Our contributor, Arin Agase, takes the guesswork out of getting your Chicago coffee fix. Below, she shares seven of her go-to spots for the best Chi-Town cup of Joe.
But, first (and always) coffee! Ah, is there anything better than a piping-hot cup of java in the morning? One of the many benefits of living in a large city is the abundant never-ending supply of coffee shops. There’s truly something for everyone. Coffee is also the best work companion, so let’s tackle those deadlines in style with these delicious Chicago-based sips, shall we?
Café Jumping Bean
1439 W. 18th Street
This coffeehouse, which opened in ’94, was the first in the Pilsen neighborhood. In addition to the great coffee, delicious food and local art, it’s such a fabulous community and one of my favorite places to spend a long morning. There’s more than 25 coffee choices and a full menu including salads, soups, sandwiches, burgers, pizza and dessert! Jumping Bean takes prides in providing a healthy menu of local fresh food and drinks. It’s been an amazing addition to the city for the past 21 years—cheers to many more! My favorite item: Iced Carmela with a lemon bar. View the menu.
Elaine’s Coffee Call
1816 N. Clark Street
Located inside the adorable Hotel Lincoln is the most charming coffee shop in all the land. It’s one of my favorite places to mingle with fellow bloggers and to talk goals and dreams amid the retro-chic décor. Oh, and don’t forget to try a savory pastry by the acclaimed Chef Paul Virant (Perennial Virant)—these ain’t your Starbucks croissants, ya’ll! Learn more. (Boka Restaurant Group)
449 N. Clark Street
OK, I may be cheating a bit. This isn’t just a great coffee shop—XOCO also offers some of the best grub to boot! I definitely recommend that you make a detour on your way to the office for this made-to-order breakfast and a hot cup of you’re welcome. The java is a delicate delight and I highly suggest the chocolate espresso (Intelligentsia espresso and homemade chocolate ganache). Like, what? Day. Made. Chef Rick Bayless, hats off to you! Check out the menu.
The Wormhole Coffee
1462 N. Milwaukee Avenue
A Chicago staple and local favorite for sure! I mean, we’re talking more than 200 five-star reviews! That takes some serious effort! If you have a stressful deadline on the horizon, this is the place to tackle it. Take a mini break with vintage Nintendo games in the back, enjoy the multitude of outlets, comfortable couches and don’t overlook the coolest ambience ever. I highly recommend the Peanut Butter Koopa Troopa—clever never tasted so good! I do recommend getting there early, as seats fill up quickly. Oh, and grab a homemade pop tart. It’ll take you back. Find out more.
519 N. Clark Street
The menu item that caught my eye? The $9 cup of Bulletproof Coffee! Overrated? No. You can read more about it here, but basically the concoction is supposed to help boost IQ, energy levels and help with weight loss. Sign me up! Anyway, for my friends who are on a budget (like myself), the cold brew iced coffee, chocolate cherry iced coffee and honey and cinnamon latte are a must-try! Pair them with a delicious pastry (all baked in-house daily) with gluten-free and vegan options. I personally love the lemon-glazed angel food muffin—it’s to die for! View the menu.
The Coffee Studio
5628 N. Clark Street
A modern espresso bar with delicious snacks and fresh local coffee. Sorry, I’m honestly distracted by the donuts right now. They are delish! Is there anything better than coffee and donuts together? What a pair! Wood aesthetics, chill music and knowledgeable baristas make this a fab afternoon pick-me-up. The dolce latte means business, too. Try it! Visit the website.
Goddess and the Baker
33 S. Wabash
Sip in style with the cutest décor! It’s one of my favorite places to work and snack. From the infamous layered rainbow cakes and delicious bakery items (oh-so good), to the salads, sandwiches and avocado toast (a personal favorite), you’ll keep coming back for more. The specialty coffee drinks are aplenty, and don’t even get me started on the s’mores frappe (those are for my cheat days, duh!). Come try it for yourself! It’s a great spot to mingle with girlfriends on the weekends, too. View the menu.