While you still might find a Starbucks on every other corner, Chicago is full of coffee shops to get the perfect cup of Joe. From local chains, specialty coffee roasters, and the perfect atmosphere, there is something for every taste bud and every neighborhood.
Below you will find some of the most popular local spots for coffee!
Locally Roasted: Many local roasters have built and maintained relationships with coffee farmers from across the globe to allow for fair trade, and maintain the quality and consistency of the beans that are then roasted in house.
Intelligentsia Coffee has been a Chicago staple since 1995. This local chain has multiple locations scattered throughout the city, and now reaches both coasts with locations in 6 cities, including L.A. and N.Y.C. Intelligentsia prides itself with their interaction with their growers to promote direct trade, and perfect the flavor of the beans that are then locally roasted. Knowledgeable baristas allow enjoying a cup of coffee to become an experience.
Many satisfied customers have complimented the service and taste of the coffee here, earning it 4 stars on Yelp. One review said, “Consistently great coffee at all Intelligentsia Coffee cafe!Rich, intense, aromatic and smooth flat white…. Their barristers never failed to make my day with their coffees! Beautiful in execution, balance and presentation.” Many reviews said it was the best coffee they had while in the city.
This iconic shop is near the start of our Loop & Millennium Park Tour!
Bridgeport Coffee Roasters is another local favorite that maintains strong relationships with farmers to guarantee the quality and consistency of the coffee beans that are then roasted at their local fluid-bed roasting facility. Considering ordering The Mayors Blend, which is named in honor of the five mayors who made the Bridgeport neighborhood home. This cozy space includes sandwich, soup, and salad options.
Yelp reviews have affirmed this to be a great local spot on the south side of the city, whether you are there to get work done or just enjoy the taste of a good cup of coffee. With a 4 star rating one review said, “Great vibes, coffee, and food! This coffee shop is a great place to get some studying or work done, since there are little rooms here and there for more privacy and quiet as well as outlets all over the place!”
Dark Matter is another local roaster that ensures the quality of each cup of coffee through fair trade practices and strong relationships with farmers, with the philosophy that “quality coffees are sourced based on traceability, innovation and social responsibility.” With four locations across the city, Star Lounge Coffee Bar is considered the mothership. With a large patio and unique interior filled with artwork, this is another favorite spot to get some work done, or enjoy a cup with a friend. Some favorites here include the flagship blends, Dolor de Oro, or some refreshing iced coffee on tap.
This proves to be another Chicago favorite, and is one of the highest rated coffee spots in the city, with a 4 1/2 star Yelp rating. Customers complimented the taste and service, saying, “Love the baristas, the service, the coffee, the vibes. You just can’t go wrong with Dark Matter.” Another review claimed, “The ABSOLUTE best coffee in Chicago. If you’re an avid lover of coffee you’ve got to get you some Dark Matter.”
Beyond home roasted beans carefully selected from international farmers at a fair price, Metropolis Coffee Company believes that a coffee house should be the center of the neighborhood, and a space for creativity and expression. This coffee shop centered in the Edgewater neighborhood does just that. Located near Loyola University’s campus, this spacious spot is a great stop to grab a delicious cup of coffee, relax, and even get some work done.
On Yelp you will find that many customers agreed that this was their favorite coffee spot while in the city. Some reviews stated, “Definitely one of the better coffee rosters in the city. They roast on the premise and have a huge space full of tables, “ and, “Great atmosphere and a cool location.” So former residents even went as far as to say they get Metropolis coffee shipped to their new home across the country!
Tucked away in the northwestern neighborhoods you will find another local favorite, Ipsento. This local roaster also values relationships with local farmers to ensure fair trade and quality taste before roasting the beans in house. The owners also value self discovery, and the journey and stories behind that. The name is the combination of two latin roots to prove just that, (ipse = “self”, sentio = “to discover”). Beyond the delicious coffee and lattes, you will find sandwiches that are named after famous authors, such as the F. Scott Fitzgerlad (a ham sandwich, in case you were wondering).
With two locations, this spot has grown into a neighborhood staple and has received a 4 1/2 star rating on Yelp. Satisfied customers enjoyed the creativity of this place, saying, “Major advice: read the menu board. They’ve got some brews that smack of uniqueness.” Customers also complimented the coffee and the work behind the cup of joe. “ The main attraction of this spot, however, is the coffee itself. These folks really care about every step of the process, from their direct farm partnerships to their roastery down the street and brewing methods in house,” and “Such an cute, cozy place with delicious coffee. If you’re truly a coffee lover, then Ipsento is your place.”
This Logan Square coffee stop allows for a great cup of pour over coffee with in-house roasted beans, or from the rotating menu of guest rosters. If you enjoy the taste, take some of those roasted beans home, nicely packaged in brown paper bags with colored wax seals. The owners share their experience with local coffee roasting in this unique space that serves as a popular study spot.
Many Chicagoans enjoy this spot, with the ambiance, service, and tasty snacks. Receiving a 4 start Yelp review, comments included, “My favorite neighborhood cafe – lot’s of seating, great light, excellent coffee, and friendly staff. Good place to get work done if you can get a table,” and, “Great beans, fast service, and a beautiful spot with lots of natural light and seating space! We picked up some beans to bring home with us – love the packaging with the wax seal!”
What better combination is there than bikes and beans! Heritage Bicycle Company proves that to be true throughout their multiple city locations. This friendly neighborhood establishment roasts their own beans, and serves as the perfect spot to get some work done, whether that is on your bike or on your laptop. Their rotating specials menu ensures that you can always try something new.
