Best Bites Chicago Lists

List: From coffee to cocktails, seven of my favorite sips lately

It’s finally summertime in Chicago, so I’ve got beverages on the brain. Here’s a round-up of a few recent favorites.

Rum cocktail, Homestead on the Roof

With bursts of blueberry, thyme, and lemon, plus lots of ice, this rum-based cocktail was frothy and refreshing.

Rum cocktail, Homestead on the Roof
Rum cocktail with blueberry-thyme, housemade falernum, lemon, and angostura – alongside Homestead’s always-stellar bread basket

Homestead on the Roof, 1924 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago.

Cortado, Intelligentsia Logan Square

Once you order this off-menu beverage that combines espresso and milk in perfect balance, you’ll never go back (and, to be honest, this is also what you order if you want to impress a barista!). It was perfect to sip slowly as I lost myself in a great book.

Cortado, Intelligentsia Coffee Logan Square
Cortado on the sidewalk patio, accompanied by my latest read, “The Goldfinch”

Intelligentsia Coffee, 2642 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.

Mango-orange-kiwi juice with honey, Meli Cafe

I fell in love with this unique tropical juice combination and the added silky sweetness from the honey.

Mango, orange, and kiwi juice with honey, Meli Cafe
Mango, orange, and kiwi juice with honey

Meli Cafe, 540 N. Wells St., Chicago.

Masala chai latte, Reno

I’ve sung Reno’s praises before, but this spicy chai became my new go-to for camping out to get a couple hours of work done.

Masala chai latte, Reno
Masala chai latte

Reno, 2607 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago.

Blood orange Radler, The Radler

This beer cocktail screamed summer, from its fiery orange color to its citrusy, fizzy, and thoroughly thirst-quenching character.

Blood orange Radler, The Radler
Blood orange Radler with Ayinger Brau Weisse and blood orange soda

The Radler, 2375 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.

Dark Matter Chocolate City draft iced coffee, Longman & Eagle

While there’s no actual chocolate in this draft iced coffee, the cocoa notes and bold, fruity complexity make it the dreamiest of morning beverages, especially outside on the patio with a splash of cream.

Dark Matter Chocolate City draft iced coffee, Longman and Eagle
Dark Matter Chocolate City draft iced coffee (on the patio, of course!)

Longman & Eagle, 2657 N Kedzie Ave., Chicago.

Hot chocolate, La Colombe

Dark, rich hot chocolate is always a treat, but even more so in such a beautifully intricate cup and saucer.

Hot chocolate, La Colombe
Hot chocolate

La Colombe, 1552 N. Damen Ave., Chicago.

Best Bites Chicago

This week’s Best Bite: Southern pizza and rosé, Reno

Southern pizza with
Southern pizza with Edward’s ham, kimchi, spinach, mozzarella, and fried garlic

Why it’s this week’s Best Bite: It’s high time I blogged about Reno, where I’ve been a frequent customer since they opened in the neighborhood last November. I could wax poetic about the glory (and daily temptation) of grabbing a wood-fired bagel and a large cup of Stumptown coffee on my way to the train in the morning, but this week marked my first time dining in for dinner. My friend opted for pasta, but I had to skip over that section because there were just too many appealing pizzas. I had to go with the Southern, a Korean-Italian collision with southern ham thrown in. The sour kimchi, salty ham, gooey mozzarella, crispy spinach, and some serious garlic: it all worked, but still didn’t weigh down the blistered thin crust.

Admittedly, I don’t have a lot of experience with rosé, but since it’s ubiquitous in articles about springtime beverages, I’d been on the lookout for an opportunity to try a glass. This particular wine was ultra-refreshing, a blend of merlot and cabernets sauvignon and franc with juicy berry flavors. Rosé is also typically known as a food-friendly wine, and it proved to pair well with the punchy pizza toppings.

2012 rosé
Haut-Sarthes 2012 Rosé (Bordeaux)

The details: Reno, 2607 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago.