Today may be officially National Coffee Day, but I celebrate coffee almost every single day. My morning (and sometimes afternoon) coffee run is one of my favorite rituals, and because of that I recently sold off my coffee machine when I decided the $2.50+ I spend on a cup o’ joe each day was absolutely worth it. (I’m a big proponent of outsourcing the things that someone else does better than you, which for me includes: making butter, hanging mirrors, and brewing coffee.)
Osmium Coffee Bar (Dark Matter)
As far as I’m concerned, Dark Matter is the king of Chicago coffee. Basically, I love everything about them. Though admittedly not the best place to study, Dark Matter is the best place for unlimited refills, good music, and a sense of community (and also Do-Rite donuts). While Osmium is my fave location given its close proximity to my apartment, Dark Matter’s strong brand means you’ll get consistency at any of their locations.
I wouldn’t be doing Chicago justice if I didn’t include Intelligentsia on this list. While I’ve been unimpressed by some of their locations, their Lakeview location makes a mean (and giant) latte and has lots of space for socializing or studying. Plus, they have a place where you can tie up your pup while you run in during your morning walk.
The smooth coffee and convenient location right off of the 22 bus make Caffe Umbria’s cute little store front a frequent haunt of mine. Grab a cup then head to work along the scenic route across the Clark Street bridge. (3X tip: Stop by Esencia in Lakeview for their signature cinnamon-infused coffee, made with Caffe Umbria beans!)
While their marshmallow latte is to die for, what really blew me away was the immense knowledge of the baristas. I learned of two (or was it three?) completely new ways of brewing coffee the first time I went here and they note which type of coffee goes best with each method. Plus, the space is sunny and relatively quiet, making it perfect for days you gotta get some work done.
Goddess and the Baker
The Tiffany blue cups, adorable decor, always smooth coffee, and convenient locations in the Loop just off the Red and Brown lines makes Goddess one of my top spots to grab a cup of coffee on the way to work or during an afternoon coffee run. Goddess also offers tasty breakfast and lunch items in case you want to extend your stay. If you’re looking to branch out from regular drip, try the honey wildflower latte or goodie’s gringo horchata. And good luck passing up all the amazing baked goods… (3x tip: Goddess cups have a TERRIBLE habit of leaking from the lid — so ask for extra room or that your small coffee be put in a large cup.)
Hero Coffee Bar
If anyone loves coffee as much as you do, it’s Hero Coffee. I have literally never met a barista SO enthusiastic about coffee (and not trying to be cool about it.) Catch them in the South Loop or head up to their roastery in Roscoe Village (where you can also take a tour).
Revival Food Hall
Revival’s got it all, including great coffee. What really wooed me was the latte on nitro tap, which is deliciously light and smooth and perfect for a hot day…or any day, really. Grab a little baked goodies at the stall next door (provided by Mindy Segal, owner of Mindy’s Hot Chocolate), grab one of their ridiculously comfortable chairs, and enjoy some quality people watching.
The 80’s-theme, many latte options, and plentiful space to work, read, or chat make The Wormhole one of the best in the game. If you can put away your cell phone and stay a while, The Wormhole always has newspapers and magazines scattered around the store (either they’re providing them or maybe people just leave them..?)
Colectivo (Coming soon!)
Though it’s not yet arrived to Lincoln Park, I cannot wait for Colectivo to hit Chicago later this year. The signature roaster of my favorite coffee shop on UChicago’s campus, the Wisconsin-based Colectivo’s mission and vision for community and good coffee are something I’m all about.
Have other favorites? I wanna hear them!!! I’ll try to update this post as I find new faves or remember old ones.