Vietnamese-style slow drips, community non-profits, specialty single origin brews and Turkish lattes -when it comes to coffee shops in Illinois, you’re spoiled for choice. This is one state that will live up to the expectations of any java nut.
While Chicago has its fair share of exciting and innovative coffee stores, venture outside the city and you’ll see that there’s more than a few neighbourhood cafes upping their game. Here’s our pick of the very best…
Best Coffee Shops in IllinoisHow do these rankings work?
We recently named Oromo Cafe as one of the best coffee stores in the US this year, so you can expect seriously great things here. They take inspiration for their coffee from places like Turkey, Africa, and even India. Here, you can try unique brews. The Golden Mylk Latte finds its delicious roots in Ayurvedic teachings. And, the Hazelnut Horchata Latte will transport you straight to the streets of Mexico.
Brewpoint Coffee is all about not only roasting and brewing quality coffee in their own stores, but empowering other neighbourhood cafes to raise the bar. There’s now three Brewpoint Coffee stores in Elmhurst, but we suggest you stop by the roastery at N York Road. Here, you’ll see (and smell!) first hand the bean aroma and try their slow drip brews at the coffee bar.
Common Grounds sums up what all good local coffee stores should be like: full of life and friendly faces, tasty bites to eat and fresh, delicious coffee. If you want to jazz up your java, this is the place to do it. With over 30 syrup flavours, skim, whole, almond and soy milks, and fresh-made whipped cream, you can have nearly anything you can imagine whether it be hot, iced or frozen.
Intelligentsia Coffee roast their own coffee, train up the next generation of baristas and are genuinely about as passionate about coffee as anybody you are ever likely to meet. While they now have stores in six US cities, they reign supreme in Chicago with stylish decor and coffee that the team sources directly from farms. Enjoy coffee in all its forms—whole bean, brewed, and espresso.
This lovely locally-owned cafe in Palos Hill has some of the best coffee in Illinois, alongside some unique creations. You can sip on all sorts of brews, from rich cortados, nitro cold brew or pour overs, as well as heartwarming drinks like the ‘Honey Bear’ with espresso, honey, cinnamon and milk, or the ‘Wildflower’, with almond milk, espresso, lavender and vanilla. One word: yum!
This great spot is an independently owned coffee shop and wholesale roaster in the Logan Square neighbourhood of Chicago. Gaslight Coffee Roasters put huge effort and pride into sourcing their beans and the entire roasting process, with rotating beans from Guatemala, Colombia and Ethiopia. You’ll find yourself coming back again and again for the expertly brewed java.
This popular 80s-inspired coffee store has Back to the Future-style decor (complete with a DeLorean time machine car), delicious baked pastries from a local bakery and specialty coffee from Halfwit Coffee Roasters, its sister roastery.
Here, you can sip on silky coffees made with single origin beans, vegan lattes and refreshing ice coffees. With an old school Nintendo machine down back, you won’t want to leave.
This cute bakery has all sorts of tempting homemade treats and a welcoming vibe. As for the coffee itself? It comes from nearby Redbud Coffee Co. who do a roaring trade with their coffee bean deliveries, which they ship all over the country. But if you’re in the area you should consider popping in for these ethically sourced beans brewed in this cosy store.
You can’t have a list of the best coffee shops in Illinois and not have the spot. Metric Coffee roasts all their beans on a vintage ’61 Probat roaster, so you can look forward to exceptionally well balanced, sweet, and clean coffees here. The cafe itself doubles up as the roastery, so you can be sure of only the freshest beans here. In the summer, be sure to try their sister company’s Hellion Cold Brew.
Want creamy lattes that look just as good as they taste? This is the first U.S. coffee shop of world renowned barista and latte art expert Hiroshi Sawada. The industrial style café features a wall of windows facing Green Street and includes a custom painted espresso machine, wooden ping pong table, pinball machine, and punching bag.
You might not expect to find a coffee shop of this high quality in northwest Illinois, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised with Flipside. They make all their brews using Dark Matter coffee from Chicago and use Dark Matter espresso in the chocolatey mochas, too. With funky vibes and a tempting menu full of homebaked treats (try the monkey bread!), this place is a true local favourite.
Dark Matter Coffee is easily one of the most famous coffee shops in Illinois, providing high quality roasts to cafes all across the state. With five stores of their own, it’s a sin to not pop in and try the coffee at source. Vibrant artwork and neon signs add a fun backdrop to the gourmet java. As for the coffee? Working directly with farmers, they source beans themselves for proper fair trade and great flavour.
Maeva’s Coffee serves up a range of drinks using their own signature blend of fair-trade coffee from Goshen Coffee in Edwardsville, which has notes of grapefruit and chocolate. There’s also regular guest roasters for espresso drinks, as well as single origin cold brew and their own creative drinks.
