Best Coffee Shops Near The University Of Chicago, Illinois

Cappuccino | © TesaPhotography/Pixabay
April McCallum

When a neighborhood is dominated by a university the way Hyde Park is dominated by the University of Chicago, there are some upsides. Perhaps best of all, there is an abundance of coffee shops fueling academic minds; here’s our choice pick.

Plein Air

Attached to the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, the Plein Air Cafe is located just off the University of Chicago campus. Although the cafe does offer a small menu of delicious European-style food, coffee is its main draw. The cafe features both indoor and outdoor seating. It has a perfect atmosphere for getting some work done over a coffee.

Cobb Coffee Shop

Hallowed Grounds

Hallowed Grounds is on the second floor of the University of Chicago’s Reynolds Club building. The first thing you’ll notice is the Neo-Gothic architecture of the building’s interior with a large stone fireplace and arched windows. After that you’ll notice a lived in atmosphere that transforms what could be imposing into friendly and casual. With pool tables and well-broken in couches this shop is a great place to meet friends. The shop also hosts live musical performances on occasion.

Grounds of Being

While other cafes might be the embodiment of a college student in coffee shop form, Grounds of Being is its more grown-up brother pursuing a doctorate. Some of this might have to do with its location in the University of Chicago Divinity School (which also inspires the shop’s name). The cafe recently had a hefty renovation, polishing its coolness but without losing its edge. Be aware that this establishment is cash only. You might want to bring more than for just a cup of joe as the shop also sells iconic T-shirts and mugs.

Cafe 53

Cafe 53 is good few of blocks from the University of Chicago campus, away from the crowds of students desperately seeking a caffeine fix. This place is thoroughly laid-back with a surprisingly idyllic outdoor patio in addition to indoor seating. Cafe 53 is our top pick for when you’re looking to relax while sipping a warm beverage. The entire menu is halal featuring paninis, sandwiches and gelato, in addition to a full espresso bar.

Sip & Savor

All of Sip & Savor’s coffees are certified fair-trade and they consider themselves to be “Globally Local”. This means you’re getting the best coffee from all over the world paired with tasty pastries from local bakeries. This is a brightly lit space with calming colors and s just around the corner from Lake Michigan. Sip & Savor is a wonderfully relaxing space to grab some piece of mind in the form of responsibly produced coffee.

Greenline Coffee

This coffee shop is a few blocks south of campus and just outside Hyde Park. Located in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood, Greenline Coffee is a new specialty coffee house that offers free- and direct-trade coffee. It seeks to establish itself as a space for local entrepreneurs. Best way to describe Greenline: simple but classy.

Robust Coffee Lounge

Robust Coffee Lounge might be one of the coolest coffee shops in the city. Located in the Woodlawn neighborhood this shop’s interior decor is a mixture of industrial and the warmth of a den study, that somehow works perfectly. Their menu is a mixture of sweet and savory bites. These are either sourced locally or made in-house, but delicious either way.

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