Above Photo By: Filter Cafe

As someone who works remotely, sometimes you just have to get out of the house. Whether it’s the dog next door that keeps howling, or the incessant beep of the smoke alarm you’re too lazy to replace the batteries of – some fresh air and coffee can do wonders for your productivity and mind.

For coffee lovers, freelancers, and those who work remotely, here’s my list for the Best Chicago Coffee Shops – 5 You Must Try:

#1 Filter Café

Best Chicago Coffee Shops

Photo By: Filter Cafe

Filter Café
1373 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Filter Café is like a giant living room where you can purchase food and great coffee – this place ticked all the boxes for me. Great coffee, a variety of other beverages, and a wide selection of food, fresh from the kitchen ensuring you can stay fed from breakfast to dinner. A range of seating options for whatever your back desires – couches for leisurely reading, big desks with supportive chairs for computer work, and plenty of room for group meetings.

MUST TRY: They have a great a selection of drinks, but I would try the sweet potato fries with a side of hot sauce/salsa − made in house!
EATS: The place offers an extensive menu, and the food is good. But if you want a stroll, try Oiistar for great Japanese or Antique Taco for gourmet tacos.
POWER OUTLETS: Plenty to go around

BONUS: They have copying, printing and scanning services available in-house. It’s like they never want to you leave.

#2 The Coffee Studio

Best Chicago Coffee Shops

Photo By: The Coffee Studio

The Coffee Studio
5628 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

A little north of downtown Chicago – this was a perfect spot to start the day. I got here a little before 9am, and the place was already littered with people on their laptops. The bright and light spot is perfect for singles or duos working away, but may be a struggle for larger groups.

Their coffee is made using the hugely popular, locally roasted Intelligentsia coffee beans, and it is delicious. They offer a broad range of drinks including teas, wine and craft beer.

MUST TRY: Dolce iced coffee or dolce latte, any of the tea inspired cocktails, or if you want a sweet treat their Nutella hot chocolate. For food, the smoked salmon flatbread is a must!
EATS: They have a great selection of pastries, bagels, and quiches. Mcdonald’s is right next door too if you fancy that.
WIFI: Yes, free for 60 minutes with a purchase.
POWER OUTLETS: Plenty to go around


#3 Argo Tea Café

Best Coffee Shops Chicago

Photo By: Google Street View

Argo Tea Café, North Broadway
3135 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657

Don’t be fooled by the name, although Argo’s has a great selection of tea; their coffee menu is up to scratch. Most of their drinks can be made iced or hot, and is a refreshing change in the hot Chicago summer.

With big desks and ample space, there is a spot for everyone. I recommend getting a place near the window for people watching, or near the back if you prefer a more quiet environment.

MUST TRY: Carolina honey, green tea with a ginger twist, hibiscus apple cider
EATS: The café is stocked with the usual pastries and sandwiches, and the street is packed with great eats. Try Stella’s diner for American classics, Glaze Teriyaki for your Japanese fix, or right across the street Wilde for a great range of beers, and for my vegetarians, vegans, and health nuts try Kitchen 17 for a vegan Middle-Eastern and American fare.
WIFI: Yes, but slight patchy
POWER OUTLETS: Plenty to go around


#4 La Colombe

Best Coffee Shops Chicago

Photo By: Nik Johnson

La Colombe, Andersonville
5158 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Grab a window seat, and prepared to be carried away with your work. If you come in later in the morning, finding a seat may be more difficult at this popular location, but the coffee here is worth it. Possibly my favorite in Chicago, their cold drip is amazing. I liked their coffee so much; I visited two of their locations, Andersonville and West Loop. Although their coffee is fantastic at both, definitely stick to Andersonville if you want to work or study.

MUST TRY: Their cold drips are amazing. I added a touch of sweetener to mine, and my gosh it was like heaven.
EATS: Stocked with the staple pastries. I recommend nearby Polygon Café for great Asian cuisine, and also Taste of Lebanon, no frills, but the fantastic food is a must try.

#5 Intelligentsia

Best Chicago Coffee Shops

Photo By: Intelligentsia

Intelligentsia, North Broadway
3123 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 60657

This place seems to be a Chicago coffee lover’s number 1 recommendation – but it was slightly disappointing. The baristas have a fantastic knowledge of the coffee, and the coffee itself is excellent, but what takes away from the place is the crowd. Although there is plenty of decent space to work, the noise level may stop you from doing any of it.

Worth the visit for the coffee, but try hitting this place during quieter hours or just to relax.

MUST TRY: Known for their coffee, try the humble espresso.
EATS: They stock the basic pastries, but for a better feed try Stella’s diner, Glaze TeriyakiWilde for a great range of beers, or Kitchen 17 for a healthy, vegan Middle-Eastern and American Fare.


My time in the Windy City did not disappoint. Chicago delivered on both fronts, premium coffee and proper environments to be productive. If you enjoyed my list of the Best Chicago Coffee Shops stay tuned as I share my favorite coffee shops in Ann Arbor, the best canned cold brews, and my favorite coffee themed Instagram accounts.


About The Author

Chitra Das is a reader, writer, and a perpetual traveller. The love of her life is coffee, and she struggles to find a life independent from it. Originally from Sydney, Australia she is currently living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, pursuing the American dream.