5 Best Coffee Shops in Uptown
Best For: Ethical Coffee You Can Feel Good About
Chill vibes, retro style, and a strong focus on giving back to the community. All it takes is one visit to this spacious coffee shop to see why it is one of our faves—and why Condé Nast named them one of the 14 Best Coffee Shops in Chicago! Every coffee from this café starts with beans that are fair trade, sourced directly from farmers. So whether you decide on a latte, a cold brew, or The Vader (Coca-Cola swirled with vanilla and espresso over ice), you know you are making an ethical—and delicious—choice. Feeling snacky? You aren’t going to want to pass up their baked goods made from scratch. We can’t get enough of their moist lemon pound cake and flaky croissants!
Dollop Coffee Company
Best For: Fresh Coffee & Pastries
If you’ve ever explored Chicago, then chances are you’ve stumbled upon one of Dollop Coffee’s 12+ locations. But this Uptown location is the OG that started it all! Here you will find everything from specialty pastries fresh from their bakehouse to amazing coffee brewed from in-house roasted beans. Order a refreshing iced latte for the road or stay a while and warm up with their 3 chile blend Mexican Latte while cozied into one of their reading corners. Their rustic brick walls, swooping strings of twinkle lights, and wood shelves lined with books create the perfect atmosphere for reading, writing, or studying.
Best For: Sipping Lattes in a Cozy Atmosphere
While there are several Heritage Outpost cafés sprinkled throughout Chicago, this Uptown location is a must-visit. Okay, we might be a bit biased since it is located in the lobby of The Lawrence House. But it isn’t every day you find a coffee shop nestled in a former luxury hotel! The eclectic collection of hanging photos and the original Art Deco stained-glass skylights are bursting with vintage charm. But the seating layout is nothing but modern comfort—no stiff bistro tables or crowded booths. Pull up a seat at the large co-working table to finish that novel, sink into a cozy armchair to savor a hot latte, or plop down on the sofa to catch up with a friend. No matter which seat you choose, the relaxing atmosphere and spacious layout won’t disappoint.
Pick Me Up Café
Best For: Vegan Coffee & Food
While this uptown coffee shop knows its way around a cup of coffee, it offers so much more than that—it was one of the places to offer vegetarian and vegan food in Chicago. That was over 20 years ago. Today, they have perfected their offerings with a full menu covering breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Beyond Pick Me Up Café’s fantastic food, their staff is always friendly. And we can’t enough of their bright décor—we definitely feel like this place picks us up when we visit! However, if their colorful and eclectic decor doesn’t give you a boost, their Zombie coffee certainly will. This mega caffeine fix may just be potent enough to raise the dead, so it should have no problem powering you through a tough day or a grueling study session.
First Sip Café
Best For: Flavorful Coffee in a Fun Setting
We’re sure you’ve heard of love at first sight. But have you ever heard of love at first sip? Or better yet, have you ever experienced both at the same time? If not, it is time to head down Argyle Street to First Sip Café. Its rustic and whimsical decor paired with its diverse drink menu is what coffee shop dreams are made of. There is nothing quite like it with their jungle of lush green plants, teacups hanging from the ceiling, and old timey touches like a gramophone and a vintage Singer sewing machine. If you’re feeling adventurous or craving something on the sweeter side, try their Banana Sundae Latte—it’s like a decadent dessert in a cup!