Aug 30, 2022 - Food and Drink

Top spots for iced coffee

iced coffee
Iced coffee gets the work done. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

In honor of trying to finish summer strong, we're focusing on the cool elixir that powers us through the dog days — iced coffee.

Justin's pick: My favorite is the Military Latte from Sawada in the West Loop.

  • It's technically a matcha latte with vanilla syrup, cocoa powder and a shot of espresso ($5.95).
  • Swada is part of the Hogsalt empire and takes up a sliver of the Green Street Smoked Meats space across from Soho House.

Monica's pick: At home we steep big glass jars of cold brew on our counter and go through a gallon a week.

  • But the very best iced coffee in town comes from master brewer Justin Doggett, who crafts smooth, chocolatey Kyoto Black cold brew using a special Japanese method.
  • You can find it at coffee shops all over, sold in $39.95 pouches that make about a dozen cups.

As usual, our readers perked up with plenty of their own cool java favorites around town:

Monica H.: "Stroll up to the window at Charmer's Cafe near the Jarvis L stop and order an iced lavender latte and a pup cup. You'll both be so happy to sit and enjoy your treat on their lovely patio."

Margret-Ann N.: "The best iced coffee comes from Coffee Lab & Roasters in Lakeview. Conveniently located across from two daycares, the perfect stop for all the sleepy eyed parents."

  • Alannah S. agrees: "I just discovered the Kyoto cold brew from Coffee Lab & Roasters, and now most of my paycheck goes directly to them."

Liz S.: "Stockyard Coffeehouse in Bridgeport deserves all the praise! It is an adorable, women-owned Latinx-owned neighborhood spot. It’s the only thing I miss about living in Bridgeport. The horchata cold brew and iced Mexican mochas are my favorites. But classic cold brew is excellent too!"

Carlos B.: "Iced coffee from Bridgeport Coffee is 👍."

Jennifer K: "My favorite iced coffee in Chicago is Dark Matter's Chocolate City on draft. It makes my brain sparkle."

Meghan P: "Dark Matter was the first place that wasn’t a chain for me to realize what REAL iced coffee could be."

Meg M: "My favorite iced coffee is either at Botanical Cafe on Lincoln (a great locally owned plant shop/cafe where sometimes the owners' baby will be behind the counter!) or the unique cold brews at Colectivo. Last summer they had a drink that was blackberry syrup, espresso, and sparkling water!"

Sheila S.: "Star's Iced Coffee Deluxe from Star of Siam on Grand. I learned to make this at home after trying it at my favorite place for Thai food, and it’s not quite the same."

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