The computers at Café Internet Latino, Inc. are outfitted with high-speed Internet access for browsing the web, finishing homework, and checking work email. For those toting laptops, the free Wi-Fi provides more mobile browsing. A menu of café fare including iced coffee and panini sandwiches keeps patrons fueled while they work.
After opening Riggio's Restaurant with her husband, Pasquale, Adreana Riggio became well known to the residents of Chicago's North Center neighborhood, who called her Mama. The year was 1952, and the scent of pizza was still unfamiliar in the city. Though the restaurant has since moved to Niles, customers are still treated like family. Diners can dig into savory Italian classics such as veal parmigiana and American dishes such as chopped steak with housemade mushroom gravy. The pizza menu brims with three sizes of thin-crust pies, which can be customized with ingredients such as pepperoni, spinach, or pineapple.
The result of a variety of visits to Italy by two childhood friends sharing an intense love of coffee, Blanell Coffee was brewed on a hotplate of passion to deliver American audiences fine Italian coffees and accessories. The distributor dispenses coffees from brands such as Lucaffe, Pellini, Passalacqua, and New York Caffe. These brands cater to coffee connoisseurs that prefer espresso pods, pre-ground batches, grinding their own beans with their shaking teeth. To brighten drinks with flavors such as passion fruit, almond, and amaretto, Blanell Coffee also purveys syrups from Monin—a century-old French company.
Pannenkoeken Cafe's specialty Dutch-style pancakes draw breakfast and brunch eaters to the teeny, brightly lit eatery lined with wooden tulips. Thinner than a buttermilk pancake but still slightly thicker than a standard crepe and abundantly thicker than an unwritten novel about crepes, the café's namesake cakes come in a mix of savory and sweet varieties, such as grilled salami and havarti cheese or apple and ginger marmalade. Freshly squeezed juice and espresso-fueled beverages pair with any of the dozen pannenkoeken options, omelets, and other breakfast fare on the menu.
Located in the heart of Pilsen, Nitecap Coffee Bar draws in the community with live music, artisan brews by Metropolis Coffee, and a menu of Latin-inspired deli and panini sandwiches. Patrons can savor the El Vez—a spin on the classic peanut butter 'n' jelly that's made with roasted plantains, old-fashioned peanut butter, and guava jam—or opt for a pork-loin sandwich dressed with housemade aioli. Baristas flavor hot chocolate, mocha lattes, and other café drinks with housemade chocolate and syrups, but guests can also take advantage of Nitecap's BYOB policy.
After roasting coffee beans with his family in Pakistan, Arshad "Sony" Javid—founder of Café Descartes—indulged his love for the caffeinated drink by making pilgrimages to coffee houses in Asia, Europe, and South and Central America. In 1991, after a stint as a Starbucks barista, Sony opened his first shop, an espresso cart on the UIC campus, where he poured his decadent drinks to quench the thirst of students, professors, and dry textbooks. Today, the aficionado’s dream has expanded across six Chicago cafés, where warm, earth-toned walls, cushy armchairs, and the smell of fresh-roasted beans beckon customers to stick around for a latte, mexican mocha, or sweet pastry.
Great American Bagel Burr Ridge's family-owned bakery doles out dozens of its fresh-made dough discs from its brand-new location. Each bagel is mixed from scratch and steam-baked every day for maximum chewiness. The ring bearers also offer catering services, with platters for business meetings and wedding cakes made entirely from bagels slathered in cream cheese.