Top 10 Favorite Chicago Coffee Spots – Chicago Home Partner

by Amanda on September 22, 2014

CoffeeCoffee… What used to be simple little brown beans steeped in hot water has turned into an $18 billion dollar industry. And where Chicago is dominated by the likes of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, our love of local encouraged the opening of small, independent shops to share a whole latte’ love (see what I did there?) in caffeinated form!

That’s why this month we’re pleased to announce a new list for Chicago Home Partner – The CHP Top Ten Chicago Coffee Bar List! Available for your reading pleasure at we’ve carefully chosen our list of local hidden gems that provide excellent coffee and something extra to make them truly stand out. So without further adieu, bring on the list!

Top 10 Chicago Coffee Spots 2014

10.  Intelligentsia Coffee:  The granddaddy of them all and the one that started the trend here in Chicago, Intelligentsia now has 7 locations across the city, as well as Los Angeles and New York!  Their beans are SO GOOD you can actually buy them on Amazon.  Our favorite location is a tie between the original location opened in 1995 at 3123 North Broadway and their newest location in Logan Square at 2642 North Milwaukee.

9.  Dollop –  Their original location was a modest space in Buena Park, but now this local Chicago business has expanded to Streeterville, Lakeview and Evanston.  Add Metropolis beans, Hoosier Mama pies and baked goods from Southport Grocery and you have a recipe for perfection.

8.  Elaine’s Coffee Call – Housed in the previously seedy Hotel Lincoln space and named for the hotel’s operator, Elaine, this uber-hip coffee house and 1816 North Lincoln is not to be missed.  The lattes are heavenly, (made with La Colombe coffee) and fresh pastries are brought in from neighboring Perennial Virant kitchen.

7.  Heritage General Store – Ok… it’s a custom bicycle shop first and foremost.  Now add Portland’s own Stumptown Coffee, free wifi and sunny windows facing Lincoln Avenue to make one of the best places to work remotely in Chicago.  They also offer tons of great local goodies including Mast Brothers chocolate, Glazed and Infused Donuts and Southport Grocer cupcakes.

6.  Big Shoulders Coffee – In taking an alternate tack from their hoity-toity competition, Big Shoulders is as Chicago as they come.  Drip coffee – $2.  French Press – $3.  In their own words, “Big Shoulders Coffee® was created specifically for hard-working Chicagoans like you: a perfectly roasted, no-nonsense brew delivered fast and hot in our signature one-size fits all cup.”  They roast their own, dabble a bit in coffee drinks and definitely know their beans.

5.  La Colombe – This newer import chain has done well in Chicago, recently they had the idea to start a subscription box service while adding a second space under the Damen Blue Line stop… (Wicker Park/Bucktown El riders insert “YAY” here!)  The space is hip, beautiful and they roast their beans in the West Loop, but the true magic of La Colombe lies in their cold-brew coffee.  Bottled and sold throughout high-end restaurants in Chicago, this wonderful bottle of coffee goodness is even available for offsale.

4.  Gaslight – To answer the first question that pops into your head when approaching this spot is that, yes, you ARE hip enough to go inside this fine purveyor of Logan Square coffee.  Roasting their own coffee in small batches onsite allows this gem to create some of the finest flavors around while coupling them with a small menu of deliciousness.  The space alone is worth a stop with exposed brick, communal tables and a lively barstool scene.

3.  Bow Truss – This independent coffee roaster first started out at 2934 Broadway, supplying hand selected beans to local restaurants and coffee shops.

Lead, they have opened up small unassuming spaces in River North, Lakeview and Pilsen over the years.  Prepare to wait a bit though as this is no normal cup-of-joe…  each cup is hand crafted, weighed, ground and brewed to order.

2.  L’Appetito – Maybe it’s the fact that you feel like you’re walking into an Italian speciality shop that puts this Streeterville gem at the top of our list, but they brew some amazing coffee as well.  Order your drink and spend some time drinking in the sights and smells of their amazing deli while sipping a perfectly pulled Italian espresso.

1.  Red June Cafe – Topping our list this year is our local favorite, Red June Cafe.  They don’t roast their own beans, (they come from Julius Meinl), and it lacks the panache of others on the list, (look out for strollers!), but this Bucktown staple is everything we’ve ever wanted in a coffee shop.  Their wifi is quick, their outdoor patio is charming, their service is amazing and yes, their coffee is fantastic.  But what secures Red June our #1 spot is that unspoken element that makes you feel comfortable, invited and always welcome to hang out for a bit.  Take advantage of their ever-changing seasonal menu of comfort foods with a twist and bring the kids along for the trip

Best of all, the owner of Red June has even provided the Chicago Home Partner family with a special treat! Just present the coupon below on your next visit and receive a free coffee with the purchase of any food item.

red june

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