Now expanded nationally, Intelligentsia is a Chicago-based coffee brewer that has four locations – the newest, in Wicker Park, is fit with red modular chairs and a vintage espresso machine. What keeps locals coming back is their assortment of international blends, mochas and espressos, plus a state-of-the-art coffee bar that offers pour overs with calibrated machines. They also have unique iced coffees like ginger plum. Their baristas are some of the best in the nation, having been trained by a top ranked team, and they often compete in competitions.
Intelligentsia Coffee, 1609 W Division St Chicago, IL 60601 773-516-5833
Gaslight Coffee Roasters
This clean, rustic cafe is a great place to people watch with its bright open window. Coffee is roasted in-house at this chic shop. Coffee options range from their house blended options from wholesale farms in Peru, Ethiopia and San Sebastian Colombia. They have some of the best pour overs in the city and sandwiches and the charcuterie options are sure to satisfy.
Gaslight Coffee Roasters 2385 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60647
The cozy coffeehouse makes seasonal, craft coffee drinks with flair. They source and roast all their beans. Favorites here are the Nutella and Ipsento lattes. The latter is brewed with honey, coconut milk and cayenne pepper. Ipsento’s expert coffee makers also teach classes that fill up quick, so purchase tickets on their website. They also brew a creamy, smooth nitro coffee beer served in tulip glasses.
Ipsento, 2035 N Western Ave Chicago, IL 60647 773-904-8177
Star Lounge Coffee Bar
Great prices and exceptional espresso and coffee are just a few phrases to describe this coffee shop. The shop uses innovative and socially responsible Dark Matter coffee beans, and the bar offers barrel-aged coffee while it lasts. They also roast and source their own Dark Matter coffee right around the corner. A fan favorite is the Mayan Mocha with espresso, agave and cinnamon as well as that classic cayenne pepper. Inside you’ll find a vibrant cafe with colorful Star Wars posters and an outdoor patio playing the latest alternative hits.
Star Lounge Coffee Bar, 2521 W Chicago Ave Chicago, IL 60622 773-384-7827
The Wormhole Coffee
Wormhole lets patrons time travel to the 1980s – they have a Back To The Future Delorean raised near the ceiling, as well as vintage toys and electronics. The coffee is sourced from HalfWit Coffee Roasters, and specialty drinks like their Peanut Butter koopa-troopa (peanut moose, local chocolate) are house favorites. The interior is calming, with a refined wooden paneled bar, and is a fun environment for catching up with friends.
The Wormhole Coffee, 1462 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60622 773-661-2468
Bridgeport Coffee Company
A local favorite, Bridgeport roasts its own beans in a fluid bed roaster so the beans are pushed into the air, which helps avoid burned beans while crafting an even roast. The coffee is smooth and attracts both coffee connoisseurs and curious residents. The pour-overs are popular here, but the coffee is blended well in all its offerings. The antique and homey feeling with lots of natural light offers a cozy atmosphere to enjoy your coffee.
Bridgeport Coffee Company, 3101 S Morgan St Chicago, IL 60680 773-247-9950
Heritage Bicycles General Store
One of the most unique coffee shops in Chicago is also a bike shop. Featuring Stumptown coffee, the shop brews mean lattes and serves tasty sandwiches from Southport Grocer. Wainscotting walls feature a convenient bar with tasty baked goods from La Fournette and Glazed and Confused. The place is surprisingly a good study spot with free WiFi. If you want to relax they also serve Nitro cold brews! Just don’t drink and bike.
Heritage Bicycles General Store, 2959 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60657 773-245-3005
Bad Wolf Coffee
Bad Wolf gets rave reviews for its pastries, but the coffee is just as good. Using Durham, North Carolina brand Counter Culture draws locals in – there are no chairs here, and patrons huddle around the register. Expert Chef Jonathan Ory’s has no listed food menu and it changes daily, but there’s always at least six different varieties of delicious pastries. Try the Honey Badger that combines a bear claw and a honey bun and pair it with a four barrel cortado to perk you right up.
Bad Wolf Coffee, 3422 N Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60657 773-969-2346