It was a brisk winter morning when I found myself wandering down a sidewalk in River North on the way to meet up with a buddy that I hadn’t seen in years. I had been running on Starbucks drip-coffee for days because of the convenience factor, but I was starting to go through espresso withdrawals. I needed that rich flavor.

As my eyes were slowly starting to regain some composure– my buddy graced me with the most glorious phrase that I had heard all morning– “do you want to snag some coffee?”
“Sweet baby Jesus, yes I do.”

He mentioned that he had spent some time in Europe, and this place he frequented was about the closest coffee shop in the city that he had found with the same atmosphere.

Around a corner we went and a small break in the facades revealed a quaint, inviting alley– known as Pickwick Lane.

At the end of this stylish, yet homey alley is home to one of the Asado Coffee Roasters pour points.

As you can see, there are a few chairs and seats outside– which sums up the extent of seating that Asado provides. If you have time to spare, fantastic; otherwise this is a quick pitstop type of place.

The interior is very small. With four people in there to order, it was beginning to get on the cramped side. However, the styling is on point. Located in one of the Loop’s oldest buildings, it has character. Exposed brick and concrete are complimented by reclaimed wine barrels and these fancy, yet simple lights. The countertop is made of oak, almost to show homage to the meat chop shop that once called this place home (decades ago).

Being that Asado is a coffee roasting company, and not just a shop, they have prepackage bags for your convenience. Occasionally we need to set the timer on the coffee pot at home. I still prefer the good ‘ole French press though.

To further the value of this tiny coffee shop is their pastry options. Fresh from gingerSnap Bakery, they are enough to turn you into a regular. They are worth looking into if you haven’t heard the name before– I’m a sucker for flaky food.

With a couple sips into my double-shot Americano, a smile captured my face and warmed my bones. I can see why my buddy frequents this location. The alley separates Asado from the mayhem that is pursuing on the streets. Pushed back into its own little bubble, it provides you with a brief moment to recollect and enjoy those first sips of caffeine before you take on life.

Asado Coffee
22 East Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604
(312) 285-2786


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