Chicago is essentially a city of two seasons – winter…and anything that isn’t winter. Okay, okay, we have a lot more to offer than that, but we definitely have a bit of a bad rap when it comes to the colder months.
Do you consider yourself a fan of the frigid weather or are you a self-proclaimed “snowbird,” leaping at the chance to migrate to warmer climates? Either way, it can’t hurt to have a list of invigorating coffee shops handy when you’re looking for an escape. Prepare yourself for winter in the Windy City and check out this ‘jet-setting java’ list of 5 coffee shops in Lincoln Park that inspire both faraway places and domestic destinations.
Bourgeois Pig Café – 738 W Fullerton Ave
This old-world style coffeehouse is conveniently located on Fullerton off of Halsted and oozes character. It resides in a house with rustic brick walls, warm wood furniture, ornate décor and lots of books.
Once you’ve gotten over your time travel shock after stepping back into historical Europe, peruse the great selection of coffee and teas. Don’t skimp on the vegetarian sandwiches or the rest of the food options, which pay homage to the theme with literary names. Continue the trend and grab a book from their lending library to read while you sip!
Café Umbria – 2545 W Armitage Ave
Despite this being a Seattle import, you’ll feel like you took a quick flight to Italy when you step into Café Umbria. The origin of this brand goes back to Perugia, Italy, when Ornello Bizzarri built a roastery. Three generations and a move to America later, Emanuele Bizzarri continues to roast coffee for his shops across the country.
The café on Armitage (one of two in Chicago) is unique in the fact that it took over a former ‘car barn’ and incorporates shipping containers used for coffee into the design. Since it’s 9,000 square feet, it’s no surprise it houses a roastery AND a coffee lab in addition to the café.
Maison Marcel – 2008 N Halsted (Alley)
Welp… Maison Marcel’s website literally says this new Lincoln Park coffee window was “inspired by walking down the streets of Paris with a café on every corner”…so I guess my work here is done.
Just kidding! I’d never miss a chance to wax poetic about colorful coffee windows hidden down secret alleyways, and this is precisely why you need to hurry over to this Parisian pick-me-up hot spot. While it might not be the ideal place to post up for the long haul (it is just a window, after all), it will definitely bring a bright spot to your day. The whimsy involved in wandering down an alleyway to be met with a splashy floral mural and warm coffee can’t be beat. Maison Marcel features tons of café and specialty drinks, as well as drool-worthy pastries. Oui oui!
Philz Coffee – 2323 N Lincoln Ave
A newcomer to the coffee scene in Chicago, Philz is a beloved import from San Francisco and the same themes of love, sustainability and marching to the beat of your own drum can be observed here. According to their site, Philz proclaims you won’t find the typical ‘latte’, ‘cappuccino’ or ‘espresso’ – rather they take the time to learn each customers’ preferences with special blends that are made for each individual cup. Order a ‘Philz Way’ and you’ll be rewarded with coffee that is medium sweet with cream, while countless others ensure your day is better – which is their mission.
Philz roasts their own coffee in Oakland, CA and has a number of custom blends involving mixes from 2 to up to 7 different beans. They also practice sustainable sourcing within a rigorous set of guidelines and give back to organizations like Food4Farmers and World Coffee Research!
Werewolf Coffee – 1765 N Elston Ave
Okay, Werewolf is 100% a Chicago brand (they’re the child of local restaurant parent brand DMK) – but when you walk in, you’ll definitely feel like you are somewhere else, such as funky Austin, TX. Where might one get this idea, you ask? Well, in addition to the industrial-forward design, there’s a big ‘ole truck that serves as the focal point (and the main counter).
It’s reminiscent of the food trucks that, while now seem ubiquitous, actually can thank Austin for their popularity (they essentially were born from taco trucks at construction sites and grew rapidly over the past 10 years). This version inside Werewolf is a repurposed Wonder Bread truck and is definitely worth a field trip! If that doesn’t entice you, maybe this will – their specialty drinks sometimes include edible glitter.
Post written by FFC Contributor Megan Zink.