Coffee shops are possibly the most underrated of eateries. They’re the perfect study spots with free wifi, caffeine readily available and no one being too loud (but also no one yelling at you for being too loud).
At Loyola, we have our standard go-tos — Metropolis, The Coffee Shop, Starbucks — but the North Side has much more to offer. Some of the best places for college students to pull out their textbooks and get work done are right off the Red Line.
Sol Café – Howard Stop – 1615 W. Howard St.
The farthest north the Red Line goes, Howard is a popular stop for transferring from the Red Line to the Purple or Yellow lines, but few Loyola students step off the platform to explore the streets below.
Walking just to the end of the block, though, you’ll find Sol Café. Sol is a funky little shop with a bright and airy atmosphere. The menu is filled with unique, seasonal drinks such as “the Q” (espresso, Jo Snow “Q Sauce,” corn milk and smoked paprika) and “Emerald City” (chai tea, lemon, ginger and wasabi).
One of the best parts of Sol is the area in the back of the shop. There’s a book nook, complete with shelves of books to borrow, and a seating area with a comfy couch and adjustable reading lights. It’s the perfect place to sit down with a biology book and a coffee.
Kitchen Sink Café – Berwyn stop – 1107 W. Berwyn Ave.
Kitchen Sink Café is a home to all. Walking in, you’re greeted by baristas, a group of young adults working on a professional project and two older women knitting. It’s easy for students to fit right in.
The space is great for studying all day if you can find a seat in the relatively small shop. Its food is just as popular as its coffee, and the menu has plenty of options to help energize you to finish that presentation. Kitchen Sink also has a couple dozen pieces of local art on the walls to admire during bouts of procrastination.
“I really like hanging out at that place,” said Mike Smith, a 21-year-old biology major at Loyola. “The people who work there are great and have good recommendations on what to get.”
Everybody’s Coffee – Wilson Stop – 935 W. Wilson Ave.
A couple blocks off the Wilson stop, Everybody’s Coffee mixes a rustic style with a sustainable attitude. Its coffee selections are good for both the farmer and the land, according to its website.
The wood-clad interior is lined with huge windows across from three community tables/bars. With plenty of space to spread out, Everybody’s Coffee offers a solid atmosphere for catching up on class readings or sitting down to write an essay.
The signature drinks, notably “the Vader,” are also sure to help you get through homework. Espresso, vanilla and a Mexican Coca-Cola combine to make an one-of-a-kind drink that you might not know whether to love or hate.
Emerald City Coffee – Sheridan Stop – 3938 N. Sheridan Road
Underneath the Sheridan stop, Emerald City Coffee has an unassuming exterior that leads to a hipster-chic, cozy café.
Stepping in the door, you’re greeted by a piano, comfy seating and friendly baristas. The menu is extensive, covering Italian classics with a contemporary twist — most of the drinks are small and espresso-based.
“This is my favorite coffee place in the city,” said psychology major Marc Cabe. “The chicken bacon sandwich itself is totally worth the train ride.”
Cabe, 20, goes to Emerald City to eat, drink and study. He says he likes the eclectic decor and dim lighting. “It’s a chill place, and that’s helpful for my homework,” he said.