Try the La Chascona: their signature spring drink crafted with honey lemon essence and espresso over tangy iced goat’s milk. .
Vietnam is famous for its coffees, so this is the perfect place for any true coffee fiend. At this Vietnamese cafe and bar on Carpenter Street, you’ll find authentic slow drip ‘phin’ coffee using beans all the way from Vietnam. The coffee is strong and full of flavour, taking 15 minutes to drip through, table-side. For something sweet, order the Cà Phê Trứng (their Insta-famous sweet egg custard coffee!), and order a Vietnamese churro on the side.
When it comes to some of the top coffee shops in Peoria, thirty-thirty Coffee Co. knocks it out of the park with everything they do, from their beans to the talented baristas. They operate with a passionate farm-to-cup mentality, roasting all the beans onsite to bring out the best flavour profile of each blend.
Whether you choose a Chemex brew or simple espresso, all your caffeine needs will be satisfied here.
With five locations of coffee shops in Illinois, from Chicago to Oak Park, Fairground Coffee really has the state covered for quality java and cool hangout spots. Although they’re equally as passionate about tea, it’s the coffee that we’re major fans of. They have a rotating selection of the best cold brews and nitros from around the country on tap (pick three for a tasting flight!) as well as single origin espresso and seasonal lattes.
Mad Goat Coffee doesn’t believe in being coffee snobs, and we love them all the more for that. While they do believe in coffee sourced as fresh as possible, carefully roasted to optimum flavour, and brewed with excellence, you’ll only find friendly and helpful staff here who live and breath coffee. Try the superb Mad Goat frappe with a shot of butter pecan or a smooth latte for colder mornings.
Make your way to the South Side of Chicago to find this fantastic coffee shop, which locations in Bridgeport, Hyde Park, the South Loop at Roosevelt Collection, and at Michigan and Jackson. They roast and serve their directly-imported and fine coffees to loyal coffee fans each day, who flock here for fresh brews and cosy beanbags. The roasts on offer change with the harvests, but the top notch quality remains the same.
This local neighbourhood coffee joint takes things to a new level for coffee in the area with its gourmet brews and coffee merch. You’ll be hooked from the very first sip here, whether it’s a simple espresso or a slow drip brew. In fact, they even have their own coffee club for passionate members to learn about new roasts, enjoy regular cupping sessions and much more.
P.S. their name, [CxT] (pronounced: “see-ex-tee”), is an acronym for “Coffee by Tristan”, referring to the expert roastmaster here who oversees all the coffee roasting.
What started off as a small coffee store has now expanded into four locations, and we can see why Bean Counter is so popular. They use the freshest Arabic beans in their blends and they’re roasted and delivered fresh every day, so you can be sure you’ll be sipping on the very best.
What really makes this place stand out is their exciting range of flavoured beans. Choose from English Toffee, Caramel Cashew, Peppermint Mocha and so much more.
Pilot Pete’s Coffee goes above and beyond with everything they do, from quality, local coffee to cute inspirational quotes on the coffee cups and friendly staff. In short, it’s a local cafe that every town would benefit from having.
Not only is the coffee superb, they also work closely with the homeless community to gather donations and give out galleons of hot, fresh coffee for ‘everyone to enjoy’.
Kusanya, which refers to the Swahili word for “to gather” or “to come together, is a community non-profit coffee shop in Englewood. They roast their single origin beans onsite, with beans from Ethiopia, Congo, and El Salvador. The end result is a perfect cuppa.
It’s a real community space where everyone is welcome, and they also host community and arts events and provide job training and apprenticeships.
The name Finom translates to “delicious” in Hungarian, the culture from which this eclectic coffeehouse draws inspiration. Housed in a historic building, the cafe has cosy Grandma’s living room vibes – well, if your Grandma makes specialty coffee using Ethiopian beans from Counter Culture, that is.
As well as unique drinks like the Turkish Delight Latte , with rosewater, cardamom, and candied rose petals, there’s a menu full of Hungarian bites to eat.
Custom Cup Coffee specialises in high-quality coffee roasted in small batches onsite. You can get beans to go here, even specifying what level of roast you want – from light to dark – as they roast-to-order. For coffee in store, enjoy fresh roasted single origin direct trade coffee in a variety of espresso and drip brewing styles.
Live in the area? They offer free delivery of freshly roasted coffee beans straight to your door!
This welcoming coffee store in Red Bud is home to super friendly staff and great coffee. No frills, nothing too fancy, just great quality coffee brewed expertly. And really, what more could you ask for? The aroma of fresh coffee will hit you as soon as you enter, with delicious espresso brews on the menu. Add in some tasty treats and you won’t be leaving here anytime soon.