Today, we're launching a new series on the blog of Forth Approved spots around the city! We wanted to roll up all of your recommendations from our 4xForth spotlights and package them into a nice little map (big thanks to Clare Johnson!) for your city-exploring adventures. And of course, we're starting the series with what's often the first thing on our minds each morning - coffee. Read on for reviews of 10 coffeehouses and cafes around Chicago and get exploring...But first, coffee.
1. The Coffee Studio - 5628 N. Clark St. Chicago, IL 60640
Forth Approved by Sarah Drake
Great lattes and Glazed & Infused donuts...what more do you want?
2. Beans & Bagels - 2601 W. Leland St. Chicago, IL 60625
Lots of menu recommendations from Johanna and Julie, which leads us to believe that everything at Beans & Bagels is worth trying. To get specific, they claim this North Center neighborhood spot has the best lox breakfast bagel and lemon poppyseed muffin. And if you're into croissants, this is the place to go - Julie says go with the spinach for a savory bite and almond or chocolate for a sweet treat.
3. The Book Cellar - 4736 N. Lincoln Ave Chicago, IL 60625
Forth Approved by Bryn McCoy
The name of this place alone makes me want to go and order an Americano, browse through their book selection and lose track of all time. Bryn's a fan of Lincoln Square and reports that The Book Cellar has lots of options - including food + wine. She also recommends trying Cafe Selmarie right across the street.
4. Julius Meinl - 3601 N. Southport Chicago, IL 60613
When in need of a "me" date, Clare's go-to spot is Julius Meinl. She highly recommends the baked eggs and loves the atmosphere. Try to go during the week if you're hoping to do work as this place gets pretty busy on weekends.
5. Heritage Bicycles Coffeeshop - 2959 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL 60657
Forth Approved by Anne Truppe
This place is one-of-a-kind. They thoughtfully (and successfully) combine two cultures and are the only place in the city you can go to get your bike tuned up and grab a cup o' Stumptown joe while you wait.
6. The Bagelers Coffeehouse - 2461 N. Lincoln Ave. Chicago, IL 60614
Forth Approved by Katie Kenney
The staff here is really friendly and has a loyal following of "regulars." The shop has plenty of tables for working or meeting a friend and also changes up their scenery every couple of months and showcases various pieces from local artists on the walls.
7. Buzz: Killer Espresso - 1644 N. Damen Ave.Chicago, IL 60647
Forth Approved by Brenda Bergen
If you're looking for a coffeeshop to spend an afternoon at in Wicker Park, Brenda has found your place. Buzz lives up to their namesake, offering killer espresso and plenty of space to spread out and get down to business.
8. Filter - 1373 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago, IL 60642
Forth Approved by Angela Bryant
After going to Filter once a week last summer, Angela has officially given it her stamp of approval. She reports that the shop is filled with creatives with inconsistent day jobs, has massive cups for coffee, and offers decent breakfast and lunch options. In terms of ambiance, think Central Perk meets Chicago - lots of comfy couches and fun lamps.
9. Counter Cafe - 7324 Madison St. Forest Park, IL 60130
Forth Approved by Lisa Guillot
If you're ever out in the Forest Park neighborhood, Counter Cafe should be at the top of your list. It's a great escape from the buzzing coffee shops in the city and your best alternative to Starbucks.
10. La Colombe - 955 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60607
This shop, like the neighborhood, has a very cool vibe - as to be expected. Angela recommends the Cubano latte, where they put raw sugar in the espresso before they brew it which takes off the bitter edge.