Chicago – Coffee Shop Tour


 This article contains:

Pro’s and Others of top listed coffee shops in Chicago according to Yelp, Foursquare, and coffee connoisseurs… So they are all exceptional coffee place listed here..

This article does NOT contain:

My favorite coffee spot … yet


In an attempt to find THE ONE PERFECT COFFEE SHOP, or the two or three perfect coffee shops, I am visiting a coffee shop a day, getting to know the people behind the coffee, the process behind the flavor and space, and the reasons why I think you should go.

So Flashing back

blogger-image-1956559121blogger-image-965149233La Colombe Workshop

955 W Randolph

Best Seller



Todd Carmichael they say is a “mad scientist genius” how often do you get that!!? He goes around risky parts of the world sleeps in rents with riffles in the adventurous spirit for quality coffee

They have a TV show Dangerous Grounds inspired by them and vice versa

Alicia, the bartender has this crazy sweet smile, guys watch out

Brad, made my coffee even after he realized I did not have my wallet… No “attitude” among the bartenders here at all

Their teacups and saucers are soooo pretty


Maybe more outlets


  Overflow Coffee Bar

1550 S State


The Speziato

(means spicy in Italiano)

Nutella Mocha


High Quality Coffee

Gives the Southloop a Coffee Culture

(no need to travel to the Northside if you’re in the area, Educates the south part of downtown and Chicago what coffee should taste like)

“Coffee so good dare you to try it without cream and sugar” – Brandon

Outlets well situated

Film Screenings, Live Jazz and others

New outdoor seating

Couches comfy and promoted posture

(you’ll see what I mean if you visit and bring your laptop here)

Brandon and Amanda Neely

(You can’t help but love them. They give off that genuine, good people vibe, very positive aura)

State Bus #29 #62 Stops right in front

I bumped into Tim from Ipsento, he was dropping off coffee

(Ipsento coffee all the way in this part of town)

They serve food, ahh I spent 8 hours straight here

They promote volunteerism

Cute coffee mugs for sale

Local Artists can promote their art


Downtown but not in actual loop

Can get a bit dark towards the interior of the shop – so just secure a spot by the window it isn’t hard

Not the typical coffee shop look


Gaslight Coffee Roasters

2385 N Milwaukee


Brazil Single Origin Shot


Eclectic Interior

Corner Spot makes it cozy

Miro, guy behind the counter real sweet

Long Line often

Outlets, adequate

Breakfast with Duck Egg

Gourmet Sandwiches

All around coffee shop feel – gossip, study, brunch, or just coffee


Can get crowded

Cold certain hours of the day – if you’re sensitive to it, leave or tell them right a way to crank up heat

Individualistic vibe amongst goers… hmm this is more of a personal observation




345 E Ohio


Vanilla Lavender Latte

Mexican Mocha

(Sugar and Spice combo – ask Clinton)


Sunlight – Vit D

Extension cords


Common table well designed

Something to be said about Clinton – charming, funny, good at coffee

They have food, and…

Food is Delish – good to spend all day here

Couch & armchairs for comfort

well groomed crowd

ethnically balanced environment

Background Music is futuristic lounge like


Stools not for people with big butts – so use their benches

Parking can be a challenge

Line to restroom can get busy


IMG_4147Bad Wolf Coffee

3422 N. Lincoln


Caneles (at 10AM – worth making trip and waiting for)



THE date place at 10AM – if you want to make a good first impression or strong second, take them here and continue reading

Stand up bar only- great for meeting new people and creating conversation

Art on walls are colorful and hip


(He will say making pastries is a piece of cake, but these are well balanced products that i have not tasted anywhere else… So yah there Jonathan, I think you are exceptional at what you do!)


(Ask for an order of each pastry and each coffee when you’re with friends)


He sells out … always

Stand up bar only – Not for studying or working

blogger-image--1446599882blogger-image--1066913651KnockBox Cafe

(stop by while you still can…Graduating into other adventures soon)

1001 N California


Dirty Wade

(Off Menu)



This job is getting harder and harder… I tell you!

Chai Owners, Chai Rulers, the lords of Chai

Their Backstory, hail Jonah, owner and ask him how he started


Table placement allows for personal space – Perfect for gossip and study simultaneously

Ceiling is one of a kind – architecture nugget

(the bronze, tin make cannot be found anywhere else)

Electronic bus schedule


Alt. (non-coffee) beverage menu: Check fridge

Good color scheme

Large windows up front – sunlight

Corner spot on intersection, cozy architectonics

Positive aura

Open to hiring if you are funny and real

Up and Coming neighborhood

Parking good

Intelligent-looking and sounding Customer base

WiFi password is validation for observant people

(you only will get this one if you actually visit and use wifi)


I don’t know… Oh they could benefit from outlets in middle section

45 min transit from downtown


Buzz: Killer Espresso

1644 N Damen






Ahh so many…

State of the art roasting equipment

Kurtis, brutally precise with roasting process

“Best” selected coffee; esteemed from East Africa

high quality only – they go all out for a true cup

Fosters a Coffee farming awareness (see related article)

Interior design heaven

2nd floor with skylights

Outlets galore

Drop lights are conducive to eyes

Coffee cherry trees!

