When the sun peeks out and the trees on Chicago streets start blooming, I immediately begin craving my summertime staple: lavender iced lattes with almond milk.
Guys. Lavender syrup is so good. It’s light, slightly floral and adds a perfect amount of sweetness and complexity to espresso. Definitely a step up from a plain ol’ vanilla latte (sorry, vanilla). You could make your own lavender simple syrup and DIY the whole thing, or you could swing by one of these three wonderful Chicago coffee shops and have them make a lavender latte for you.
Heritage Bicycles is one of my two favorite coffee shops in the entire city of Chicago. (My other favorite, Osmium Coffee Bar, doesn’t serve lavender lattes, but their agave latte is killer.) It’s also the place I tried a lavender latte for the first time. The drink is so popular that Heritage — and its two Heritage Outpost locations — serves lavender lattes year-round. They’re best enjoyed iced and in a mason jar, either in Heritage’s sunny space or outside on their patio.
Heritage Bicycles – 2959 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Heritage Outpost – 1325 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640 or 1020 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Technically, Cafe Tola is an empanada place. However, they also serve killer coffee drinks, including coconut iced coffee and lavender honey lattes. I prefer to skip the honey and go for straight lavender to keep it from being too overwhelmingly sweet. Cafe Tola has a small sidewalk patio when the weather is nice, but it’s a teeny tiny cafe that’s mostly grab-and-go. Which is perfect: grab your coffee and wander up and down the Southport Corridor. I like to swing by for a lavender latte after SoulCycle on Saturday mornings — much better than the Starbucks across the street and only a couple of blocks north. Cafe Tola also recently opened a second location in the former Hot Doug’s spot in Avondale.
Cafe Tola – 3612 N Southport Ave, Chicago, IL 60613 or 3224 North California Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
Dollop Coffee Co.
Dollop, which brews Metropolis coffee, has locations throughout the city, but not all of them stock lavender syrup. I know for a fact the Gold Coast spot on Dewitt carries lavender (it’s down the street from my office!), and from Yelp reviews, the Downtown location on Dearborn also looks like a safe bet to satisfy your lavender latte cravings.
Dollop Coffee Co – 860 N Dewitt Pl, Chicago, IL 60611 and more
Image: Heritage Bicycles via my Instagram