Chicago Coffeehouses
Where to Find the Best Cup O' Joe

Intelligentsia and Metropolis are the two major suppliers of Chicago's local coffeehouses, but they’re certainly not the only options in a city that seems to have a coffee shop on every corner. Many shops also host “guest roasters” from across the country, often small-batch roasters who produce distinctive coffees from fair-trade or direct-trade beans. You can sample more than a few varieties at these coffeehouses spread across Chicago.
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Bucktown: Coffee with a Twist

Baristas like add an extra flavor to each of Ipsento’s signature drinks—lattes get a sprinkle of cayenne and mochas are made with direct-trade Ghanaian chocolate. The coffee is direct-trade, too, and roasted onsite in small batches. Daily Shot of Coffee praised Ipsento’s Guatemalan roast for its blend of chocolaty, earthy, and smoky notes.

Rogers Park: Charitable Coffee

At Common Cup, you can flavor your cup of Counter Culture Coffee with ironically uncommon add-ins like honey, raw sugar, or almond milk. The coffee shop also supports the community by donating all money from the tip jar to a local charity each month, an act that earned praise from Chicagoist.

Evanston, IL: Whimsical Latte Art

Owned and operated by two brothers, Brothers K Coffeehouse serves fair-trade organic and direct-trade coffee from Metropolis. Brothers K’s baristas share the brothers’ love of coffee—they often hold “latte art” competitions to show off their whimsical designs.

West Beverly: Cafe with International Coffee List

Each morning, Beverly Bakery’s staff roasts eight varieties of coffee and then hand-packs the beans into half- or one-pound bags. The shop’s beans range from Nicaraguan to Columbian to Kenyan brews. You can also get a press pot of freshly brewed coffee in the dining room, and paired with an omelet or stack of blueberry pancakes.

Wicker Park: Time-Travel Coffeehouse

A silver DeLorean is parked inside this coffee shop’s front entrance, and you’ll find a matching replica on one of the shelves. While Metropolis is The Wormhole’s main supplier, the shop often features beans from small-batch roasters across the country, like Oregon’s Backporch Coffee Roasters.

Lakeview: Turkish Coffee

Step inside this small coffeehouse for authentic Turkish coffee served in elegant silver or copper cups. Senem’s also prepares other Turkish specialties: salep, a hot drink made from milk, ground orchid, and spices; and sekerpare, a traditional dessert dipped in sugar syrup.

Andersonville: Award-Winning Atmosphere

Bon Appetit named the sleek Coffee Studio the best boutique coffee shop in Chicago in 2010, and Serious Eats called it a “perfect Andersonville outpost for serious coffee.” Try an Intelligentsia drip coffee brewed on a carafe infuser.

Edgewater: Espresso with Education

Order a frothy cappuccino at the bar and then snag a seat at one of Stella’s Friday-night symposiums, where local experts discuss environmental, political, and social issues.

Lincoln Park: Japanese Teahouse

Nada serves San Francisco-based Mountanos Brothers coffees, but locals also come here for the authentic Japanese tea service. The teahouse imports loose-leaf green teas from Kyoto and blends specialty lattes and mochas with Matcha, a powdered green tea.

Ukrainian Village: Locally Sourced

Knockbox Café supports other Chicago businesses whenever possible. Metropolis brews are blended with local dairy from A New Dairy Company and served alongside cookies, pastries, and bagels from Chicago’s Red Hen Bread. The coffeehouse also serves all to-go beverages in compostable cups and lids.