I wouldn’t consider myself a coffee snob by any means, but that doesn’t mean you can’t tempt me with some pretty latté art and Instagram-worthy decor. I originally moved out of the city in 2013, and I couldn’t believe how many fancy coffee shops had popped up by the time I moved back last year! It’s truly an art form, and everyone in Chicago seems to have an opinion on their personal favorite. I’ve made a point to try out a bunch since being back, and below are my personal favorites!
La Colombe- The prettiest cups with the prettiest latte art mean this café has found itself with a legion of loyal customers in each of its locations (West Loop, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Uptown, and the Gold Coast). I’m admittedly a little intimidated each time I walk in, but the baristas are always really friendly and treat my boring latte order with as much as care as their fancy pour-overs.
Goddess and The Baker- What started as a novelty grocery store with Goddess and Grocer has evolved into possibly the best cafe and bakery ever. Each time I walk in I want one of every lunch item and dessert. Truthfully, the coffee is secondary to me here- except every June when the Rainbow latte is on full display for pride month. Plus, the decor is seriously instagram-worthy. Ever seen the “Eat now, caffeinate” wall art? Yep, that’s here.
Sawada Coffee– Honestly, this place is way too hip and cool for me, but my friend helped me conquer my fear with a visit to the West Loop location this past spring. It’s most famous for its “Military Latte” which features matcha and makes for one ‘grammable drink (seriously- look it up). Personally, I’m not much of a matcha fan, but the chai latte might be the best I’ve ever had. Add in a selection of donuts from Donut Vault, and I’m sold.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters– This little shop is tucked inside the Ace Hotel in West Loop, and, conveniently, on my way to work! I’ve managed to limit my stops to weekends for the sake of my bank account, but I now dream about their mocha iced coffee. I honestly never cared for iced coffee until this past summer, and Stumptown was one of the primary reasons.
Tiny Cafe– There are two main reasons I love this place- 1.) Sitting on the Chicago River. 2.) The lavender iced coffee. This was another drink that helped me appreciate the iced version of coffee, and I can’t imagine a much better summer ambiance than watching the boats sail by while taking some time to unwind. Hurry though- I’m pretty sure this one closes during the winter months.
Limitless Coffee & Tea– Of course this opened around the corner from us just before we moved. I was an immediate fan of Limitless, and I still walk there about once a week just to get their avocado toast because it’s the best in the city. I also love that they offer fizzes (pictured below) which combine their lightly caffeinated sparkling water with what’s basically a fruit slushy. I’m not one who likes to drink coffee in the afternoon so I love having such a great alternative for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Werewolf Coffee Bar– Looking to get pregnant? Have I got the spot for you! I had my cousin meet me at this much buzzed-about coffee spot with every intention of getting the sweet beet and charcoal lattes complete with edible glitter and rose petals. However, we were both slightly perplexed by the “May interfere with medications” disclaimer next to the charcoal latte and had to inquire further. The barista explained that since charcoal is a natural detoxifier it can actually impact the efficacy of medication- including birth control. Now, if there’s a sudden abundance of babies born to hip millenials addicted to IG-worthy caffeinated beverages, I’m not going to blame Werewolf, but…. Seriously though- this place is super cool and worth the trip. Oh, and we got the charcoal latte anyway. #yolo
So there’s my list of the best Chicago coffee shops, or, at least the ones I’ve made it to so far. Still on my list are Joe and the Juice, Dallop, and Heritage Bicycle Shop so hopefully I’m able to pop into one of those soon! Any other places that I need to check out? Comment here or on my Instagram to let me know where else I need to go!