The 7 Best Coffee Shops in Chicago (Depending on Your Mood)
Work meeting or writing-your-novel time?
Whether you take your coffee with quiet conversation, a healthy lunch or some boozy pink lemonade--hey, we’re not here to judge--we’ve got you covered. Here are seven coffee shops for whatever kind of mode or mood you’re in.
Best For Writing Your Novel: Café Integral
The Freehand lobby shop leads to a darkened space filled with comfy couches and private nooks. You could get lost in your plotline for hours here, popping up only to refill your Americano. Also, service is, um, leisurely. Which means there’s zero risk of being constantly bothered by a server.
19 E. Ohio St.; 312-940-3699 or thefreehand.com
Best for Staying All Day: 3 Greens Market
The River North market is part coffee shop, part massive salad bar and part cocktail bar. You know what that means: You’ll be here for a while. Start your day nursing a cold brew in the ’60s-style lounge. At lunchtime, take a seat by the salad bar (you’ll get your daily greens, and then some). And when happy hour strikes, why, it’s back to the coffee bar for pink-lemonade vodka. Oh, and it just started serving weekend brunch.
354 W. Hubbard St.; 312-888-9195 or 3greensmarket.com
Best for Spending Your Cheat Day: Doodle’s Doughnuts
Old Town’s new café has three aims: to serve you coffee, bacon and doughnuts. Head there when you’re in the mood for the latter two items (so, Tuesday?) and grab a table in the cozy mezzanine. P.S.: If you have a kid or kid-at-heart with you, know that decorating your own doughnuts is an option.
1419 N. Wells St.; 312-631-3339 or doodlesdoughnuts.com
Best for a Private Conversation: C.C. Ferns
Don’t tell anyone we told you about this spot. Humboldt Park’s hidden gem has boozy steamers, excellent tunes and a lived-in vibe that will make you feel right at home. If your home were a study in mid-century coolness. And just so you know, the café also slings cigars.
2806 W. Augusta Blvd.; 773-384-2547 or ccferns.com
Best for Sunny Days: Baker & Nosh
The Uptown shop has the best homemade bread, pastries and sandwiches. But we digress: There’s La Colombe coffee, too. On a nice day, score a seat on the garden patio and feel free to bring your pooch. The place is pet-friendly--unless your dog’s off carbs.
1303 W. Wilson Ave.; 773-989-7393 or bakerandnosh.com
Best for a Work Meeting: Dollop Streeterville
Dollop’s Ohio Street location is flooded with sunlight and has communal tables for serious strategy sessions. Your brainstorming will be fueled by strong Metropolis coffee--or an Italian soda, if you wish.
345 E. Ohio St.; 312-929-4007 or dollopcoffee.com
Best for Coffee Snobs: Big Shoulders Coffee
This new spot takes a culinary approach to brewing up your beans, which means its regulars sip nothing but seasonal, single-origin coffee. (Artisan coffee, that is.) Feel free to throw out terms like “cupping” and “floral notes.” You’re among your people here.
1105 W. Chicago Ave.; 312-888-3402 or bigshoulderscoffee.com