I love coffee. I really, really love coffee.
Like most of us, my day cannot start without a cup. Yes, I need the caffeine but more importantly I just love the warmth and comfort of a hot cup of coffee in the morning. Maybe more than loving that first cup of coffee though is my love to go to coffee shops. Cappuccino is a my drink of choice and I have to have it at least once a day. Whether it be grabbing a cup to go mid-morning, meeting a girlfriend in the afternoon for one or trying out a new coffee shop in a new area, caffeine has become a part of my everyday lifestyle! Here is a breakdown of my favorite coffee shops in the Chicago area.
Don’t get me wrong, Starbucks is a big part of my life. When I am in a pinch and on the fly, there is always a Starbucks close by to fill the need. However, I truly did not know what a great cappuccino tasted like until I stumbled upon Reprise Coffee Roasters. Reprise Coffee is located in the West Lake Forest train station and owned and operated by the delightfully charming and knowledgeable Adam Pronto. Adam takes coffee (and my cappuccino!) seriously.
To start, it is made with Oberweiss milk, brewed with the weekly single farm origin bean and topped off with beautiful latte art! While this is my obvious go to drink, do try his lavender latte (being made here!). The lavender was grown by Adam’s mom, dried, made into an extract and then added to a simply syrup. It is a six month process! I told you he takes his coffee seriously!
Tucked in a little alley on the main shopping street of downtown Lake Bluff, sits Prairie Espresso + Wine Bar. Even if they didn’t brew coffee, I would find any excuse to come here. It is an outdoor haven of beauty with exposed bricks walls, tables topped with succulent arrangements and lights strung up in the trellis. Coffee and wine service is housed in a walk up store front outfitted with reclaimed barn wood and a pretty blue door! It is my favorite local spot to sit and relax while having a cup of coffee or glass of wine with my girlfriends.
Along the North Shore
Ravinia is most well known for it’s outdoor summer music festival but the downtown business district has so many quaint spots to enjoy as well including the Ravinia Coffee Station. The Coffee Station serves locally roasted coffee-Hansa Coffee to be exact. Which specializes in coffee from small, quality-focused families and cooperatives from around the world. I love stopping here to grab a cappuccino to go. I try to stop by anytime I am making my way down to other North Shore suburbs or taking a leisurely weekend drive down Sheridan Road.
I never would have discovered Americano if it were not for one of my favorite home and lifestyle stores in the city down the street, Gather. I stumbled upon it one day while waiting for Gather to open. Although it is earmarked more as a restaurant and cafe, it has become my favorite places in the city for coffee.
Opened in Wicker Park by long-time industry friends who have the experience with the likes of Blackbird, Charlie Trotter’s and Mia Francesca, the atmosphere inside is European meets hipster while offering an all day light, ingredient driven menu. Besides my go-to coffee when I come here, I always order the Rosemary Sea-salt biscuit served with butter and jam. It is beyond!! They also make their own ice cream like espresso with red wine cherries and crushed amaretti and caramelized banana-chocolate chip. Make a morning or afternoon of it by heading here and the not to be missed Gather Home + Lifestyle store.
Off the Beaten Path
One of the reasons while I love exploring my city so much is because you stumble upon some great finds. I recently spent the day in the culturally rich and visually stimulating Pilsen neighborhood (more to come to the blog on this area!). I had to start my morning out with a cup of coffee in hand! As you enter the Pilsen neighborhood, the colorful coffee house, Cafe Jumping Bean greets you on the corner.
I thought I was just going to grab a cup and go. Although once I entered this cute and intimate shop, I wanted to sit down and enjoy. The brightly painted walls, mosaic tile floors and graffiti art cafe tables makes for a cheery atmosphere! I stepped away from my usual cappuccino order and ordered a house specialty instead, the Chocolate Mexicano which was delicious! They also offer a limited menu if you want a bite to eat!
Whether you are a local follower or not, let me know what your go-to coffee places are! Also let me know what other local recommendations you would like to hear about!
Thanks for stopping by!
(All pictures are my own)