20 Great Black-Owned Coffee Shops In ChicagoBlack-owned coffee shops to visit every week.
If you’re like us, picking up a coffee is part of a sacred ritual—a tiny, shining moment of the day where a burst of caffeine can improve your whole mood. The next time you want to grab a latte while catching up with a friend, or need a place to do some work, consider one of these great, Black-owned coffee shops. Supporting them is a small but tangible way to show solidarity with the Black community, especially if you make it part of your daily routine.
If you’re looking for a casual spot where you can hang out and listen to some live music, Afro Joe’s in Beverly has you covered. In addition to coffee and small bites like pastries, breakfast sandwiches, and a great short rib grilled cheese they also frequently host events like poetry slams and open mic nights.
The Common Cup
The Common Cup has been a Rogers Park staple since 2007, but switched ownership in 2019 to Black-owned non-profit, Entrenuity, which aims to provide employment opportunities and training for women and the BIPOC community. They have a few tables and a small outdoor patio, but it’s also great if you’re looking to grab some coffee and pastries before catching the Red Line at Morse.
Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health
This Lakeview coffee shop not only serves coffee, but is also trying to raise awareness about mental health, particularly in the Black community. The menu is full of flavored lattes and smoothies all of which are pay-what-you-can, with the proceeds going towards providing mental health resources and therapy to those who need it. They also have free weekly yoga, community therapy, meditation sessions, and movie nights.
In addition to drip coffee and the usual espresso options, Black and Latina-owned Atmos Coffee in West Town has a small selection of creative specials. For example, the Abuelita’s Latte with espresso, Mexican hot chocolate, cinnamon, and cayenne for a little kick. The interior is simple yet sleek, with a few tables for getting work done, and a bench by the window with throw pillows that adds extra coziness.
Kusansya’s website literally says sit and stay awhile, and with its cozy setup and $2 coffee (yes, you read that right) that’s roasted onsite, it’s easy to do. This Englewood spot has plenty of tables for finally taking care of those spreadsheets you keep putting off, and they also have snacks. And like their coffee, the food is affordable—things like oatmeal, grits, and French toast are $3-$7.
Wicker Park has plenty of coffee shops, but two things set Gallery Cafe apart: they roast their beans in-house and it doubles as a—you guessed it—art gallery. The artwork rotates regularly, and anyone can submit their work to be considered here. They have art-themed sandwiches, like the Spicy Bob Ross: eggs, bacon, pepper jack, jalapeños, and chipotle sauce on a jalapeño cheddar bagel. There’s also a second location in River West.
At the center of the very niche Venn diagram of coffee addiction and horror film fandom lies The Brewed. This Avondale coffee shop is decorated with a variety of movie posters, memorabilia, and sells horror-themed coffee merchandise. They also occasionally host screenings, so if you want to watch the director’s cut of Videodrome while drinking a macchiato, sign up here.
This Black and woman-owned Ravenswood coffee shop brews coffee from Dark Matter, has pastries from Phlour Bakery, and gluten-free options from Defloured. The space is welcoming, with a friendly staff, comfy couches, and a decent number of tables perfect for getting work done.
Drink Happy Thoughts
Seating is limited in this tiny Uptown coffee shop, but assuming you can find a spot, you can order from a short menu of breakfast sandwiches, quiche, and specialty coffee drinks. For example "Hermione’s Adderall," their caramel and toffee-flavored take on butterbeer which will help you stay productive without having to get involved with some college student’s sketchy side hustle.
Queen Sheba Cafe
Queen Sheba is easy to miss since the cafe’s exterior is covered by signage for the other businesses in Uptown’s Sun Plaza Strip Mall. But hiding under the signs for the bank and nail salon is this cozy Ethiopian Cafe. There are only a handful of small tables, but you can stop by for some coffee and snacks like injera with eggs, onions, and jalapeños.
Like cafe nesting dolls, this Beverly coffee spot is actually located inside Ain’t She Sweet Cafe. The specialty espresso drinks are made with housemade syrups with flavors like bananas foster or bourbon, as well as teas like the Gold Rush latte made with ginger turmeric tea. And if you want something to eat, Ain’t She Sweet has a variety of soups, sandwiches, and wraps.
16th Street Bar & Lounge
At 16th Street Bar And Coffee in the South Loop, you can drink coffee while working remotely, and then grab a cocktail after you shut your laptop. They have a wide variety of classic hot and iced drinks, and draft cocktails (like one made with coffee, peach pecan whiskey, and butterscotch schnapps). And if you’re here 1-3pm on weekdays, they have coffee Happy Hour, with $1 off all coffee drinks.
South Shore Brew
Since it’s right next to the South Shore Metra station, this coffee shop is a perfect place to stop before (or after) taking the train. The wooden interior gets plenty of natural light thanks to its large windows, and there is a decent amount of seating—perfect if you work remotely. They have a short coffee and tea menu, as well as a small selection of snacks like bagels, pastries, and sandwiches.
At Soul Full Cafe in Pilsen, you can pop in for some yoga, pick up a new book, and also grab a cup of coffee. The drink menu at this three-in-one coffee shop, bookstore, and event space is short, with just traditional coffee drinks, tea, and a couple of fruit smoothies. But if you ask about their secret menu they'll make you a creative drink.
This charming Bronzeville cafe has a full menu of breakfast dishes and pastries. They also have a decent selection of vegan sweets like sticky buns and banana pudding. The space consists of a few tables and a comfy couch, perfect for working or reading a book.
Sip & Savor
In addition to their Hyde Park location, Sip and Savor also have cafes in Bronzeville, Rosenwald, and Forest Park. Their drink menu includes a wide variety of lattes and mochas, as well as refreshing icy drinks like a blended espresso shake. If you want a light bite, they serve pastries like donuts, bagels, and croissants.
Overflow Coffee Bar
Overflow in the South Loop is a nice change of pace from the sea of coffee chains in the area. They have great coffee, and an inviting space with album art on the walls—a nod to being located in the original home of one of the earliest Black-owned record companies, Vee-Jay Records. There are plenty of tables, so even though it’s usually busy with the work-from-home crowd, it’s never cramped. Overflow also has food from Justice of the Pies and Tilly’s.
Chicago French Press
Chicago French Press is a Black and woman-owned coffee shop in the South Loop. In addition to coffee and tea, they also have a small selection of pastries. Though seating inside is limited, during the summer they have plenty of tables on their outdoor patio, complete with umbrellas.
Muse Coffee Studio
This Tri-Taylor spot has a short menu of coffee drinks, teas, and babkas and cookies from Masa Madre. Their seating area also doubles as a rotating gallery for local artists, and an event space for things like their book club meetings, open mics, and kids yoga.
Cafe Calida is a Black and Latina-owned coffee shop in Humboldt Park. The space is small with a few tables for two and a couch, so it’s ideal for a quick catch-up with a friend, or if you need to take care of a few emails that you were hoping were just spam. The coffee menu is short, but they have seasonal specials as well as vegan donuts from JoeBVegan.