Coffee Shops That Are Open LateBecause your need for caffeine doesn’t end at 5pm.
Chicago isn’t hurting for great coffee shops, but most close at 3pm. This is a problem when you want a pick-me-up later than what’s socially accepted as normal—whether you have a long night of work ahead of you, just really like the taste of coffee, or need a low-commitment option when you’re forced to meet up with someone who wants to "pick your brain" about their latest startup idea. Ideally, this cup of coffee comes with decent seating, isn’t in a spot that’s an all-day diner in disguise, and most importantly, is available past 5pm. Here are 10 of these coffee shop unicorns.
We’re big fans of Hexe, a large, industrial-feeling coffee shop located in a section of Roscoe Village. There’s nothing this place doesn’t do well—along with great coffee and a ton of space to work, Hexe also has outstanding pastries, friendly staff, a fantastic patio, and serves alcohol. Come to work during the day, then stay and meet friends here for drinks in the evening. Honestly, you might as well sleep here while you’re at it.
The Wormhole Coffee
The Wormhole has a DeLorean time machine hanging from its ceiling and an old school Nintendo, and that’s reason enough for us to come here. The whole theme of this place is “back in time and stuff.” This is fitting, because it makes you feel like you’re sitting in your bedroom at your parent’s house back when bedtime was 7pm, which, coincidentally, is when this place closes.
Pedestrian Coffee in Lakeview has plenty of outlets and seating, perfect for getting some work done. But despite the long tables that seem to be asking for a local book club or project group to loudly set up shop, this spot tends to be fairly quiet—probably because everyone is silently savoring one of their delicious pour-over coffees. They also have some pastries, but the focus here is definitely on coffee. And if a bacon scone won’t tide you over, Pedestrian is very close to places like Taipei Cafe, Zaza's Pizzeria, and Bop N Grill.
If Randolph Street is Restaurant Row, then this stretch of Milwaukee Ave. is the Coffee Canopy. Just north of The Wormhole, you’ll find Brü, a laid-back coffee shop in Wicker Park. It’s basically the coffee house equivalent of a WeWork, but free and with events like art classes and movie nights. They’re open until 7pm, and have a food menu with assorted smoothies, juices, and gluten-free crepes in case you need a snack while you wait for your chronically late friend to show up for yoga class.
Osmium is one of the spots owned by Dark Matter Coffee, a local coffee company that roasts its own beans. Besides serving excellent coffee, this spot has a bunch of creative coffee-adjacent specials, like a barrel-aged mocha and the “wake and bake” latte with maple, sage, and black pepper. There’s also a patio outside, but you’ll probably want to sit indoors where you can gaze at the artwork on the wall and wonder to yourself whether Salvador Dali painted it in a little-known steampunk phase.
Cafe Mustache is a Logan Square spot for people who need a funky place to sit and do things. There are plenty of mismatched tables and chairs, plus more than a few pieces of mustache artwork. Just know that the WiFi is turned off at 6pm, when this place becomes more of a local bar than a coffee shop.
While Ipsento’s original location feels like your artsy friend’s messy apartment, their second shop just off the 606 trail has more of a sleek, wide-open feel to it. They’ve got pour-overs, specialty lattes, nitro cold brew, some light bites, and a full bar starting at noon. They’re open until 6 or 7pm most nights, so it’s a good place for a pre-dinner drink or a coffee to sip on during an evening walk down the 606.
La Colombe Coffee Roasters
Andersonville is a pretty neighborhood with cute boutiques where people always seem to be shopping in the middle of the day. While these people apparently have no deadlines to worry about, you might, and that’s why you need to know about La Colombe. This coffee shop has no distractions, plenty of tables meant for individuals, and is open until 6pm, so you can duck in during the late afternoon and pick up a double espresso to power you through building that last spreadsheet model due at midnight.
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 after hours, so if you want to watch Elvira: Mistress of the Dark while drinking a macchiato, that’s an option.
You might miss the entrance for Bombastic Cafe, which is hiding between a waxing center and brow threading spot on the north end of Southport Corridor—but the unmistakable smell of roasting coffee will let you know you’re in the right place. Bombastic roasts their beans in-house for cold brew, drip, and pour-over drinks, plus they have a variety of teas and a long menu of lattes with interesting flavors for people who don’t actually like the taste of coffee. While the food selection is limited to a few pastry options, there’s a respectable amount of cocktails available on Friday nights when they have live music and stay open late.