a large reflective object in Millennium Park

There’s one thing for sure about this list – they all serve much better coffee than anything in your hotel lobby. That is of course, unless you prefer bitter, sharpie black coffee with absolutely no tasting notes left to find, except “burnt embers”. Whether you’re after a flat white, iced latte or something a little more special and creative, these cafes won’t let you down in the city where it’s always time for something really hot, or really cold – and if you like donuts – these have you covered too…

Easy: here’s a link to a Google Map with all these Chicago coffee spots mapped out.

a sign board with text and pictures from the ceilingThe Wormhole Coffee

Link: Wormhole Coffee

If you like some quality coffee and are a sucker for some 80’s memorabilia then you can’t leave Chicago without swinging by this Wicker Park spot. Your gaze may go straight to the Delorean at the back of the room, but in no time you’ll be eyeing up the delicious pastries, including an olive oil and orange donut – or the oddly inventive speciality drinks. This is equal parts single origin perfectly brewed coffee spot, and also crazy mad scientist speciality latte den too. Yum.

Ipsento 606

Link: Ipsento

Just a short walk from Wormhole, the quality coffee served here as well as inventive lattes will keep everyone snob happy. Whether you come in the morning for a Nutella Latte and donut, or later on for a potently boozy evening cocktail, the excellent service and chilled atmosphere will keep you coming back. There’s also a more central location, just FYI.

Sawada Coffee

Link: Sawada Coffee

If you didn’t know by now, coffee and donuts is a match made in heaven – and Chicago seems to nail it. Sawada Coffee is no exception. The quirky, yet sleek interior is the perfect setting for your morning brew. And if you’re looking for something a little different, the Military Latte is definitely worth a try. We’ll let you discover that one for yourself…

a cup of coffee with a heart shaped foamEverybody’s Coffee

Link: Everybody’s Coffee

Whenever baked goods are made onsite, it’s always a very good sign. So if you happen to be Uptown, then you must visit this lovely little spot. The perfectly roasted coffee is top notch from quality baristas, but on a cold day the Mexican hot chocolate and bacon and cheddar bagel goes down a treat. Mexican hot chocolate is exactly what you’d hope it to be.

Cà Phê Dá

Link: Cà Phê Dá

If you’ve yet to have a famous Vietnamese iced coffee, then it’s about time to try one. As cold as it may be in winter, Chicago is equally as hot in summer and nothing quenches the caffeine refreshment feeling quite like a Vietnamese brew.  However, that’s not the only reason to visit this cool all day cafe. The Vietnamese pastries pair perfectly with your coffee and are totally delicious; and for an affordable, casual meal the Vietnamese sandwiches and hot dishes with a cocktail, yes please.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Thanks Gilbert for these options. Also for your wonderful article about how (and where!) to be a coffee snob in Melbourne, Australia.

    But I was just wondering… seeing some of the menus above, for some of the combinations, I’m just wondering why they’d even put the coffee in!

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