By the Editors By the Editors | May 5, 2021 | Food & Drink
Whether you're looking for a local roaster or a specially curated blend; searching for espresso, lattes or even coffee cocktails, here are the 10 best coffee shops in Chicago.
From root brew floats to almond bar lattes, “brewberry” mint mojitos and more standard java drinks (plus an ever-changing selection of tempting nibbles), this Black and Latina-owned Humboldt Park coffee shop has made an immediate impact with a combination of creativity and community. 2415 W. North Ave.
Beans & Bagels
A Lincoln Square institution since 1994, this local institution has a loyal following for its java creations made with directly traded, organic specialty coffees plus craveworthy bagels, croissants and other baked goods, all with an eye toward environmentally friendly and zero-waste practices (currently three-star-rated by the Green Restaurant Association, the shop has its eye set on four stars). 2601 W. Leland Ave.
From flat whites and macchiatos to cardamom honey lattes and cold brew “oat-chata,” this fast-expanding outfit—a Milwaukee institution since 1993 now with several Chicago locations—scores with appealing java drinks plus a surprisingly expansive food and bakery menu ranging from Impossible burritos and sesame sweet potato bowls. Multiple locations
Dedicated to fair trade, sustainability and social responsibility, this company is spreading the gospel of incredible java—and embracing innovation with methods like barrel aging, cask conditioning, and more, all while giving back to communities across the city—in Chicago and beyond at eight different locations. Multiple locations
This beloved homegrown hangout from Michael Salvatore has grown from one location to seven over its nine-year history and scores with a unique combination of handcrafted bicycles and dedicated coffee culture, serving up pour overs and cortados, cappuccinos and lattes and more. Multiple locations
The OG of serious Chicago coffee shops, this outfit has gone from a single cozy cafe in Lakeview to a major player on the national java scene thanks to its dedication to quality and reputation for turning out some of the nation’s best baristas. Buy beans by the bag, pop by for a class or just grab an expertly brewed beverage at one of their six Chicago locations. Multiple locations
Kribi Coffee Air Roastery
Cameroon native Jacques Shalo has given a welcome jolt of caffeine and a vibrant sense of social awareness to west suburban Forest Park with this welcoming destination, which serves up coffee drinks using beans prepared with Shalo’s patented air roasting technique and supports local and national causes dedicated to eradicating systemic racism. 7324 Madison St., Forest Park
Family-owned since 2003, this renowned local roastery and coffee has wholesale customers across the US and Canada, but none more loyal than the caffeine aficionados at its Edgewater outpost, where expert baristas serve up everything from seasonal sips to classic preparations. 1039 W. Granville Ave.
Plein Air Cafe
In a charming location next to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House on the University of Chicago campus, this relaxed, French atelier-inspired spot has gained scores of fans for its superior coffee drinks made with a rotating roster of artisanally roasted beans) plus a toothsome menu offering everything from mascarpone-stuffed French toast to veggie-friendly tartines and baguettes. 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave.
Coffee maestro Hiroshi Sawada heads up this Fulton Market destination, where hipsters sip the oh-so-Instagrammable signature matcha-spiked “military latte” and nibble on Doughnut Vault sweets. 112 N. Green St.
Photography by: Sawada Coffee Photo by Tara White; all other photos courtesy of restaurants