Tim, a gentleman behind the counter

Stefan, owner, has an erudite taste for coffee…

(If you spot him, it is worth asking him to illustrate for you a thing or two while you wait for your coffee)

Quasar Coffee Roasters; Soon to bring their coffee to other places

Return in May, they have the Sidamo coming up

Breakdown of accents/flavors explained in Menu

(Im told with eyes wide it is the coffee to fly in for!)



Pastries only – Food places next door – Coffee-centric

Parking in this neighborhood requires vigilance – so take CTA


1039 W Granville


The Justin

(off menu, and something you have to charm Justin for and maybe he’ll make it for you, this is a “shoulder-to-cry-on” coffee, the “come home to grandma” coffee, or “love on a rainy Sunday” coffee it feels that good!)

Brazil 320



Top Notch Coffee!

They know how to be really good to their loyal customers

You can watch them measure everything

Justin, one of the few caffeine chemists whom I say really knows his craft

Tony, owner, nice and easy to approach guy

Easy to connect internet

Parking not bad

Two blocks from Red Line


This place is popular so it could benefit from another room added

A variety of people come (quiet lovers vs talkers,) prepare to sit next to either

Could use more outlets

IMG_3895IMG_3890Big Shoulders

1105 W Chicago



Marshmallow Latte


Sunlight – good for disposition and eyes

Background Music is like Sunday afternoon at Uncle’s house in Panama

Marshamallow latte so good you could pee in your pants

Coffee has a kick in it’s aftertaste, nothing older than 7 day roast

Door left open – fresh air feels good

Few feet from Blue Line with e-schedule

Medium noise = Gossip-Study Balance

Tim, owner, cultivated culinary/business background

Coffee available at most groceries


Door left open – could get nippy, and if you have seasonal allergies ask to close it, I’m sure they’ll agree

Only pastries for solid food

Could use more a wee more outlets



3344 N Halsted


Regular Coffee

Dirty Chai – Add Toasted Coconut


Coffee without acidic after taste

Has interesting entrepreneurial backstory

Provides extension cords and chargers for most cell devices

Quinoa porridge with steamed milk!

Pastries moist

Surprises coming up to entire coffee house soon


Could use more tables or space as it can gets full

On quieter end – not for gossiping

Time limit – will undergo changes soon



2035 N. Western


Signature Ipsento Latte



Top on YELP and Trip Advisor


Green Tea – very fresh aroma

No longer than 8 day roasted coffee served

Several balances of coffee flavor (Natural, Honey and Washed beans)

Farm to Cup – Fosters direct relationships with the coffee farmers

Tim, owner, meticulous about the coffee cherry picking process

They serve food

Good looking staff


Good looking staff – Distracting

On the Quieter End – Can’t Gossip

Could use a few more outlets


1651 W. Chicago



Off Menu Ice Coffee with Carbonation


Roasted Orgasm!

Bathroom is conducive

USB ports on their outlets

Quiet so like you own the place

Has an electronic updated bus schedule by the entrance

Roasting parties where you see Kevin, co-owner roast the coffee

Nothing older than 10 day coffee served

Pricey coffee = Quality coffee

Trumaine, behind bar is super charming

Jeff, co-owner, is an exemplary entrepreneur


If you don’t like quiet, it’s on the quieter end

Not a place to have cup after cup, because Coffee is potent

Wish they served real food cause I could see myself staying here all day


The Star Lounge Cafe

2125 W Chicago


Drip Coffee


Specialty Coffees have cayenne pepper

2nd floor for quiet

1st floor for conversation

Christopher the barista is a gentleman

Outdoor seating in back for summer

Cool graphics on their coffee – inspires creativity

Parking free and easy


Coffee is so so

Downstairs crowded

Medium to hard to find outlets

Medium to hard to find personal tables downstairs

blogger-image--957647508Filter Cafe

1373 N Milwaukee


Drip Coffee



Area with lots of natural sun light

Medium quiet with groovy back music

Assortment of seating preferences (couches, tables, bean bags?)

Eclectic homey interior

Outlets everywhere

Jocelyn Amber, real cool barista

Smoothies with apple juice versus dairy

Spider-Man mugs – assorted mugs

Good looking lifeforms of all genders here


Coffee so so

Cash only

Some areas dark

Parking whimsical


Black Coffee: Asado

Drip: Ipsento

Latte: Ipsento & Big Shoulders

Cappuccino: Metropolis

Coffee: Saugatuck

Chemex: Metropolis

Espresso: Buzz Killer Espresso

High End Coffee: Buzz Killer Espresso

Ice Coffee: Asado

Spicy Coffee: Star Lounge

Hidden Menu: Metropolis & Knockbox

Chai: Knockbox

Tea: Ipsento

Food: Ipsento, Knockbox, Filter

Smoothies: Filter

Plosh Atmosphere: Buzz Killer Espresso

Sexy Servers: Ipsento

Sexy Customers: Filter

Spacious: Filter

For Gossip: Filter, Star Lounge 1st flr

For Quiet: Asado, Saugatuck, Star Lounge 2nd flr, Buzz Killer Espresso

For Both: Knockbox

For Personal Space: Buzz Killer Espresso

Bathroom: Asado

Backstory: Knockbox

Business Concept: Buzz Killer Espresso

Recipe Presentation: Metropolis

Consistency: Ipsento



Bridgeport *

Wormhole (cereal inspired drinks) *

Dollop (Evanston)


Caffe Streets



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