As a recent Chicago newbie, I set out on a mission to survey the streets to find the best Chicago coffee and coffee shops. I know how boring it can be to work/study in the same old spots, and I also know how expansive the city of Chicago is. So, I did the work for you and compiled a list for you to refer to in your pursuit to find the perfect cup of joe. The 5 places I’ve listed below are my tried and true spots and get the Emma Lenhart stamp of approval. And that’s not too easy to get 😉
If you’re anything like me, coffee is very important. Not just any coffee. But deep, rich, flavorful coffee.
Coffee is the juice that keeps me going on long days and drags me out of bed on cold mornings. I can’t remember the last time I went a day without drinking it. (Am I okay?) Well, I’m a night owl and a college student! Give me a break.
P.S. Yes, I have tried all of the Wifi connections at all of these locations and yes, they all work well. I know how important that can be!
The Best Chicago Coffee + Coffee Shops
1. Heritage Bicycles
This is the hands down the coffee shop I frequent the most in Chicago. If you happen to visit this location on a Friday/Saturday, I will most likely be there. Yes, there is both bicycles and coffee at this place.
Heritage is snuggled in a perfect location in Lakeview, with just enough hustle + bustle around, but not so much that it’s distracting. The decor in the shop is extremely minimalistic (and beautiful). It’s basically what I want my future kitchen/home to look like. Well, minus the bikes.
This location is half bike shop, half cafe. Don’t worry, though, the bike side of the building isn’t loud or out of place. It actually adds a nice novelty element and is fun to watch on a study break.
The coffee and drinks at this shop are delicious and I love the pastries, too. My favorite things to get are a latte, and a biscuit (they bring them in from Bang Bang Pie!)
Located: 2959 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
2. Heritage Outpost
Heritage mentioned twice on this list?! Sorry, but it’s simply just too good to pass up.
Heritage Outpost is the sister coffee shop of the Heritage location mentioned above. I personally decided to make my way over to Heritage Outpost after seeing one-too-many Instagram posts about it on my feed. It looked too good to be true, but alas, it was perfect.
Heritage Outpost is a coffee shop/bar/bakery all rolled into one. That’s right. They serve tequila at this coffee shop!
Another thing I love about this location is that it is actually located in a hotel lobby. While that may sound problematic on paper, (interweb?), it actually works out flawlessly. I love sitting at Heritage Outpost, with a good cup of coffee, and people watching everyone that bustles through the doors.
The decor in this location is also very aesthetically pleasing, with a large wall that reads “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy coffee.” Amen to that.
Location: 1325 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
3. Buzz: Killer Espresso
Seriously, if you haven’t been to Buzz yet, please go.
Buzz is located in Wicker Park which is one of my all-time favorite places to hang out in Chicago. The store is a short walk from the Blue Line Train and decorated beautifully. It also has an awesome ambiance and calmness about it that is perfect for getting work done. The shop in Wicker Park also has two levels, which I like. I usually order my drink downstairs, and then mosey my way upstairs to settle in and snag a seat close to an outlet 😉
Located: 1644 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
4. Osmium Coffee Bar
This bar is located right off the Belmont Red Line and is another go-to of mine. I love the layout of the cafe and how bright and vibrant the colors are at Osmium. Their graphic design is on point (something only I would point out.)
The staff at Osmium is also incredible and I’ve always had pleasant experiences there. My favorite drink to get at Osmium is an agave latte. SO GOOD.
If you fall in love with the coffee served at Osmium and want to make it at home, check out their online store. where they sell a ton of different roasts and blends of their Dark Matter coffee.
Located: 1117 W Belmont Ave., Chicago, IL 60657
5. Gaslight Coffee Roasters
Gaslight is probably one of the busiest spots on this list, but it’s still a great place to get some studying or work done at. But beware, you usually have to keep your eyes peeled to grab a chair/table at peak times during the day.
I like going to Gaslight with a friend and having a laptop date. A.K.A. “Let’s sit next to each other for multiple hours and do work while not talking and drinking lots of coffee.” 😂
Located: 2385 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
Where is the best Chicago coffee shop in your opinion? If you don’t live in Chicago, where do you go in your city to get work done/study?