As one of the more unique coffee shops in the city, this place has received a lot of positive reviews on Yelp, earning it a 4 1/2 star rating. “Starting with roasting their own beans, Heritage seeks to be the perfect coffee shop through hiring helpful baristas, designing trendy interior, and of course, crafting artisanal beverages.” Reviews also complimented the space itself, “This is definitely one of the coziest and tastiest coffee shops in Chicago!!” and, “It is vintage modern feeling inside and outside. Great taste of coffee. I had a large latte with 4 shots which was beautifully formed.”
Founded in 2013, this is a recent addition to the Chicago coffee scene. The name was inspired by its definition, “a system or standard of measurement”, and the fact that their vintage bean roaster runs on the metric system. Their roaster allows for a balanced taste, one that is valued by the many coffee shops and restaurants that sell Metric Coffee.
With a 4 1/2 star Yelp rating, guests have complemented the taste and atmosphere of this spot. “Wow. I love good coffee but it’s rare when a standard drip cup of coffee impresses me…. The flavor really popped in my mouth, which is pretty rare for a simple drip brew, and it was super well-balanced.” Another review stated, “Beautiful cafe with views into the roastery.…The patio is shaded and sweet. If you’re in the neighborhood, it’s a wonderful combination of style, service and hospitality.”
Other Popular Coffee Shops: Some of our other favorite coffee shops partner with local roasters to serve some of the best coffee in the city.
This Wicker Park establishment stands out among the numerous coffee shops in the area, due to the delicious drink menu and unique decor. Inside this coffee shop, you will find a full-scale Back to the Future DeLoreans, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles dolls, framed Ghostbusters posters, and other decorations to make you think that you found your way back into the 80’s. Beyond the atmosphere that this space creates, you will find expert baristas who serve a menu that highlights various roasters and some tasty treats from Fritz Pastry.
Yelp reviews prove that this is a neighborhood staple, and rate it at 4 1/2 stars. Reviews compliment the space and location, stating, “I will definitely be coming back here and I recommend this spot to anyone who appreciates a nice “hipster” coffee shop. It’s in a great location- right by all the shops and bookstores,” and, “The space itself is very cool. There’s a lot of comfy seating and you could actually play their old 90’s games.” Reviews also affirmed that it is not just about the atmosphere, but the menu as well, “They have locally-roasted coffee, vegan donuts, and hot/cold beverages, including ever-changing specialty beverages.”
As another neighborhood classic, this spot sets itself apart by providing a European coffee bar feel, paired with expert baristas. They serve Metric Coffee, as well as a wide selection of beans and brewing styles. Their creative menu is complimented well with housemate pastries.
Caffé Streets has received a 4 star rating on Yelp. Many positive reviews prove this to be a Chicago favorite to get work done, while sipping on some great drinks. “In case of you are bored from working at one place there are many other coffee shops around this place. It was pleasant place with positive vibes.” “Great coffee beverages, nice pastry options, quick and friendly service, and fantastic interior and outside seating!”
One of the Loop’s best food options includes a large coffee bar. Revival Cafe Bar serves coffee from a variety of local roasters, including Dark Matter and Metric Coffee Co. This spot is perfect for any time of the day, whether you need a pick me up in the morning, or a coffee cocktail to end the day. We see Revival on our Birth of the Skyscraper- Architecture Tour.
This is a more recent addition to the city, but has received positive reviews and earned itself a 4 star Yelp rating. Guests stated, “Great environment and atmosphere, plenty of places to get food. Mark the bartender had a great personality and offered places to eat around the area. Great place to relax and get some drinks with friends,” and, “Start your mornings with a good cup of coffee or tea before your way to work in the Loop. Revival Cafe Bar offers a selection of hot drinks and a nice cold brew for those hot Chicago days. Moreover, due to its location inside the Revival Food Hall, you can pick up some sweets to pair with your coffee at the other food stalls.”
Another popular chain throughout the city is Dollop, which has 10 locations scattered in different neighborhoods. Serving Metropolis Coffee, this shop provides great coffee with a modern, light atmosphere.
With the multiple locations earning it a 4 start Yelp rating, many guests enjoyed this spot as a work space with delicious and smooth coffee. “It’s the perfect spot for to chill, study, or get some work done.” Another review stated, “Definitely a go to spot to grab a cup of joe if I don’t feel like making coffee at home. They serve up all the classics from your standard cup of coffee to americanos to lattes and cappuccinos, and even some specialties.”
We pass one of its locations on our Loop tour!
This list does not even begin to scratch the surface of all of the original coffee shops scattered throughout the city! While we did highlight some of our favorites, a great way to experience more coffee is through BrewPass. Now reaching 4 cities, this app allows you to save money while satisfying your coffee cravings. Below you will find the 4 plan options, which work with partnering coffee shops. (Over 30 participating shops in just Chicago!)
Brewpass Classic ($39.99 / Month)
Brewpass Classic is 1 coffee drink a day! If someone paid full price they could spend over $120 a month.
Brewpass Basic ($29.99 / Month)
Brewpass Basic is 1 no-frill regular coffee a day! This is for coffee lovers who need their caffeine fix.
Brewpass Unlimited ($119.99 / Month)
Brewpass Unlimited is for people whose veins are filled with coffee drinks. Redeem 1 drink Per Hour for the whole month.
Brewpass Mini ($14.99 / Month)
Brewpass Mini is up to 5 drinks a month. Enjoy your 5 drinks anytime throughout the month!