Since my job affords me the privilege of working from home one day a week, I’ve made a habit of working from different coffee shops and cafés all over the city – I’m one of those people who’s more focused in that setting, rather than more distracted. My main criteria are good coffee and food options, free WiFi without a time limit (the only exception here is a two-hour timeout at Whole Foods), and reasonably comfortable seating. This list is by no means exhaustive, and in no particular order. I also excluded a few places I love because they’re usually crowded (I’m looking at you, Wormhole and Star Lounge).
Falling into the “hidden gem” category, KnockBox is a tried-and-true favorite, with friendly staff, easy parking, and a great variety of coffee drinks, sandwiches, and snacks (plus I’m a sucker for applesauce being offered as a side).
Panini with a side of applesauce at KnockBox Café
I love Sip for its array of seating options (upstairs/downstairs, inside/outside) and an extensive, creative drink menu.
I had high hopes last summer when I found out that a new coffee shop was opening within walking distance of my apartment, and Gaslight has exceeded expectations, with excellent coffee roasted on-site and a suitably Logan Square-ish aesthetic.
Latte and pain au chocolat in a window seat at Gaslight Coffee Roasters
Let’s be honest: this gargantuan grocery store is one of my favorite places in the city, period, so I’m always content to assemble a hodge-podge of tastes from a few of the kiosks, then settle in with a laptop in the upstairs river-view seating.
I’ve spent many hours at this convenient Logan Square mainstay, sipping either bottomless Metropolis coffee or a delicious Hail Mary (New Wave’s version of “dirty chai”, or a chai latte with espresso) and sometimes splurging on a spinach and feta croissant, if there are any left.
Oatmeal and Hail Mary at New Wave Coffee
I love holing up in Ipsento’s cozy back room, and can’t get enough of the shop’s namesake signature latte with coconut milk, honey, and cayenne.
A cozy, brightly colored corner at Ipsento
I was immediately charmed by Dolce Casa’s cheerful space, energetic service, and killer breakfast items.
A pleasant discovery in the River North area, I especially appreciate Robust’s relaxed vibe and its impressive selection of local sweets (Brown Sugar Bakery, Dat Donut, Lucia’s Homemade Aljafores, and more).
Iced latte and bagel sandwich on the patio at Robust Coffee Lounge
This bicycle and coffee shop hybrid has proven to be a pleasant, laid-back working environment with lots of natural light; pourover coffee and Glazed and Infused donuts don’t hurt either.
Eva’s Cafe is another gem within its neighborhood, refreshingly spacious with good coffee and lots of interesting seating areas (think wrought-iron furniture and a fireplace).
Globe and other pieces along the counter at Eva’s Cafe
Where are your favorite places to work remotely? I’m always open to new suggestions!