Oct 20, 2023 - Food and Drink

Food Fight: Best coffee shops in Chicago

coffee and croissant

Rihanna's Coconut and Cinnamon Latte at Coffee Hip-Hop & Mental Health in Lakeview. PhotoL Monica Eng/Axios

Colder, dark mornings are upon us, making that first cup of joe even more critical for the a.m. jolt.

What's happening: We compiled a list of our favorite places for coffee in Chicago, as well as readers' top recommendations, so you can find a spot to fuel your day.

Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health Cafe

1051 W. Belmont Ave. — Lakeview

The Lakeview coffee shop sports a mellow vibe, sweat beats and delicious music-inspired drinks like Rihanna's Coconut and Cinnamon Latte ($10).

  • Proceeds from every drink go to help fund therapy for those in need.
  • When Monica wants to treat herself and others, this unique coffee house is her spot.

Sawada Coffee

112 N. Green St. — West Loop

The black-painted brick exterior of Sawada Coffee, with its large windows.
Photo: Justin Kaufmann/Axios

The hip West Loop coffee spot is part of the Hogsalt restaurant group empire off Green Street, which includes Green Street Smoked Meats and Trivoli Tavern.

Yes, but: Sawada is the hidden treasure, sporting matcha lattes and strong coffee with various picnic tables indoors and outdoors.

  • Justin recommends Sawada, although he says he loves it for the atmosphere, as well as the coffee.

Pro tip: Don't double park in front, you'll get towed.


2021 W. Fulton St. — Near West Side

Metric coffee. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Located in the new Brewery district, Metric Coffee stands out among wine tasting rooms and craft breweries. The company prides itself on their fair trade policies and spends considerable time sourcing beans from unique spots around the globe.

  • A bag will run you anywhere from $18-$35, depending on the blend.
  • Carrie's loves Metric and says the coffee is "strong without tasting bitter."

Reader recommendations

  • Charmers Cafe in Jarvis Square. Reader Monica H. says the outside pickup window is a must-stop on the morning dog walk to get a brew and pup-cup to enjoy on the patio!
  • Colectivo in Wicker Park.
  • Espresso and Milk in the Civic Opera House. Judee B. recommends dark filter black, no room (for cream) and an occasional trail mix scone.
  • Perkolator Coffee in Portage Park.
  • Oromo Cafe in Lincoln Square. When Meghan P. wants a fancy million-dollar latte, it's the golden milk latte at Oromo Café, made with house-made turmeric almond milk.
  • Bad Owl in Bridgeport.
  • Kribi Coffee in Forest Park. Sky A. says this Black-owned shop and its lovely staff make for a great work-from-home environment.
  • The Perfect Cup in Ravenswood.
  • Ridman's Coffee in Uptown. Duane J. loves the lattes and warm, friendly neighborhood vibe.
  • Hexe Coffee in Avondale.

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