Coffee shops have long been a place of gathering. A place where minds meet to trade propositions in hopes of changing the world, all while enjoying a caffeinated beverage in the process. Some are artsy, while others have a grungier vibe. But The Wormhole Coffee in Wicker Park possesses a nostalgic feel that is all its own.
Located just a few blocks from the Damen Blue Line stop at 1462 N Milwaukee Ave, it can be hard to spot due to the fact that it doesn’t stick out that much from the outside. However, walking through those doors is the equivalent of stepping directly through a time portal into another time.
There is an old Nintendo game console, with popular ‘80s themed video games that you can play at the shop.
The walls are decorated with posters of classic ‘80s movies such as “Ghostbusters,” “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” among others. To top it off, all the way in the back is a replica of the Delorean from “Back To The Future.”
The atmosphere here really makes you forget about the world for just a little while, which definitely makes for a more enjoyable experience.
The baristas are friendly and quite helpful, and will more than likely strike up a conversation with you while you’re waiting for your order. The Wormhole has a welcoming family quality that is hard to match.
However, trying to enjoy your beverage inside can be a bit of a hassle due to the fact that it’s always crowded, even during the mid-afternoon hours when business is slower than a rush. There simply isn’t enough seating, but that can overlooked since The Wormhole does make quality products.
The most popular drink on the menu is the peanut butter Koopa-Troopa, which is a latte that also contains dark chocolate.
It was served a little on the colder side, which definitely quelled the flavor a bit. The sudden blast of peanut butter is quite delightful, but it’s a bit overpowering. It pretty much cancels out any semblance of chocolate. It is definitely on the sweeter side, yet it’s countered by a smoky aroma that creates a nice balance.
Most drinks at The Wormhole mainly come in two sizes: 8 oz. and 12 oz., but there are some 16 oz. drinks. Surprisingly, the beverages here are quite expensive, especially taking into account that the largest size for most coffees is 12 oz. One 12 oz. peanut butter Koopa-Troopa, for example, costs $5.25. Most latte beverages at comparable coffee shops in Chicago go for much less money, are bigger in size, and taste just as good.
In spite of a few small drawbacks, this is definitely a place worth checking out. It transports you to another time, one that’s worth remembering. It’s definitely one of the funkier coffee spots in the city, and the coffee itself is high quality.
However, due to the fact that the drinks are on the expensive side, this may not be the best place to become your regular spot.
Four out of five torches.