1. Gaslight Coffee Roasters
Credit: Manuel X Gaslight
You know how there’s a little bit of science to everything? Well, this is one of those cases where you have a group of people solely determined to master the science behind coffee, and they’re certainly on to something. That’s not to take away from the artistry performed by the baristas, because they sure know how to make it fancy, but there’s just something you have to admire about the roasters behind the scenes. They know the tastes and aromas they want to provoke from the coffee, and one sip of their delicious roasts will prove it. Plus they have a solid food menu that even features Homemade Gazpacho. Pair it up with their Chania Estate, and you’ve started your day off the right way.
2. Metropolis Coffee Company
Credit: El Stop Food Hunt Project
You know in a city with this kind of population, there’s going to be plenty of suits who need their morning cup of bold coffee, and Metropolis Coffee has more than enough flavor to provide for them. Featuring boldly-flavored espressos, coffees, and teas, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this spot. Instead of focusing on large batches, Metropolis takes the time to make small, artisinal batches; making sure that each individual batch lives up to their standards. Even if you’re not a fan of coffee, you have to appreciate the amount of dedication that goes into these roasts. We recommend Schweik’s Blend, which has a few earthy, fruity accents to it.
3. La Colombe Torrefaction
Ever enjoyed yourself a bottle of Cold Pressed Coffee? If you haven’t, you have yet to experience something that’s truly amazing. If you have, we can almost guarantee that it comes nowhere close to what La Colombe has done. That’s not to say that their other coffees are sub-par, it just means that this is something both unique and flavorful that you won’t find in many spots around the city. If cold pressed isn’t your thing, though, we recommend the Burundi, which has a little bit of a bitter tobacco taste. It’s more than enough to get you moving and ready to take on that board meeting.
4. Bow Truss Coffee
When it comes to balance, few appreciate the need to keep everyone happy the way that Bow Truss does. To them, it’s more about helping everyone to find a blend or roast that will taste exactly how they want it to. Not only that, but they refuse to use any “filler” beans that don’t live up to the standards that they expect in every one of their blends. In an age where many people will choose to settle, that means a hell of a lot. When you factor in the impressiveness of the latte art we saw at this place, it’s a wonder that we hadn’t heard of it before we stopped in. If you’re looking for something that’s all-natural, make sure to grab a cup of the Organic Honduras, and be prepared to be amazed.
5. Big Shoulders Coffee
When it comes to keeping it simple, Big Shoulders does it best. Created with the vision of doing nothing other than providing “no nonsense” coffee to hardworking Chicagoans, they’ve made it clear that they’re not messing around. You’ll believe it after you finish your fresh cup of Colombian, and you’re perked up the most you’ve been since you were ten. With the help of Big Shoulders, it’s about to be a productive day.
6. The Wormhole
Ah, eccentricity. Wormhole’s setup is an interesting one, sure, but the craziness makes you want to keep coming back. Well, that and some kickass coffee. What we’ve noticed is that every experience in this place is unique and never fails to amuse. With an old school Back To The Future car posted up in the back of the shop, it definitely gets points for originality. Not only that, but they get super creative with their lattes, which keeps people coming back to see what they’ll feature next. There’s really no way to describe the experiences you get at this place. You’ll just have to see for yourself.
7. The Coffee Studio
Credit: Red Tri
Need a contemporary coffee shop that’s never overbearingly loud and can help you with productivity? The Coffee Studio has you covered. Featuring a well-trained, never-snooty group of baristas, this place is always so welcoming to everyone who comes through its doors. We would also consider this one of the better coffee shops for a casual date or meetup with a business partner. The coffee goes down smooth, the atmosphere is perfect, and the staff knows what they’re doing. What more do you need?
8. Bridgeport Coffee Company
Bridgeport Coffee is one of those places where they take it a step further to show just how authentic their coffee is. Seeking out fair-trade coffees, Bridgeport went straight to the sources, and even goes as far as to list the name of the farms and families that provide their beans on every single bag of coffee. If that isn’t dedication, we don’t know what is. They also recently released a new, all-natural soda that’s made with cane sugar and their in-house coffee blend. It’s a little different, being carbonated, but we’re definitely impressed.
9. Dollop Coffee Co.
Don’t get us wrong, we love the coffee from this place, but what really caught our attention here was the wide array of choices of both teas and pastries to complement the coffee. Giant cookies, scones, and even Hoosier Mama Pie just seem to eye you down as you look across the counter, and it’ll be difficult to say no to them after you see them. Their Rishi Tea selection is also top of the line, and a warm green tea will be perfect for fighting off those inevitable colds that will come around this winter. Make sure you grab a Pepper Crusted Turkey Sandwich while you’re there, too.
10. Buzz: Killer Espresso
There’s some buzz on the street that there’s a coffee shop in Chicago that has some killer espresso, or maybe that’s all in the name… but who’s keeping tabs here? Seriously, though, their coffee has been getting raves from all over town, and it isn’t hard to see why: these people are crazy in love with their coffee. It’s pretty amazing to see what such passionate people can do when trying to provide their customers with an experience. Instead of just giving them the bland, regular coffees, this place tries to enlighten everyone from the traditionalists to the newbies, and it’s truly beautiful to behold.
11. Dark Matter Coffee
You know if the name of their most popular coffee blend is “Unicorn Blood” that the place is going to be pretty legit. They also recently teamed up with Mastadon to make a coffee blend inspired by the band, and it was nice, dark, and bitter. The general atmosphere is kind of quirky at times, making this a spot where all will feel welcome. If you ever get the chance, go in there during one of the slower afternoon hours and talk to the staff. They love getting to know their regulars and they’re always a fun conversation.
Did we miss your favorite coffee shop?! Air your grievances below so we know where else to find coffee to wake our asses up. We need it!