National Coffee Month: Chicago’s Best Brews

Photograph by Nathan Dumlao

It is officially National Coffee Month, and we are in one of the best cities to celebrate. Chicago is speckled with thousands of different delicious coffee shops. Each spot often has its own unique take on the human necessity, so we wish to narrow some of our favorites down for you. Whether you’re in The Loop or The North Side, or prefer a velvety latte over a black cold brew, you will find a favorite amongst these fabulous businesses.

Kikwetu Coffee

When you choose Kikwetu Coffee, you’re not just enjoying a cup of joe; you’re becoming part of a powerful journey. This establishment works hand-in-hand with small-scale coffee farmers in Kenya, supporting them to produce the finest, most flavorful beans. With every sip, you’re empowering these local communities and making a tangible impact! On top of this, the brand boasts some of the best coffee in the city. Check out their pop-up schedule here!

Momentum Coffee

At Momentum Coffee, the aroma of exceptional coffee meets the ambiance of empowering co-working spaces. This business can be found throughout Chicago, from the heart of Downtown to Englewood and North Lawndale. When visiting, you’ll notice that their coffee holds notes that are both consistent and addictive, things that should always be synonymous with a cup of joe! Outside of these sips, they house fabulous pastries and breakfast bites that separate it from its neighbors entirely! Start your day right here, gaining momentum and satisfying your needs!

General Photograph of Coffee

Metric Coffee

Discover the heart of Chicago’s coffee scene at Metric Coffee! Experience the energy of a diverse community while enjoying top-notch service, locally-sourced snacks, and the freshest daily coffee beans from their award-winning roasterie. For 18 years, they have remained a cozy spot to unwind with a laptop, a book, or a friend, and savor the finest coffee. While their roasterie graces the Chicago River’s edge, their Edgewater café remains the soul of this family-owned business. Visit either spot during this National Coffee Month!


Nestled within the Kimball Arts Center, an exciting West Coast arrival awaits to dazzle coffee enthusiasts. Prepare for an innovative journey as you explore unique elixirs like the Warhol (a blend of espresso, cinnamon, vanilla, cream, & citrus). This chic establishment in Logan Square redefines the art of crafting beverages, promising an experience that’s as distinctive as it is stylish!

General Photograph of Coffee

Standing Passengers

Whether you’re the type to request a blueberry pancakes latte or a small black coffee, Standing Passengers appeases both. This establishment is a fusion of an art gallery and coffee haven, nestled in the vibrant neighborhood of West Town. They proudly house Dark Matter Coffee and offer delectable delights from renowned spots like Bennisons Bakery, Do-Rite Donuts, and Cafe Tola!

Sawada Coffee

This establishment is as cool as it is delicious. When you walk by a tucked in Sawada within Green Street Smoked Meats, you immediately want to check it out. The roughly painted brick walls dappled with the generous mood lighting makes you feel like you’re in a retro coffee-shop from a sitcom, and the actual sips assist with this vibe as well. The unique concoctions will satisfy any coffee drinker, regardless of how disconcerting. 

Back of the Yards 

Back of the Yards Coffee is a resilient community cornerstone in an often overshadowed neighborhood. Their motto, “resilient and robust,” echoes their commitment to a welcoming haven. Rooted in their community’s essence, they reinvest $1 from every 12 oz coffee bag into a social impact fund, driving positive change in Back of the Yards and beyond. Join in on making a difference by having a cup during National Coffee Month!

General Photograph of Coffee

Plein Air

Nestled in the heart of the University of Chicago Hyde Park campus, Plein Air is a serene oasis that pays tribute to the “in the open air” painting tradition. Plein Air offers a French atelier-inspired café experience, with meticulously crafted coffee, from pour overs to classic espressos! Discover a warm and inviting haven where coffee, food, and design converge to appease all visitors.

Build Coffee

Elevate your coffee experience at Build Coffee, a dynamic space that transcends the traditional café. Embrace Woodlawn’s vibrant community hub, welcoming journalists and nonprofit professionals alike. Indulge in HalfWit’s rich brews, relish Justice of the Pies treats, and discover a trove of wisdom in their used bookstore. Witness captivating performances, enlightening workshops, and inspiring gallery shows! Build Coffee is where creativity, collaboration, and coffee binds and thrive.

Afro Joes

Afro Joe’s has illuminated Chicago’s culinary scene. A haven of exceptional flavors, their standout dish, the short-rib grilled cheese, is a true marvel. Beyond its menu, Afro Joe’s offers a sanctuary for quality coffee aficionados and a cherished space for community convergence. Amidst a neighborhood yearning for such gems, its presence is a breath of fresh air!

Written by Bridget McGann

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