Love coffee? If you run on coffee (like I do) to get through the day, you’ll need to stop by these independent coffee shops located in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs. Each coffee shop offers a different vibe and is well worth a visit. Here are the a few of the best coffee shops around!
Keep checking back as I include more coffee shops.
DAILY PROJECTS, ALGONQUIN
Don’t miss out: Any of their locally roasted coffees, but my fav is their lavendar latte.
Atmosphere: A great spot to meet up with friends or get some work done as they have plenty of plugs and seating everywhere.
Kids will love: Hanging out and having a smoothie or milkshake.
Parking: Strip mall parking
While you’re here: Not only do they offer coffee, but they have a pretty extensive menu with sandwiches and even burgers. Check out their calendar for fun events like book signings and open mic night.
CONSCIOUS CUP, CRYSTAL LAKE AND CARY
Don’t miss out: Their sweet honey bee latte is really popular. Don’t forget to try any of their seasonal drinks. My salted caramel pumpkin spice latte is what fall is made of. Be proud that the coffee you’re sipping is ethically sourced.
Atmosphere: When you walk in, the smell of coffee is everything. This Crystal Lake hot spot roasts their own coffee. They have high seats by the window or couches to catch up with friends. There is a good number of tables available. The Cary location is smaller but still modern with clean lines with little nooks to hang out and chat.
Kids will love: Care for a game? Challenge your little (or big) one to a game or two from the selection provided. Plus, if you’re lucky enough to catch them roasting coffee, it would be a great learning experience. Start ’em young!
Parking: The Crystal Lake location is in a small strip mall. Parking is usually easy to come by even if you have to wait a few minutes. The Cary location is located by the Metra station and you can easily find street parking.
Another plus: Can’t stop in? Grab a coffee to go through their drive through (Crystal Lake)
ETHEREAL CONFECTIONS, WOODSTOCK
Don’t miss out: TAny of their signature lattes. I love their caramel brulee latte or the lavender latte. If you bring the kiddos, you will want to get the hot chocolates. Add any of their homemade syrups for flavor. Plus, they get their coffee from Conscious Cup so you know it’ll be good!
Atmosphere: I adore the rustic vibe with exposed ceiling and brick wall.
Parking: Side street or parking lots
Another plus: They have kombucha on tap. Post-Covid I hope they will open up their speak easy Emerson & Oliver.
While you’re here: Ethereal offers a variety of small plates and desserts.They are the ones that got me hooked on avocado toast. SO good! Everyone who has mentioned Ethereal Confections is spot on! Chocolates, cocktails, coffee are amazing there! another vote for ethereal! very cozy and intimate, they have a great menu with small plates and desserts, they have coffee drinks and alcoholic drinks as well!
RELATED: Read more about Ethereal here.
HANDSOME BAKERY, SCHAUMBURG
Don’t miss: If there’s one thing we can’t miss here, it’s there cloud latte, a latte topped with a generous helping of cotton candy.
Atmosphere: Really adorable café with one side exposed brick, cool seats with plenty of seating.
Kids will love: Eating your cotton candy from your cloud latte!
Parking: Parking lot
While you’re here: Grab any of their bakery items or bonsoo, their version of shaved ice topped with all these yummy items.
AROMA COFFEE AND WINE, CRYSTAL LAKE
Don’t miss out: Try their signature latte, an Aroma latte with honey and house made aroma drizzle. They caramel latte is yummy as well.
Atmosphere: What a cool vibe! The newest coffee shop in downtown Crystal Lake is nicely decorated, cozy, and spacious.
Kids will love: Care for a game? Challenge your little (or big) one to a game or two from the selection provided.
Another plus: Coffee and wine? Count me in! After a certain time they start offering wine. They also serve breakfast and lunch. Looks really good too.
Parking: Park at any of the street parking located downtown. Those in front of the shop has a 2 hour limit. Look for the other parking lots around downtown.
Grounds Coffee Bar, CRYSTAL LAKE
Don’t miss out: Their Nutella Latte was just right – not too sweet. Check back for their seasonal specials.
Atmosphere: I love the vibe here! The colorful velvet couches are everything!
Kids will love: They have boba tea here, too.
Parking: Park at any of the street parking located downtown. Those in front of the shop has a 2 hour limit. Look for the other parking lots around downtown
RUSTY MALTS, RINGWOOD
Don’t miss out: Try their signature latte, Rusty Malts Latte.
Atmosphere: This ice cream/coffee shop is so adorable. With plenty of seating indoors, an upstairs, as well as outdoor seating, you’ll definitely find a spot to enjoy your ice cream.
Kids will love: Umm, kids will no doubt make themselves at home here. They have Cedar Crest Ice Cream in so many delicious flavors as well as malts that are out of this world.
Another plus: Like I said, you can’t go wrong with ice cream. There’s also a Nitro Tea option if you’d like. They have a drive thru, if you’d rather grab and go!
Parking: Park at the lot shared with Rusty Nail.
AROUND CAFE, ARLINGTON HEIGHTS
Don’t miss out: Any of their special lattes. On my visit, they had this cool looking ice blue latte which gave it an orange flavor. Pretty good! I’ve heard great things about the lavender latte.
Atmosphere: The small cafe is located “around the corner” and is bright and inviting. It is a tad bit small so they didn’t have indoor seating at the time.
Kids will love: The super adorable macarons. Heck anybody will love them. They also have bubble tea and baked goods.
Another plus: Walk a block or so down the street to have the kids play at North School Park. Or you can enjoy the day walking around downtown Arlington Heights.
Parking: Park at the side street.
Don’t miss out: Loved my lavender latte. Make sure to try any of the pastries. My favorite was the bear claw. Yum!
Atmosphere: A cozy Parisian-esque bakery
Kids will love: Looking through the window and watching them make the treats
Parking: Plenty of parking in the lot
Pepper Park Coffee, Lake Barrington
Don’t miss out: They have a nice selection of rotating specials. On my latest coffee visit I was drawn to the hazelnut dirty chai latte.
Atmosphere: Simple coffee shop with plenty of seating
Bonus: They have a drive thru. During my visit they were displaying artwork from local artists.
Parking: Plenty of parking in the lot
Stompin’ Grounds Cafe, Lake Zurich
Don’t miss out: They have so many options but I was happy to choose Sweet Honey Bee, a latte with local honey and lavender syrup. They also have fresh-baked pastries, breakfast sandwiches, local goods. The scones we chose were so good!
Atmosphere: Stomping Grounds is definitely a hot spot! It’s cozy with seating that I can see filling up. If so, I would take your goods across the street to the park and playground, sip on your coffee while admiring the lake.
Parking: Strip mall parking lot, but I can definitely see it filling up
Elder + Oat, West Dundee
Don’t miss out: On my recent visit, I indulged in the seasonal special, a brown sugar latte. I normally grab the brown oat milk latte. They specialize in gluten free baked goods like donuts and focaccia. The focaccia sandwich is SO SO good. Ask for bacon to make it extra. Make sure to check their seasonal specials.
Atmosphere: The vibe here is EVERYTHING! Brick faced walls, comfy seating in the corner, booths, board games for both adult and kids. Such a fun spot to bring the family!
Parking: Parking lot.
Coco and Blu Cafe, Arlington Heights
Don’t miss out: I tried their monthly special, a Lovebird Latte, a cardmom and rose creation. It was delicious. My sister-in-law tried the peanut butter one and said it wasn’t overly sweet and really good.
Atmosphere: Love the vibe here: High ceilings, a mismatch of vintage furniture, cozy seating. A great spot to meet someone and chat or get some work done.
Parking: Street parking
Summer Moon Coffee, Crystal Lake
Don’t miss out: Summer Moon Latte made with the sweet cream. Super, super good but a little too sweet. Can’t wait to try more of their fire-roasted coffee.
Atmosphere: Gosh this spot is fabulous for getting work done. It’s bright and cozy.
Parking: Parking lot
Tip: They offer a drive thru! Their swag here is so cute!
Where is your favorite coffee shop?
Try Eastside Cafe in East Dundee! Great Lattes