Sound off: The Torch’s pick of favorite Chicago coffee shops

Having trouble finding the perfect Chicago-based coffee shop for your daily dose of caffeine? The Torch’s staff has got you covered. Here are some of our favorite coffee shops and cafes around the Chicago area. Give them a try and let us know if these choices were on fire.

Colectivo’s Logan Square location. Photo courtesy of Daily Coffee News.

Colectivo by Amanda Landwehr

With four locations in Chicago alone and a menu full of soul-warming food and drinks, Colectivo is truly my go-to coffee shop. My typical drink order is a chai tea, served with the perfect balance of spices and sweetness. Colectivo offers a wide variety of drinks ranging from mango peach ginger smoothies, to seasonal pie spice cappuccinos, to a simple cold brew. Their food menu, while still staying true to the authentic cafe experience, offers a unique and flavorful flight of dishes such as cauliflower banh mi or sesame sweet potato bowls. Regardless of what you order, you are bound to be enchanted by the charming decor, friendly staff and mouth-watering beverages offered at this beloved chain of coffee shops.

Vegan pastries from Fancy Plants Café. Photo by Kristin McKee

Fancy Plants Café by Kristin McKee

Soy, almond, coconut, and even oat milks have been popping up in cafés, but how about a strictly plant-based cafe? Fancy Plants Café is a 100% vegan café located in East Lakeview. Along with your typical café drinks, Fancy Plants also serves savory breakfast items, pastries (some provided by gluten-free bakery Mindful Baking), soups, salads and paninis. They also go above and beyond your everyday café and hold elaborately-themed dinners on weekends, their most recent dinner being “The Beats and Rolls Go On” that featured vegan sushi. Also, shoutout to the owner, Kevin Schuder; he’s a really cool guy!

Starbucks’ Iced Caramel Macchiato. Photo courtesy of Starbucks Coffee Australia.

Starbucks by Raneen El-Barbarawi

As typical as it may sound, Starbucks is the most convenient go-to coffee shop there is. With a location at nearly every street corner, it seems as if Starbucks purposely tries to drag customers in. I am a victim of this marketing, as I have recently become addicted to drinking coffee. It seems like I can’t shy away from getting an iced caramel macchiato or white chocolate mocha every single day. So, if you’re ever having trouble staying awake or just want to find a hobby, you can’t go wrong with drinking a Starbucks drink daily. As an added bonus, some of their signature drinks are so beautifully decorated and make the perfect addition to your Instagram-worthy photos.

Photo courtesy of Time Out.

Fontano’s Subs by Adnan Bašić

It’s a place that sells coffee, so that’s good enough to earn a spot on this list. Located just about a block away from Roosevelt, you can get to Fontano’s and back before your next class starts. Known more for their sub sandwiches and delicious deep dish pizza, the shop also sells coffee. It’s hot. It’s liquid. It won’t kill you. The best thing is that any Chicago college student can get a 10 percent discount off their order at checkout. Go check it out!

Hero Coffee Bar’s hidden location on Jackson Boulevard. Photo courtesy of Urban Explorer.

Hero Coffee Bar by Evi Arthur

As someone who spent a year working as a barista, I’m really picky when it comes to coffee. Luckily, Hero Coffee Bar has two locations within walking distance of Roosevelt. They have really fun winter-themed drinks to try and their cold brew is really awesome–and it’s on tap! My usual is two shots of espresso over ice with vanilla syrup–that’ll wake you up fast, for sure. 

Photo courtesy of Foodbeast.

7-Eleven by Mohammad Samra 

I’m not really a coffee fanatic, but 7/11 is my favorite place to go for French vanilla cappuccino. When the temperature starts to drop and snow begins to fall, I’m always inclined to deviate from my usual route to Roosevelt so I can watch the smoke from the cappuccino machine slowly ascend from my cup.

Dollop Coffee’s Streeterville location. Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Dollop Coffee by Jules Banks 

I’m not a very avid coffee drinker, I’ll admit, but Dollop’s calming atmosphere and delicious signature drinks are nearly persuasive enough to make me one. This quiet, softly lit cafe is a cozy study spot, and despite the somewhat expensive prices, Dollop’s proximity to Roosevelt makes this coffee shop a tempting option. It’s a bit small and gets crowded quite quickly, but when there’s seating space, it’s easy to sit there for hours and stay productive. 

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  1. Sound off: The Torch’s pick of favorite Chicago coffee shops - Coffee Preparation Tutorials

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