Cafes in Chicago


Select Local Merchants

  • Geja's Cafe
    Imagine: it's a wintry night in Lincoln Park. You're crossing the bridge over South Pond, the downtown skyline shimmering to your left, the zoo's holiday lights twinkling to your right. It's undoubtedly romantic, but, in true Chicago fashion, it's also really cold. Luckily, just beyond the groves of snow-laden trees, lies Geja's Cafe, a cozy fondue spot perpetually adored as one of Chicago's most romantic restaurants. Looking back on Geja's nearly 50-year history, there is perhaps one story that crystallizes this reputation better than most. Owner John Davis once told the Chicago Tribune about a couple from Minnesota who traveled to Geja's for their first date, their engagement, their rehearsal dinner, and to celebrate the birth of their first baby. Small children aren't permitted inside because of the hot fondue pots so they jokingly asked if they could leave their baby at the coat check. The new mother working the counter happily obliged. This anecdote lays out the qualities that have helped Geja's endure for a half-century as one of the city's most beloved dining institutions. Here's a closer look at those characteristics, starting, of course, with the ambience. It's romantic. Geja's has an entire page on its website devoted to couples who have gotten engaged there. Proposers can call ahead to have management help with arrangements, or they can just let the low lighting, flickering candles, and curtained-off tables set the scene. It's experiential. Geja's three-course fondue dinners make for an incredibly memorable meal. Servers fire up a cast-iron pot for each stage, first with brandy-spiked gruyere for dipping fruits and breads, then with soybean oil for cooking veggies and a choice of meats, and lastly with flaming chocolate for torching marshmallows and embarrassing diary entries. It's accommodating. "You get a feel of serenity when you walk in," Janice Koch, longtime neighbor of the restaurant once told the Tribune. "You're not rushed or pushed. It's all just... consistent." Guests are free to navigate meals at their own pace, also taking time to enjoy the extensive wine list (which includes three private-label varietals) and live flamenco guitar.
    Read More
    340 West Armitage Avenue
    Chicago, IL US
  • The Common Cup
    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.
    Read More
    1501 West Morse Avenue
    Chicago, IL US
  • Caffe RoM
    One of the most-frequented Italian restaurants in Chicago, Caffe Rom offers fabulous gelato and tasty coffee. It's an ideal choice for customers interested in a decent price and an excellent staff. When the weather off of Lake Michigan is cooperative, guests have spoken very highly about the available outdoor seating. When you get there, you've got to try the pastries, the coffee, or the sandwich, as all three stand out. In terms of the restaurant itself, if you're on the lookout for the perfect spot for family or friends, it's been reviewed as a solid option for large groups and kids. WiFi is available if you want to get some work done, and in addition to its convenient take-out offerings, the restaurant even provides catering for events around town. Located in the heart of the Windy City, Caffe Rom is definitely a good call. The service, in general, is "good." Specifically, the salad is proclaimed to be "fresh." Also, its neighborhood is known to be "great." The restaurant is easily reachable by public transit, and visitors who drive have access to a private lot nearby (or can park on the street). Would you rather pedal your way there? Bicycle parking is also offered.
    Read More
    400 E South Water St
    Chicago, IL US
  • Arabesk Palace Cafe
    Arabesk Palace Cafe in Chicago is a well-known Mediterranean restaurant, featuring a familiar vibe with a delightful menu. The fantastic food, set in a nice atmosphere, will make you a regular. If you're planning ahead, most patrons can agree that later in the week (Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays) is the best time to visit. According to most guests, dressy attire is recommended and though it can a be bit pricey, you're going to get what you pay for. With live music, it's often reported that the atmosphere can get a bit loud. According to locals, it's been tabbed as a really good option for both large groups, in addition to dancing. WiFi's available if you're trying to get some work done, and it offers convenient local delivery, and can even cater events in the area. One of the top late-night food options around, Arabesk Palace Cafe is a tasty choice when you're in the mood for unique international cuisine, and want to break away from the standard Chinese/Mexican/Italian fare. Its music is known to be "terrific." Don't worry about trying to find a spot on the street, as visitors to the restaurant do have access to a private parking lot nearby.
    Read More
    3737 West Lawrence Avenue
    Chicago, IL US
  • Casteel Coffee
    Since 1993, Casteel Coffee’s baristas have caffeinated locals with steaming cups of artisanal roasted beans. The shop’s staffers follow in the footsteps of roast master Lee Casteel, who set the café’s course by roasting beans in small batches to ensure high quality. A new generation of roasters sources arabica coffees from around the world, procuring fair-trade varieties and naturally processed decaf beans whenever possible. To fulfill their motto, “fresh from our roaster to your cup,” coffeemakers pour drip coffees or press potent espresso shots from freshly ground beans. Herbal, scented, and green and black teas also flow from the metaphorical tap, and the shop even purveys the occasional piece of high-tech brewing equipment, such as an electric coffee grinder or a mug that has WiFi. The success of the café’s knowledgeable staff and liquid pick-me-ups fueled the company’s expansion from a single café in Evanston to a second location in Chicago’s Loop. Casteel Coffee animates a dedication to its community by not supplanting the water in local fire hydrants with coffee and by supporting nonprofit organizations, such as the Chicago Children’s Museum.
    Read More
    225 N Columbus Dr
    Chicago, IL US
  • Little Branch Cafe
    Whether you need help waking up in the morning or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, the coffee at Little Branch Cafe will do the trick. Come prepared to feast at Little Branch Cafe — with no low-fat options, any diets will need to be put aside for the moment. Toast your evening out at Little Branch Cafe with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list. Little Branch Cafe is kid-friendly, so little ones are welcome to tag along. The patio tables outside of Little Branch Cafe are the perfect spot for a summer meal. Access the internet free of charge via Little Branch Cafe's complimentary wifi. Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too. Need a break from the road? Public transportation is also convenient, with a popular stop at Roosevelt (Red, Orange & Greens). You can leave your car curbside with nearby street parking. You'll find your bill at Little Branch Cafe to be more than reasonable, with most meals costing less than $15. The coffee shop serves lunch and dinner, but it's the brunch menu that draws the most rave reviews from patrons.
    Read More
    1251 S Prairie Ave
    Chicago, IL US

Groupon Guide

Advertisement