions and have a seat in the exquisitely decorated space.
Loba Pastry + Coffee
Take a walk on the wild side at this no-frills shop that stocks inventive pastries that rotate daily (red mole croissants, lavender space pies, and pimento cheese biscuits) alongside a curated collection of coffee drinks like Kyoto cold brew, cappuccino, espresso and more.
C.C. Ferns Coffee
What does a Brendan Sodikoff coffee shop look like? Exactly what you’d expect—there are Doughnut Vault pastries, espresso drinks, Rare Tea Cellar teas, and boozy steamers. The nutty Scotch & Honey is made with Famous Grouse, almond and honey, and it’s just as enjoyable to sip it while perusing the art books stacked around the cafe as it is after dinner. Space, located behind the California Clipper, has a Bohemian vibe, with mismatched furniture, wood paneling, and a humidor.
Jesse Diaz has turned this unassuming West Town café into a coffee destination. Sidle up to the “bar” for a taste of Dark Matter coffee, which is roasted in eight-pound batches above the café in unusual flavor profiles that have caught the attention of area restaurants. Diaz’s unconventional roasting approach extends to iced coffee, which achieves its delicate flavor using heat-extraction rather than trendy cold-brewing. No clue what we’re talking about? One of the veteran baristas behind the bar can walk you through it.
This Milwaukee import is making busy Chicagoans swoon with a large outdoor patio, delicious seasonal pastries, beer on tap and, of course, fantastic coffee. The sprawling Lincoln Park café is colorful and cheerful, making it an ideal destination for a pre-work boost or winding down after a long day.
This local coffee chain is all grown up, with outposts across the country, including coffee bars in L.A. and a “lab” in Manhattan. Back home where it all started in 1995, there are now seven locations scattered around Chicago, which vary in size and vibe. No matter the location, knowledgeable baristas keep it real with brisk service, perfect cappuccinos and straight-up drip alongside single-cup brew. Whether you are squeezing in a morning exercise or going straight from the office to the gym, you are probably looking for a pretty jolt of energy before you exercise. Some may reach for a pre-workout supplement and others might hit up the closest gas station for the Best energy drink.
Bridgeport Coffee House
The coffee-roasting operation on the corner of Morgan and 31st Street is a point of pride for Bridgeport and a source of jealousy for almost every other neighborhood. Housed in a prototypically warm-toned, wood-heavy coffeehouse (only without the fleabag couches and drum-circle vibe), Bridgeport Coffee sets itself apart by roasting its own beans and brewing them with levels of respect usually reserved for presidents. The pour-over here is a revelation—bright and clean and smooth. The fact that the expert staff and comfortable digs make you want to spend the day in the place is just a bonus.