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The Chicago Traveler

Intelligentsia Is Stylish yet Soothing

by Matt B on May 28th, 2008

When you go out for a cup of coffee, you want to be comfortable, right? But too many coffee places expect you to sit on an itty bitty chair at an itty bitty table with no space to relax. Fortunately, that's not the case with Intelligentsia Coffee.

intelligentsiaThis Lakeview coffee shop (around the corner from Cupcakes) is full of big plush couches and chairs as well as big wooden tables that you and all your friends can gather around. Low-key music, soft-colored walls, and an exposed ceiling contribute to the soothing atmosphere. Grab a stool at the front windows or even take a seat outside during warmer months for some prime people-watching. Inside, even though caffeine-seeking patrons pour in during morning and after-work hours, the spacious biz never feels congested.

The coffee here is 'green,' purchased from well-known importers or directly from the growers. Beans are roasted daily at Intelligentsia's Roasting Works (1850 W Fulton St) and sent to the store fresh. (The factory offers tours on the first Saturday of the month. Admission is $10 and includes a free half-pound of fresh roasted coffee.) Service is always friendly, and more than a dozen kinds of tea are available along with the usual fresh-brewed coffee drinks. If you like what you're drinking, you can probably buy the blend by the pound to take home. Top it all off with a biscotti, muffin, or a cookie. And if that shot of espresso wasn't enough to get you going, there are some chocolate-covered coffee beans in a gumball machine at the door.

Intelligentsia coffee can be purchased at its factory, its three Chicago retail locations, and several coffeeshops throughout the city. Wherever you decide to enjoy it, Intelligentsia is the smart way to go.

Photo credit: (c/o Flickr) Andrew Huff

Intelligentsia Coffee ($): 3123 N Broadway St; 773-348-8058
Mon ' Fri: 6:00 a.m. ' 10:00 p.m.
Sat ' Sun: 7:00 a.m. ' 10:00 p.m.
Street parking difficult
Public trans: Bus # 36, 77

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POSTED IN: Gay & Lesbian, Restaurants

4 opinions for Intelligentsia Is Stylish yet Soothing

  • Kim
    May 28, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    we frequent the one on Randolph which has itty bitty chairs. But it doesn’t matter because they serve the BEST coffee anywhere!!!

  • Matt B
    Jun 1, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Hehe, yeah, there’s a good reason why their coffee is served in so many places.

  • Green Zebra Offers Upscale Vegetarian
    Jun 12, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    […] The menu is divided into three sections, evolving from lighter to heartier dishes. Ingredients include produce provided by local farmers, and the menu changes seasonally. Don't be surprised if anything I describe here is no longer available, but you can get an idea of what to expect. Courses (when I visited) included parmesan risotto with sweet peas, poached eggs with smoked potato puree, ricotta gnocchi with eggplant caponata, curried potato pot stickers with cilantro lime sauce, and Hawaiian heart of palm with grapefruit. Top it all off with a lavender macadamia-nut cheesecake or a rhubarb strudal. There are also more than enough wines, champagnes, specialty cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages available, along with French press coffees from Intelligentsia. […]

  • Keep Company at Juicy Wine Company
    Sep 9, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    […] fresh yogurt and homemade granola, and the odd but famous pairing of chicken & waffles. Enjoy Intelligentsia coffee or one of their $5 premium brunch […]

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