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Skip Starbucks: Discover These Unique Chicago Coffee Shops

Immerse yourself in the rich coffee culture of Chicago with our curated guide to the city's most unique and incredible coffee shops. Skip the mainstream chains and explore the Windy City's hidden gems, where the art of coffee comes to life. From cozy neighborhood cafes to trendy roasters, we take you on a journey through the diverse and vibrant coffee scene that Chicago has to offer. So, grab your mug, and let's embark on an adventure of flavors and experiences that go beyond the ordinary.

Check out the Best Chicago Coffee Here!

Philz Coffee

Created by Palestinian-born Phil Jaber, Philz Coffee is a popular coffee shop chain that originated in San Francisco and has since expanded to various locations, including Chicago. They are renowned for their unique brewing method, which involves making each cup of coffee one at a time. Their extensive menu offers a wide variety of coffee blends, each with a distinct and flavorful profile. Whether you're a coffee connoisseur or a casual drinker, the personalized and friendly service at Philz Coffee creates a welcoming atmosphere that invites you to savor each sip.


Intelligentsia Coffee is a pioneer in the coffee industry, having been at the forefront of the specialty coffee movement in the United States. Founded in Chicago, Intelligentsia is known for its direct trade coffee sourcing, ensuring the highest quality and sustainable practices. The coffee shop offers a variety of unique and flavorful coffees that are meticulously roasted in-house. The ambiance of Intelligentsia is inviting and cozy, making it the perfect place for coffee lovers to savor exceptional coffee drinks.


Dollop Coffee's Chamomile Tea
Dollop Coffee's Chamomile Tea

Dollop Coffee is an integral part of Chicago's artisanal coffee scene. Known for its high-quality beans and commitment to creating the perfect cup, Dollop has made a name for itself among coffee enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike. With a laid-back atmosphere and a focus on craftsmanship, Dollop Coffee is a must-visit destination for those exploring the vibrant coffee landscape of Chicago.

Dark Matter Coffee

Dark Matter Coffee is a unique coffee shop in Chicago. Known for its innovative approach to coffee and brewing methods, Dark Matter Coffee provides a unique coffee experience. With its focus on quality and flavor, it has gained popularity among coffee lovers in the city.

Klein’s Bakery and Cafe

Klein's Bakery Cafe Coffee and Golfeado
Klein's Bakery Cafe

Klein’s Bakery and Cafe is a beloved spot in Chicago. Known for its warm and inviting atmosphere, it serves as both a bakery and a coffee shop. Here, visitors can enjoy a variety of pastries and breads, as well as a wide selection of coffee beverages. The cafe prides itself on its community-oriented approach, making it a popular gathering place for locals. Whether you're looking for a quick coffee to go, a leisurely brunch, or a place to work with a hot beverage by your side, Klein’s Bakery and Cafe has it all.

Elevate Coffee

Elevate Coffee Bar
Elevate Coffee on Halsted

Elevate Coffee in Chicago is best known for its expertly crafted specialty coffee beverages. This coffee shop is loved by locals and visitors alike for its commitment to quality and attention to detail when it comes to their coffee offerings. From lattes to Belgian chocolate mochas, Elevate Coffee offers a wide selection of beverages that cater to various tastes and preferences. Their baristas prioritize using freshly roasted coffee beans to ensure a rich and flavorful experience for every customer.

Colectivo Coffee

Colectivo Coffee is most known for its commitment to sourcing high-quality coffees from origin and hand-roasting every batch since 1993. With a focus on crafting exceptional coffee experiences, Colectivo Coffee has gained recognition for its dedication to delivering strong and flavorful coffee. The company's founders, Ward, Paul, and Lincoln, bonded over their love for vinyl records and their desire for a better cup of coffee, which inspired the creation of Colectivo Coffee.

The Coffee & Tea Exchange

The Coffee & Tea Exchange in Chicago is a locally renowned coffee and tea destination that offers a wide selection of freshly roasted coffee and exotic teas. Located at 3311 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657, they have been providing the community with quality coffee and tea options since 1975.

The Wormhole Coffee

Wormhole Coffee is a unique coffee shop located in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. It is known for its eclectic atmosphere, friendly staff, and excellent coffee. Wormhole Coffee's interior is a nod to back to the future, with a classic DeLorean car sitting in the back and a "flux capacitor" device on display. Customers can enjoy coffee while surrounded by retro arcade games, a vintage Macintosh computer, and other 80s and 90s nostalgia.

