Working at an office is out, working remotely is in. And even if you do still go to the office most days, it’s nice to have a few reliable places to get sh*t done on the weekends or a work-from-home Friday. That’s why it’s important to have comfortable coffee shops at your disposal.
You can’t just work out of any coffee shop, though. You need wifi, an outlet, a quiet but not creepy atmosphere, and possibly some snacks, because you can’t do anything without snacks. Here are 18 great coffee shops perfect for getting work done.
A favorite in Pilsen since 1994, Cafe Jumping Bean was one of the original “cool’ coffee shops before there was an influx of cool coffee shops. Hang out, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy the artsy vibes that are a big part of the place.
Not only does Heritage Bicycles serve an excellent cup of coffee in a sunlit space ideal for doing work, they’ll also fix your bicycle or custom make you a new one. Because you definitely need an expensive custom bike just as much as you need a cup of coffee to get through the day.
3 Greens is a swiss army knife - it’s an excellent coffee shop with comfy couches and tables, but it also has a great salad bar, hot bar, and Small Cheval Burgers if you get hungry. Altogether these elements make 3 Greens one of our favorite spots to get things done, and if you get bored of your work the coffee bar also functions as a quality cocktail bar.
A modern cafe in Wicker Park that doesn’t let you get too comfortable, which we actually find helpful at times. What we mean is there are no big comfy couches or crazy distracting pieces of art on the wall. It’s sleek and minimal, which is good for staying focused here and actually getting things done.
The Coffee Studio isn’t as small as a tiny studio, but it’s also not huge. It has the feel of a shared work space with brick walls, sleek wooden tables, and a couple of plants to lighten the mood. There’s plenty of light, coffee, pastries, and outlets to keep you chugging along through the work day.
There’s more to Sawada than just a “military latte” (if you’ve been on Instagram lately, it’s that fancy coffee drink popping up everywhere that’s trying to look like camouflage.) In fact, it’s part of Green Street Smoked Meats, which means not only can you take a BBQ break for lunch, but you can even use some of the picnic benches and stadium seating in the back of Green Street to do work early in the day. Otherwise, grab some space at the ping pong table or a counter seat overlooking Soho House.
If quality food is as much on your mind as a cup of coffee and getting work done, then head over to Gaslight. Grab some basic breakfast or a sandwich and kick it here for as long as you please.
Fun Fact: Hogsalt Hospitality owns 3 Greens Market, Sawada, and C.C. Ferns. We already told you the first two were great for getting work done, so it should be no surprise C.C. Ferns is a great spot too. Consider it the Humboldt Park counterpart to its River North and West Loop coffee shop relatives.
The name “Elaine’s Coffee Call” makes us think of Elaine Benes, which makes us think of Seinfeld, which makes us think of “the coffee shop,” which is a place we want to hang with Jerry, Kramer, George, and Elaine. At the bottom of The Lincoln Hotel is Elaine’s Coffee Call, where you unfortunately won’t find Jerry and the gang, but is most definitely is a great place to do work anyway.
Osmium is one of three spots owned by Dark Matter Coffee, a cool local coffee company that roasts their own beans. There’s some loud artwork on the walls with a number of tables along one side and a coffee bar on the other. Osmium also has really interesting coffee drinks different from anywhere else - try the Mayan Mocah, a great mix of sweet and spicy flavors.
The Wormhole has a DeLorean time machine (aka the car/time travel device from Back to the Future) hanging from the ceiling, and that’s reason enough for to come here. The whole theme here is, fittingly, “back in time and stuff,” which makes you feel like you’re sitting in your bedroom at your parents’ house doing 5th grade homework. We’re into it.
Filter is full of mismatched couches, chairs, and tables, giving it a highly cozy vibe that makes it an excellent space to post up for a while. It’s usually crowded, so feel free to claim your spot aggressively and camp out. There’s a full food menu here, too, so you never have to leave.
Two Zero Three is the coffee shop at the ground level of the Virgin Hotel, but it doesn’t have the general sceney-ness often associated with the Virgin brand. It’s an accessible location in the Loop and a good place to sit and work.
If Randoph Street is Restaurant Row, then this stretch of Milwaukee Ave. is the Coffee Canopy. Just north of Caffe Streets, Filter, and The Wormhole, you’ll find Brü. Not only is it a great place to get some things done every now and then, but there’s even a separate space you can pay membership for. It’s basically the coffee house equivalent of a WeWork that gets you free coffee and Yoga classes every Tuesday.
Sip’s been around since the late ’90s in what used to be a barber shop. It has a second floor loft space and a back patio, so there’s plenty of room for you to spread out.
Our go-to Streeterville spot when it comes to getting things done. Don’t hold back from getting donut or pastry while you’re there. You’re doing work, you deserve it.
Cafe Mustache is like a Logan Square cafe convent 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. Feel free to try some food while you’re there, but know that the wifi is turned off at 6pm when things transition into more of a local bar than coffee shop.
The coffee shop inside the Freehand hotel. You might not want to sit here all day, but Cafe Integral has a strong food game, which is why we like it when we need to do a bit of work and get a quality bite to eat. Try the porridge or shakshuka for a great meal.