So you're stuck eating breakfast or grabbing coffee in River North, the Loop, or Streeterville. This doesn't mean you must surrender to the Starbucks of the world. Check out these indie joints that feel more like neighborhood gems than a big box shops.
Love the pantry-stockers & vino selection. Sandwiches are overpriced & forgettable, but salads from the deli case are fab. Sit outside!
It'll cost you, but one of Hannah's bretzel (as in, pretzel-bread) sandwiches will stick in your memory. Try the insanely good serrano ham/Manchego cheese creation. Breakfast is tasty too.
Two words: Oatmeal latte! The most brilliant java creation--espresso, steamed milk, oatmeal & dried fruit--make their signature a must-try.
You haven't truly had coffee til you've been here. Go for the featured pour-over or a perfectly swirled latte. Food is from Pastoral--yum!
Perennially packed Rick Bayless gem where you can grab his killer guac, along w/ Mex sandwiches, for a cas lunch. Fab coffee & pastries too.
Believe the hype and get in line (although the line's sometimes non-existent on weekdays). The chestnut glazed and bday cake special are tops.
Carboholic's dream! Amazing bread, macarons & choco cake. Curry chicken salad is the perfect lunch. House-made soups divine too. Free wifi!
Great indie oasis in Streeterville's sea of tourists and chains. Metropolis coffee and above average sandwiches in a bright, comfy space.
You really can't go wrong, but the Valrhona chocolate and jelly (filled with preserves from local farms' bounty!) are my faves. Bonus points for La Colombe java.
The Merch Mart area has a rare indie option! Don't expect wi-fi or sugary drinks. Instead, ask for a pourover and watch the baristas work their magic.