Coffee Lab & Roasters

Coffee Lab & Roasters is a specialty cafe and roaster located in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, IL. It opened its doors in December 2018. The shop is small, independently owned, and known for its commitment to offering specialty coffee to its customers. The coffee beans used at Coffee Lab & Roasters are freshly roasted in-house by BCBC Coffee Roasters. They also offer a popular slow drip cold brew, also known as Kyoto Iced Coffee or Dutch Coffee, made by slowly dripping ice cold water over their freshly ground beans.

Big Shoulders Coffee

Big Shoulders Coffee is a popular coffee roastery and cafe located in Chicago. With a commitment to quality and sustainability, Big Shoulders Coffee sources their beans from small farmers and roasts them in-house to ensure freshness and flavor. The cafe offers a diverse range of specialty coffees, including espresso-based drinks and pour-overs, all made with their carefully crafted blends. In addition to their delicious coffee, they offer an assortment of pastries and snacks to complement the drink selections. Big Shoulders Coffee has received positive reviews from customers, who appreciate the high standard of their coffee and the cozy atmosphere of their cafes. They have established a loyal customer base and are known for their friendly and knowledgeable staff who are passionate about coffee. With multiple locations in Chicago, Big Shoulders Coffee has become a go-to spot for locals and tourists alike, seeking delicious and ethically sourced coffee in a welcoming environment.

Coffee, Hip Hop, & Mental Health

Coffee, Hip Hop, and Mental Health have an interesting relationship that has been explored by various organizations and individuals. Their notable initiative is the organization Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health (CHHMH), founded by Christopher LeMark in Chicago. The organization aims to bridge the gap between communities and mental health providers, using coffee and hip hop as vehicles for promoting mental well-being. Christopher LeMark, the founder of CHHMH, discovered the transformative power of therapy and its positive impact on his own life. Through CHHMH, he seeks to help black individuals in Chicago access therapy and find solace, just as he did, by combining the elements of coffee, hip hop, and mental health.

Pedestrian Coffee

Pedestrian Coffee is a Chicago-based coffee company that is dedicated to providing fresh and ethically-sourced coffee beans. They prioritize building meaningful relationships with the farms and co-ops that they showcase, sourcing their coffee directly from growers or through like-minded importers. The company has a history rooted in the Chicago coffee scene, as it was founded by Tim Taylor, who previously established the acclaimed Ipsento Coffee in 2008. With a mission to make extraordinary coffee accessible to everyday people, Pedestrian Coffee aims to serve both coffee shops and homes alike, ensuring that their customers have access to high-quality coffee.

Bourgeois Pig Cafe

The Bourgeois Pig is a popular café and restaurant located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Known for its cozy and eclectic atmosphere, it offers a diverse menu of specialty sandwiches, salads, and vegetarian options made with high-quality ingredients sourced from scratch. The café also features a bakery with a variety of delicious homemade baked goods. Recently, The Bourgeois Pig has added a Gatsby speakeasy bar, providing an even more unique and exciting experience for its customers. Overall, The Bourgeois Pig is a go-to spot for locals and students looking for a tasty meal or a relaxed and inviting place to hang out.


Metric Coffee is a specialty coffee brand based in Chicago. Founded in 2013, they focus on quality, transparency, and sustainability in the specialty coffee industry. With their flagship café and roastery, Metric West Fulton Market, they provide freshly roasted single-origin and blended coffees. They also offer online sales and subscription options. Metric Coffee emphasizes warm interactions, memorable experiences, and educational programs to create a distinctive coffee experience for their customers. As an independently owned roaster, they bring expertise in sourcing, roasting, quality control, and consulting to deliver excellent coffee.

Two Hearted Queen

Two Hearted Queen is a locally owned coffeehouse and roaster in the Lakeview and Boystown neighborhoods of Chicago. Founded in 2015, they are committed to three core concepts: Coffee, Community, and Culture. Two Hearted Queen is known for their outstanding coffee drinks made with precision and care. They source beans from different regions and craft a variety of specialty drinks on their menu, which includes options for dairy-free and vegan customers. Two Hearted Queen also provides an opportunity for customers to purchase their coffee beans to enjoy at home. Beyond coffee, Two Hearted Queen values community involvement and cultural exploration. They maintain an inclusive and welcoming space where events, such as live music performances or art exhibitions, are held to support local talent and foster connections within the community. Overall, Two Hearted Queen is a coffeehouse and roaster that provides exceptional coffee, creates a welcoming atmosphere, and actively engages with the community through various cultural events.

Everybody’s Coffee

Everybody's Coffee aims to create a gathering space where people from diverse backgrounds can come together, relax, and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. Whether you are a coffee enthusiast, a local resident, or a visitor to Chicago, Everybody's Coffee offers a warm and inclusive environment to appreciate great coffee and foster connections within the community. They pride themselves on their extensive selection of specialty coffee beans, which are sourced from different parts of the world. The menu includes a variety of espresso-based beverages, pour-overs, and alternative brewing methods, ensuring a diverse and satisfying coffee experience.

