Ask local residents for the best coffee shops in Chicago and you’ll get a million different answers. Chicago is almost as divided about its coffee as it is about its pizza, so there may never be a determined winner.
However, not all coffee shops are ideal for getting work done; in addition to quality brews, you’ll also need reliable WiFi, comfortable seating, and a decent atmosphere.
Here are the top 10 Chicago coffee shops to work from, in no particular order.
1. Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea
Address: 1620 N Milwaukee Ave
Located in the heart of bustling Wicker Park, you’re guaranteed to run into an old acquaintance here at least once – and for good reason.
In addition to its cozy tables, this local staple has a menu packed with all the essentials: espresso, matcha, juice, tea, and a rotating cast of cold brews that you can order by the cup or in flights.
Come for the banana pudding, stay for the great coffee and even better atmosphere.
In the beginning, this Chicago café and bakery began in New York City.
But spend just five minutes sipping a café au lait at one of its charming French bistro tables and you’ll forget you’re not in Paris. Treat yourself to a freshly-made pastry to really seal the deal.
3. C.C. Ferns
Address: 2806 W Augusta Blvd
Although it’s the quirkiest on the list, this cozy spot has everything you’ll need for a long work or study session, from caffeine to WiFi and snacks.
Above all, the 1980s cabin-style setting features comfy armchairs and plenty of throw pillows to help you truly settle in. Take a break from your screen to admire the vintage posters and impressive cigar collection.
4. Purple Llama
Address: 2140 West Division St
This is hands down the best coffee shop in Chicago for people who love java and music. The Purple Llama is so good at both, in fact, that it has its own subscription box featuring a monthly pairing of coffee and a vinyl record.
So if that sounds like your thing, try plugging in there for a couple of hours and let the caffeine and quality tunes work their magic.
Okay, so this might not be the best coffee shop in Chicago, but it’s one of the most conveniently located if you’re killing time between meetings in the corporate maze of the South Loop. It offers a typical barista menu of espresso drinks during the day and hard drinks at night, which you’re welcome to enjoy at any one of the long farmhouse-style tables.
So when hunger strikes, you won’t have to go far; this tiny café is part of the much larger Revival Food Hall, where you can find just about any food you’re craving from greasy sandwiches to poké bowls.
6. 3 Greens Market
Address: 354 W Hubbard St
This is way more than just a coffee shop, but it still makes the list due to its cozy atmosphere and comfy seating that you won’t mind spending all day in.
Aside from your standard espressos, lattes, and cold brews, 3 Greens stays true to its name and offers a full salad bar in addition to other tasty meals and snacks. It’s conveniently situated just a block from Merchandise Mart.
So it’s an ideal post-meeting spot to recharge.
7. Bourgeois Pig Café
Address: 738 W Fullerton Ave
This café is situated right near DePaul University, making it the best coffee shop in Chicago to work or study alongside other students. The Bourgeois Pig boasts an impressive menu of espresso drinks, which it lovingly refers to as “potions”, with fancy names like Caramel Bianca and Coca Mocha.
So if you’re really feeling adventurous, try taking your espresso in milkshake form.
8. Gaslight Coffee Roasters
Address: 2385 N Milwaukee Ave
If you’re looking for a go-to Chicago coffee roaster, this is the place. Not only is the coffee great, but the food menu receives regular praise from critics. Ample seating makes this place perfect for work, study, or group hangout sessions.
While this is a fantastic spot year-round, Colectivo really shines during warmer months when its patio opens. You’ll find plenty of hot or cold coffees, teas, and other concoctions like frappés and smoothies.
Also, you can arrive early to snag an outdoor table and soak up the Chicago summer sun while you work.
10. Intelligentsia Coffee
Address: 1233 N. Wells
If you prefer fewer distractions while you work, this is the Chicago coffee shop for you.
Don’t be fooled by its minimalistatmosphere and relatively simple menu; the quality of the coffee is excellent.
And you’ll find that this location rarely ever gets too noisy or crowded. You also might be able to snag a famous Do-Rite donut at the counter.
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