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Original photo by Marissa Rainone

My Favorite Coffee Shops in Chicago

As a college student, coffee is a must have at all times. Whether it be a pick-me-up for long study days, or just a nice addition to my day, coffee is something that at this point, I don’t think I can live without.  

When I think of coffee, I think of going to a cute coffee shop, getting some good coffee to put a little pep in my step before doing some work or just catching up with some friends. I have never been the biggest fan of Starbucks — definitely blame my mom for making me a coffee snob — so when I moved to Chicago, I was excited to see all the different little coffee shops I could find. Now that I have lived here for around three years, I have definitely found some amazing coffee shops that I love. I thought I would share a few places that I absolutely love going to, whether it be to do a little studying, meet up with some friends, or just stop by and grab a coffee on the go. 

Hero Coffee Bar

One coffee shop that I started going to when I first moved out here was Hero Coffee Bar. They have a couple locations around Chicago, but the one that I find myself going to a lot is the one on east Jackson Boulevard. It is tucked into a little alleyway between two buildings, and once you find it, you are met with a big neon sign that says “COFFEE” with string lights above it. In the warmer months, there are little tables outside so you can sit and enjoy your coffee since the store is quite small, with only enough room to place your order and get your drink. Their coffee tastes amazing! They are a Chicago-born company that sources their coffee beans directly from growers and then roasts those beans themselves in their west side roastery. They have a lot of different options on their drink and all day breakfast menu, and the prices aren't half bad — take it from a broke college student. My go to order is the iced latte and The Hippie bagel sandwich. Yum!

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Goddess and the Baker

Another coffee shop that has a fun aesthetic and good coffee and food that I love going to is Goddess and the Baker. They also have a couple locations around the Chicago area. The one that I have been to a couple times is on west Madison Street. Not only are the decor and specialty coffees really cute and perfect for an Instagram post, but they have great-tasting coffee and food. The one thing I really like about Goddess and the Baker is that they have pastries to snack on, or if you are a little more hungry than that, they also serve sandwiches, salads, and breakfast — it’s really a one-stop shop. Everything that I have had there is extremely delicious. Although the pieces are a little more expensive than I would prefer, I would still suggest going to treat yourself to some good coffee. Some of my favorites from here are the Honey Wildflower Latte, the Apple Butter Oat Latte — which tastes exactly like an apple pie — and the Chicken Club. 

Heritage Outpost

I never thought that sitting in some random apartment building’s lobby to study and drink some coffee would be something that I would find myself doing more often than not, but the Heritage Outpost inside the Lawrence House has me doing just that. Although it’s not the most insanely fun place to get coffee and hang out with some friends, it is a great spot to sit down and get some work done — I have definitely done some major last minute essay writing there. The coffee shop is a small room inside the Lawrence House, just big enough to order your coffee and head out, but the lobby is open for everyone. It’s a nice open room with some cozy couches and tables with the whole ceiling filled with stained glass. I have never seen too many people there, so it is usually a nice quiet place to sit. The prices are pretty good, but they don’t have a huge selection of coffees. My go-to when I’m on that study grind is to get a latte and add some lavender syrup to jazz it up a bit. 

Coffee is most definitely one of my favorite drinks and finding some cute coffee shops is half the fun. These were just a few of my favorite finds in the city, but there are a lot more that I love, and a lot more I have yet to find. I am always on the hunt for a new coffee spot to chat with friends or grind on some homework, and I hope these helped you find your new spot!

Marissa is a senior studying Journalism at Loyola University Chicago. She is originally from Colorado, and loves the mountains and the outdoors. She has been writing for so long that it is now basically a personality trait. As someone who loves to travel, adventuring around Chicago to find new places to eat and see, fashion, art, and who can always enjoy a good book she hopes to connect with and share her experiences and interests with the HerCampus readers!
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