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The Best Coffee Shops in Chicago

a latte and a book on a table

There’s very few things I love more about a new city than discovering its coffee culture. Whether it’s exploring Portland’s cafe scene, or falling madly in love with einspanner (whipped-cream-topped espresso) in Vienna, or anything in between, there’s something exciting about discovering how a new culture takes its morning beverages. My itineraries in destination cities are always packed with coffee shops.

Chicago is no exception! Given that Chicago is my home city, I have an up close and personal knowledge of its cafe scene. This list is a mixture of my favorite local spots, the places I pass on a daily basis, as well as the destination cafes that I’ll go out of my way to visit. Put together, these are the best coffee shops in Chicago! This coffee map will take you all over the city of Chicago, and I truly love them all!

The Goddess and the Baker

a honey latte at Goddess and the Baker

First up is The Goddess and the Baker. This is a local chain with a handful of locations around Chicago’s center. They’re a sleek counter-serve place with a huge menu of coffee beverages to choose from. I love trying their seasonal specialties, and the Wildflower Honey Latte is my year-round favorite. They also have a huge -and delicious- menu of both breakfast and lunch options. I’ve never had a bad meal at Goddess. And if you’re just in the mood for caffeine and a quick bite, their pastry case is the stuff of dreams.

The Bourgeois Pig

Cozy is as cozy does, and cozy is exactly the word for the Bourgeois Pig. It’s typical for me to stop in here for a drink when I’m on my way to the Lincoln Park Zoo. The building decor is all copper and dark wood, and the patios are tucked into the buildings in a way that makes you forget Fullerton Avenue is right there. They have a robust coffee menu, the honey-sweetened Cafe Miel being my favorite. And every sandwich on their massive lunch menu is titled after a literary classic! Don’t sleep on this dreamy, nerdy cafe.

Cafe Urbano

an iced latte and a cinnamon roll at Cafe Urbano

Cafe Urbano is an absolute masterclass in neighborhood coffee shop magic. It’s tucked into a narrow corner intersection, and the vibe is eclectic and joyous, full of local art and bright colors. There’s a distinct Hispanic flair to the decor, and there are plenty of menu items to match. My personal favorite here is their iced Horchata Latte, and their breakfast burrito is a game-changer. Order yours with chorizo to get the full experience.

Sip of Hope

Sip of Hope is a unique spot and my go-to whenever I venture into “Blue Line Chicago.” (The biggest transit lines out of downtown are the Red Line and the Blue Line. Red Line Chicago and Blue line Chicago are basically entirely different cities.) Their menu is simple, but their no-frills approach means the quality is beyond excellent. Delicious coffee roasts, amazing espresso drinks, and the kind of simple and delicious pastries that remind me of Paris.

But what makes Sip of Hope truly special is that it’s designed as a mental health safe space. Signage around the shop declares “it’s ok not to be ok” and encourages you to talk to their staff if you’re struggling. All their profits go to support mental health organizations. I adore this place and I hope you will too.

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery

Is this one a tourist trap? A little. Should you go? Yeah, you should!

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery is smack dab on the Magnificent Mile, and it’s coffee elegance to the max. Three floors of counters, shops, and experiences make this a proper coffee mecca. There will always be specialty drinks that you can’t get at your normal Starbucks, and the food options will be a cut above. Indulge in a specialty roast and a classy pastry or sandwich. You deserve it.

cafe tables and a palm tree at Charmers Cafe

Charmers Cafe

If you’re trekking out to the far end of Red Line Chicago, welcome to my neighborhood! Charmers Cafe is my personal local coffee corner. It’s the kind of neighborhood coffee place that has strong connections with the neighbors and its neighboring shops. (The whole area is called Jarvis Square!) It’s the kind of place with tons of patio space, swings in the window, tropical plants inside, and pup cups for your dog. My favorite drink at Charmers is their chai latte. They make their chai blend in house! And don’t skip the breakfast and lunch menus. If I tell you I have dreams about a turkey sandwich you’ll probably be skeptical, but I have dreams about the Charmers turkey sandwich.

Ready to Experience the Best Coffee Shops in Chicago?

However you like your caffeine, you can find a place for it in Chicago. I hope you fall for our cafe culture as hard as I fell for einspanner! 


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