Chicago is a great coffee city. Sure, Portland and Seattle might be more obvious about it, but we’ve got no shortage of places to get your caffeine fix. Of course, there’s the ubiquitous Starbucks on every block, but if you’re craving something a little better, here are five of the best Chicago coffee shops.
Heritage Bicycles General Store + Heritage Outpost
I’ve written about my love of Heritage before, but here’s the gist: Stumptown brews, Southport grocery food, homemade lavender syrup year-round and a patio complete with airstream trailer. Oh, and bikes. Yes, it’s hipster heaven in Lakeview, but that’s exactly why I love it. Heritage has a second, coffee-only location in Uptown, with two more planned (a Fulton Market spot and one more in Uptown).
Heritage Bicycles General Store is located at 2959 N Lincoln Ave. in Lakeview; Heritage Outpost is located at 1325 W Wilson Ave. in Uptown
Dark Matter Coffee: The Mothership, Star Lounge + Osmium Coffee Bar
I enjoy a really, really good brewed coffee (via Chemex, French press or other means), but sometimes, you just want a latte. And the best latte I’ve ever tasted in probably my entire life belongs to Dark Matter Coffee and their agave latte. I’m not normally one for chocolate-coffee drinks, but the combination of agave, chocolate and cinnamon is pure caffeinated magic. I’m a fan of Osmium Coffee Bar, just past the Belmont red line, for sheer convenience, but hope to wander out to the Humboldt Park Mothership and Star Lounge locations one of these days.
Dark Matter Coffee is located at 738 N Western Ave. in Humboldt Park; Star Lounge Coffee Bar is located at 2521 W Chicago Ave. in Humboldt Park; Osmium Coffee Bar is located at 1117 W Belmont Ave. in Lakeview
Bow Truss Coffee Roasters
There is a very well known local Chicago coffee shop practically outside my door, but I prefer to walk a few blocks south to the original Bow Truss location and roastery. (Is that the right word for the place where coffee beans are roasted…?) The people are nicer, the coffee is better and they’re a truly local shop. If you’re not a coffee fan, the chai there is absolutely amazing, too.
Bow Truss has a gazillion locations in Chicago (okay, seven) and one in Beverly Hills. I can personally vouch for the O.G. Lakeview spot and the Logan Square one.
Bow Truss has locations throughout Chicago, including 2934 N Broadway St. in Lakeview and 2631 N Kedzie Ave. in Logan Square
I’m cheating a bit here as La Colombe is not technically Chicago-based. I believe they were started in Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love, Boy Meets World and draft lattes. Those draft lattes are the reason they make this list: an iced latte on tap that perfectly blends frothy milk and cold coffee. It’s so much better than your regular old iced latte, and no amount of blogging will do it justice. You just have to try for yourself.
La Colombe is located at 1552 N Damen Ave. in Wicker Park, 5158 N Clark St. in Andersonville, and 955 W Randolph St. in West Loop
The Wormhole Coffee
Come for the Delorean, stay for the honey bear latte. No, seriously, Wormhole Coffee has a Delorean in it, not to mention vintage Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. If that doesn’t convince you to give it a try, I’m not sure what will.
The Wormhole Coffee is located at 1462 N Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park