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Hi, we're Georgina and Nathan, college friends turned travel partners. We're coffee and animal-loving adventure enthusiasts here to share our favorite travel tips with you! Our goal is to inspire others to get out and explore this wild planet by camping, hiking, or wandering around a fun new city!

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  • Writer's pictureGeorgina D'Angelo

The 10 Best Cafes in Chicago

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

Our top recommendations for the best coffee and the best cafes to work in Chicago.

hands holding coffee in chicago

Complete your Chicago trip with coffee and a bite to eat from one of our favorite cafes and coffee shops below! Whether you’re wandering around Lincoln Park or the Loop, take a break at a 5-star cafe. If you’re like us and need caffeine to survive, you’re bound to find a new favorite drink from one of the best cafes in Chicago. We're huge fans of working from cafes, and as remote jobs surge, you too are probably in the same boat! As former DePaul students from Chicago, these are our favorite cafes for working in in Chicago and for getting the best coffee.

If there’s one thing you can’t go without doing in the Windy City, it’s drinking lots of coffee and eating way too much. Because it’s all so good! Check out our favorite coffee and remote work spots below. And if you are exploring the Midwest of the U.S. and you have the time, you have to check out St. Louis! There are some killer coffee shop we highly recommend there as well, not to mention super fun activities.

The best coffee in Chicago can be found at:

  1. Firecakes

  2. Dollop

  3. Colectivo

  4. Sawada Coffee

  5. Kapej Coffee

  6. Two Hearted Queen

  7. HERO Coffee Bar

  8. Spoken, A Cafe

  9. Bourgeois Pig

  10. Coffee Lab & Roasters


Start your day off right with a delicious donut and coffee from Firecakes! This small donut shop sure packs a punch; their donut selection is unbeatable. Their staple flavors, like Tahitian Vanilla, are always amazing, but I really love this place because they often have new flavors to try. They are always unique yet so delicious. Pair a donut with one of their hot lattes and you’re set for the day! (They have four locations, two of which are in Chicago.)

donut from Firecakes donuts in Chicago


Stop for a pick-me-up coffee and a bite to eat at Dollop. They offer very unique drinks, and they’re always delicious. If you like caffeine, or need it like us, you will love this cafe and all it has to offer. There are multiple locations around Chicago making it super accessible which we love (they are only in the Chicagoland area). The food selection varies depending on which one you go to, so don't necessarily rely on Dollop for a full meal. However, their drinks are always great, and they have changing specials that are always yummy and unique! They generally have unique seating selections too, so if you're wanting to work from a couch or a bar stool, this if your place!

lattes from Dollop in Chicago


Enjoy a nice latte, tea, or smoothie and a healthy meal at Colectivo. The indoor seating at the Lincoln Park location is fairly limited, but they have outdoor seating which is the best during Chicago spring and summer. And they have an outdoor fire pit for fall and winter! The drinks here are delicious; they have lots of options which is perfect if someone in your party isn't wanting caffeine. They have a great menu, so you can totally get a full breakfast or lunch meal here, and they have vegetarian options! The Lincoln Park location is also a great place to get some work done on your laptop or just take a break for a minute.

Colectivo Cafe and Coffee Shop in Chicago

Sawada Coffee

A chill, hip spot to grab a delicious latte. Rumor has it, Sawada Coffee has the best matcha latte in Chicago! This is a great place to have a midday break and regroup, chat to friends, and enjoy great coffee. There is lots of seating, but it's a popular place. So just keep that in mind, especially if you're going on a weekend or a holiday. They also have a very limited food menu, mostly pastries, so just plan on grabbing coffee or tea here!

Kapej Coffee

Enjoy a great drink from this fantastic owner-run and operated cafe. Kapej Coffee offers a homey vibe to relax and enjoy coffee in. They have many different latte flavors, and iced coffees to choose from. They also have killer breakfast sandwiches. If you want a great drink in a place that treats their customers like family, look no further. You won't regret visiting Kapej Coffee!

lattes from Kapej coffee chicago, IL

Two Hearted Queen

I’m personally a huge chai fan, and let me tell you, Two Hearted Queen has one of the best chai’s I’ve ever had. And I’ve had…a lot. With great service, delicious drinks, and a relaxed atmosphere, this fun cafe is much more exciting than your average Starbucks. This was one of my favorite places to get homework done when I was a DePaul student, and many people come here to work and read. Everyone is respectful of other's working, so it's not a very noisy place. They have a decent food menu; you can definitely get a full lunch or breakfast meal here. And they have vegetarian options!

chai latte from Two Hearted Queen in Chicago

HERO Coffee Bar

It’s so little! This tiny coffee shop packs a punch. Loved by many DePaul students, HERO Coffee Bar will greatly satisfy your caffeine needs if you're in the downtown area. Keep in mind the Jackson Ave. location is a very small coffee shop, so plan on grabbing coffee and a bite to eat and working outside at their patio tables or moving on to your next activity. This specific location is super close to the Art Institute making it a great pitstop of you're exploring downtown Chicago! If you're looking for a cafe to work in, the N. Wells and Sheridan locations will be perfect for you!

Spoken, A Cafe

The perfect place to chat with friends or work on that remote to-do list. Spoken, A Cafe offers a nice place to take a break with a warm atmosphere. Many people come to work here, but often in groups so it can get a bit noisy. This coffee shop also offers breakfast and lunch making it a great place to grab lunch or have a midday break. Their bagels are amazing, and they have some really cool merch to buy as well!

friends having coffee and working at Spoken Cafe Chicago

Bourgeois Pig Cafe

This is a Lincoln Park favorite! Which also means it tends to stay quite busy. But that shows it's good, right?! With sandwiches upon sandwiches to choose from, you’re bound to find a nice, light breakfast or lunch meal for yourself! And pair it with a coffee or fresh smoothie. This is one of our favorite places to work, so if you're needing a co-working space, look no further! DePaul students love getting homework done at Bourgeois Pig Cafe, and you'll find other remote workers here.

Coffee Lab & Roasters

Another cafe with some INCREDIBLE iced chai: Coffee Lab & Roasters. Nathan is successfully turning me into a coffee lover, but my heart will always be with tea and this iced chai fills the tea void in my heart. Their seasonal drinks are also unbeatable! If you're looking for a unique drink and quick bite to eat, stop at Coffee Lab & Roasters.

coffee and croissant from Coffee Lab and Roasters Chicago

Enjoy your time in the Windy City and make sure you enjoy some of the best coffee at the best cafes in Chicago! The coffee shops here are some of our all time favorites, and some of the best places to work in. We may have a soft spot in our hearts for Chicago, but these cafes are pretty unbeatable. Stay full and stay caffeinated friends! Keep exploring the Midwest if you have time and check out St. Louis, it's a blast!

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We're Georgina and Nathan, two adventure enthusiasts and creators of Alpacka My Bags. We're here for all of your travel and adventure planning needs! 


We've been exploring this insane planet that we call home together for over 3 years now. After college, we knew the "traditional career path" was not for us, and honestly the "traditional life path", in general, just wasn't for us.


We needed to travel and explore what this world has to offer, it sounds cliché but you do only live once. So we made going on adventures a priority, and soon realized that we wanted to share them with others so they can enjoy them too! 

Our passion is spreading the travel bug and showing others that travel is attainable and so worth it. From itineraries to camping tips to packing lists, Alpacka My Bags has you covered!

Join us, and often our dog, JoJo, as we find exciting adventures and travel recommendations for you! If you've been bit by the travel bug just as we have, we hope you find our tips useful for any and all of your future travels.

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