Cafe Deko Interior
Cafe Deko's Art Deco

Cafe Deko

Cafe Deko is a coffee shop located at 800 W Diversey Pkwy in Chicago. It offers a unique and visually appealing atmosphere with an art deco tropical theme. Known for its friendly customer service, Cafe Deko serves a variety of specialty drinks and delicious pastries. Customers have praised the inviting ambiance and tasty beverages.

Gaslight Coffee Roasters

Gaslight Coffee Roasters is a specialty coffee roaster and cafe located in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. They are known for their high-quality, flavorful coffee sourced from around the world and roasted in-house. The cafe offers a cozy atmosphere for customers to enjoy their coffee, along with a selection of teas and pastries. Gaslight is also committed to sustainability and socially responsible practices. Customers can purchase their coffee and merchandise online, with free shipping on orders over $35.

The Brewed coffee shop Logo on counter
Horror Themed Cafe "The Brewed"

The Brewed

The Brewed Coffee is a horror-themed coffee shop located in Avondale, Chicago. It combines a love for horror with delicious coffee, creating a unique atmosphere for customers. The shop is known for its attention to detail in its horror-themed decor and has been featured in various publications. They host events, such as screenings of horror movies, and offer a movie club for enthusiasts. The Brewed Coffee is open throughout the week, and in addition to coffee, they also have an online store where customers can purchase merchandise.

La Colombe

La Colombe Coffee is a coffee roastery and café that was founded in 1994. Their mission is to serve the best coffee possible while positively impacting the world. La Colombe has multiple cafe locations across the United States, including Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, and San Diego. They offer a variety of coffee beverages, including their signature Draft Latte, which is a frothy and refreshing coffee drink. La Colombe is known for sourcing sustainably and ethically grown coffee beans from around the world. They offer dark, medium, and light roast coffee catering to different preferences. Additionally, La Colombe sells coffee brewing equipment, brewing kits, accessories, filters, drinkware, and apparel on their website. Overall, La Colombe Coffee is a reputable brand that emphasizes high-quality coffee, adding to the coffee culture and making a difference in the world through their initiatives.

HERO Coffee Bar

Hero Coffee Bar is a popular coffee shop located in Chicago. It was established in 2014 and has become a beloved fixture in the city. The coffee shop is known for its commitment to making a positive impact, both through its locally roasted and sourced beans and its partnership with charity projects. The owners, Michelle Martinez and Trey, are hospitality-driven entrepreneurs who are dedicated to serving the local Chicago community while providing high-quality coffee. Hero Coffee Bar offers a range of beverages, including their signature Lavender Latte, and also serves bagels and other menu items to complement their coffee offerings. Whether you're in the Loop or another neighborhood in Chicago, Hero Coffee Bar is a fantastic destination for coffee lovers.

Coffee Joint

Coffee Joint is a coffee shop and breakfast bar located in Chicago. It offers various coffee options, including hot coffee, cold coffee, and specialty coffee, as well as hot chocolate and hot tea. Their coffee beans are sourced from different locations globally, and they work with local dairy suppliers and bakeries to source the freshest and highest quality offerings. Coffee Joint also provides food on their menu, which includes sandwiches, cakes, and fresh pastries.

Printer’s Row Coffee

Printer's Row Coffee Co. is a specialty coffee roaster and cafe located in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 2014, Printer's Row Coffee Co. is dedicated to roasting small-batch, single origin coffees, combining the art, science, and craftsmanship of coffee roasting. The company operates a cafe located at 2482 N Lincoln Ave, offering a cozy atmosphere for coffee enthusiasts to enjoy their carefully crafted beverages. In addition to their cafe, Printer's Row Coffee Co. also offers a subscription service for customers to enjoy their freshly roasted coffee conveniently delivered to their doorstep.


Metropolis Coffee Company is a popular coffee establishment located in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. They are known for their dedication to providing fresh, high-quality coffee offerings to customers. Their coffee menu includes different types of roasts and blends, such as light roasts, best sellers, and single origins. Additionally, Metropolis Coffee Company offers a quiz on their website to help customers choose the right coffee for them and a subscription service for regular deliveries. Their cafe has gained recognition as the Best Cafe in Chicago by The Chicago Reader. Overall, Metropolis Coffee Company takes pride in their commitment to quality, freshness, and their role as a key player in the Chicago coffee community.

As always, check out the corresponding playlist on Spotify here! Happy caffeinating!


Well do a coffee tour!


Intelligentsia is my favorite however, this list gives me a reason to grab a latte mornin, noon and night!

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