Chicago abounds with restaurants and ethnic eateries of all sorts but when it comes to scoring a great cup of Joe, there are a few independent coffee shops that trump them all and sell amazing ขายเมล็ดกาแฟ. These three cream-of-the-crop top coffee shops offer more than just a mere mug of good java – they offer an experience.
Topping the list is Caffe DeLuca located at 1721 N. Damen Avenue in the Bucktown/Wicker Park area. This romantic, little Italian cafe is bubbling over in rustic Old World charm. Its great decor boasts narrow walls, high ceilings, and other architectural accents that add to the overall attraction of this place. There is even a clothesline complete with hanging laundry strewn overhead giving patrons the illusion of being transported to a real street cafe in Italy. The atmosphere is even warmer and inviting thanks to Caffe DeLuca’s friendly, accommodating waitstaff. Alluring ambiance aside, Caffe DeLuca offers a comprehensive menu of flavorful fanfare that includes soups, salads, sandwiches, and a wealthy variety of authentically Italian entrees. The breakfast menu, which is available until 4 PM, hosts a number of fan favorites including french toast composed of brioche bread topped with marscapone cheese, pancakes, and frittatas. Lunch and dinner are preluded with a basket of fresh bread and parmesan crisps accompanied by a hummus-like puree of garlicky white beans and olive oil. Moderately priced, the plates are piled high enough to share. The salads alone can stuff up to three diners and you can get a whole pizza for just $5. But enough about the food. The coffee, espresso, teas, and hot chocolates are served up in huge ceramic mugs. The lattes are creamy, delicious, and topped with foamy hearts. The BamBam (espresso and honey topped with coffee) is absolutely to die for. Caffe DeLuca also has a full bar with a stellar martini menu. On weekends there are $3 mimosas and $5 bloody mary specials. This coffee shop is kid-friendly, provides outdoor seating on its terrace, and has its own parking lot outback. My only complaint is that although you hardly ever have to wait more than 10 minutes to be seated (even for Sunday brunch), service can be a bit slow.
Next up is Metropolis Coffee Company in historical Edgewater. Just minutes from the Loyola University Campus, this coffee shop is the epitome of community. The large space is consistently crowded with college students, interesting neighborhood folks, and the shop’s very colorful staff. Its disheveled look, comfortable couches and easy chairs, used book tables, mismatched plates, and cups, and casually displayed local artwork, all add to the unique character of this coffee shop. The father and son owners are really nice and go out of their way to make your experience personal and special. Metropolis Coffee Company roasts and brews its high-quality, bold, and flavorful coffee onsite. The knowledgeable baristas can offer great recommendations for new and seasoned coffee drinkers alike. Similarly to Caffe DeLuca, the baristas at Metropolis Coffee Company specialize in serving up your lattes with fancy foam art. In addition to fresh-brewed coffee, the shop offers over 35 varieties of loose-leaf teas, smoothies, pastries, soups, sandwiches, and other light foods. There are also some vegan choices and the fresh-roasted coffee beans are made available to take home (a free cup of coffee with purchase). While in-store, patrons can take advantage of the free-with-purchase WI-FI, numerous laptop outlets, board games, and used book selection. Live music, poetry readings, and other entertainment is a regular staple on the shop’s small stage. Free movies are also occasionally showcased on a large projection screen. My only gripe with this location is that it can often be so crowded that its ample seating is still not enough for me to be able to sit down and enjoy.
Finally, a real diamond in the rough can be found in Asado Coffee Co. of Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. This java gem is almost invisible and is not easily accessible being situated as it is on busy Irving Park Road with all of its roaring traffic. The small, cramped but clean space is accentuated by undertones of a South American theme. What makes this coffee shop so special that it had to go on this list? Asado Coffee Co. is pouring pure perfection that even the most discriminating coffee snob can truly appreciate. The coffee here is roasted in small batches every day. Each individual cup is roasted on the spot with its own water and its own beans. The coffee is manually-dripped and hand-stirred. The greatest attention to detail demonstrates the level of commitment to quality and excellence that goes into every cup. The baristas’ dedication pays off as they deliver a coffee that is strong, rich, bold, complex, and purely delicious. You will find no flavored syrup here. Only simple sugars are used to sweeten these already full-flavored coffees. You may have to wait a little longer since each individual cup is roasted and brewed on the spot but it is well worth the wait and kind of enjoyable to watch. The tantalizing roasted coffee aroma is enough to send your senses into a whirlwind. The fresh-roasted beans are also made available to go. As an added incentive, Asado Coffee Co. offers a sweet selection of $1 day-old pastries, vegan menu offerings, and tasty made-to-order crepes on the weekends. There are even free samples of cookies and pastries available at every visit. The icing on the cake is that Asado Coffee Co. promotes a “pay it forward” culture by supporting small growers and contributing to a number of charitable causes. My only issues here are that they are not bigger and more prominently located.