Forget about Seattle, Chicago is actually the most caffeinated city in America. With average Chicagoans spending nearly three times the national average at coffeehouses, it’s no surprise that the Windy City is home to some unique cafes. For those new to Chicago, you must pay patronage to the java gods by getting your caffeine buzz at least once from this list of Chicago’s most aroma-arousing cafes and coffeehouses.
10. Earwax – (1561 N. Milwaukee – Wicker Park) – This un-aptly-named vegan brunch diner is just one of Wicker Park’s peculiar places to score some joe. Don’t let the name fool you, local hipsters speak highly of Earwax’s bottomless cup of coffee. After you get your fix, check out the foreign film rental establishment below.
9. Mercury Cafe – (1505 W. Chicago – East Village) The enormous space within Mercury Café makes it a great place for gatherings of friends or other meetups. Or you can just isolate yourself and enjoy the tea, coffee, and espresso drinks available on their robust menu.
8. Wormhole – (1462 N. Milwaukee – Wicker Park) Make no mistake, this Wicker Park café is hipster-approved and certified. A charming place with an unmistakably funky vibe apparent from the collection of toys and novelty items decorating the walls. The pop-culture savvy will appreciate the humorous references to old-school video games, films, and Internet memes.
7. @Spot Café – (901 N. Larrabee – Noble Square) – A family-owned gourmet food and drink café with award-winning Paninis. This comfortable coffeehouse is a great place to relax and enjoy some local musicians or peruse the art on the walls.
6. Bridgeport Coffee Company – (3101 S. Morgan Street – Bridgeport) Perhaps the best café in Chicago’s south side, the Bridgeport Coffee Company is a part of the neighborhood’s history. Wi-fi, coffee, sandwiches, and fresh flowers on the tables – what more could you ask for?
5. Unicorn Café – (1723 Sherman Avenue – Evanston) Get away from the hustle and bustle of Chicago and take a trip just north of Chicago to check out this creative café in Evanston. A friendly place with a welcoming vibe may be just what new-in-town Chicagoans need to kick the big city blues.
4. Filter – (1373-75 N. Milwaukee – Wicker Park) It disappeared for some time, but the new and improved Filter has once again found its place as a staple of Wicker Park coffee. Thrift store décor and plenty of couches add to the comfy lounge environment where you can often find patrons with their requisite laptops or groups of friends.
3. Caffe Streets – (1750 W. Division – Bucktown) The wooden interiors give Caffe a rustic vibe perfect for enjoying their specialty coffees from different roasters. There’s no Wi-fi, but this only adds to the down-home atmosphere, along with the friendly baristas.
2. Intelligentsia – (3123 N. Broadway – Lakeview) They have multiple locations now, but the most well-known can be found along the busy Broadway Avenue in Lakeview. These guys take coffee seriously, actually developing their own while working alongside growers. But don’t let the hoity-toity attitude fool you, this café is just as accessible to the common man.
1.Julius Meinl – (4363 N. Lincoln – Lincoln Square) This international roaster offers a selection of premium coffee blends from all over the world. Known for impeccable service, interesting food, and a vibe of sophistication, this is a great place for intimate conversation.
For more great tips for new residents of Chicago or anyone thinking about moving to Chicago, check out the New in Town Chicago blog.