I’ve always had an affinity for coffee. Let’s go way back to when I was a kid; I used to have sleepovers at my grandparents’ house and one of my favorite memories was having “Gramma Coffee,” our morning treat. Gramma Coffee was basically ¼ coffee, ¾ milk and a heaping teaspoon (or two) of sugar.
Since then, I’ve stepped up my caffeine intake because, as I like to joke, Mommy doesn’t run on unicorn dreams and rainbows; Mommy has caffeine coursing through her veins.
I even own snarky shirts that say, “But first, coffee” and “Coffee. Wine. Repeat.” If you’re like me (which I’m guessing a lot of you are), you’re always looking for a place to refuel. Here are a few of my favorites. By the way, this is a Starbucks-free zone.
1501 Miner St., Des Plaines
This local, independent gem is nestled in the Des Plaines Metra train station – perfect for the morning commuter trying to get a great cup of joe. Their drip coffee comes from local Chicago company, Metropolis, which makes small batch artisan roasts. Their breakfast blend, Dark & Handsome, sounds like someone I want to cozy up next to in the morning, or meet for an afternoon delight. Your significant other will approve, too.
Need a quick bite? They offer healthy options such as Greek yogurt with honey, granola bars and fruit parfaits. However, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, grab one of the donuts from West Town Bakery. I suggest the Maple Bacon donut. You won’t regret it.
1641 Oakton Place, Des Plaines and 100 S. Summit Ave., Park Ridge (Park Ridge Metra Station)
While the name insinuates a bakery, you can still get a great cup of coffee or handcrafted espresso concoction to pair perfectly with your pastry. This place is brimming with passion for food and coffee. Literally. Local coffee connoisseurs, Passion House Coffee Roasters, provide the coffee.
One word: Pop-Tarts. Yeah, you heard me right. A buttery, flaky pastry stuffed with a fresh homemade strawberry preserves. It paired quite nicely with my specialty drink, the Raspberry Mocha. It had just the right balance and nothing about it was overly syrupy sweet like other coffee shops.
Stop into their flagship Des Plaines location where they offer ample seating for you to sit back and relax with a book or some friends. They also recently opened a location inside the Park Ridge Metra Train station.
1837 Glenview Road, Glenview
Glenview Grind can assure that you stay alert while you grind through your day. They proudly serve locally-sourced, private label roasted coffee and Intelligentsia Coffee, also. They also serve a wide array of teas. My favorite specialty drink to sip on is “The Bulldog,” which is the coffee of the day plus a shot of espresso. Because who doesn’t need an extra little sumthin’ sumthin’ to get you going?
What I really love about the Grind is that they aren’t just some large coffee chain that only sees dollar signs. All profits generated from the Grind are used to support local community organizations and events. Did you just get the feels? I sure did.
Their modern, comfortable space is a great escape both day and night. “Come unwind at the grind.” They now also serve beer and wine. They really have it down – coffee, wine, repeat. I like that.
Their food menu is definitely worth mentioning too, from Red Rooster breakfast sandwiches to soups of the day, yogurts and a vast selection of fresh baked treats from Bennison’s Bakery.
So the next time you’re getting the kiddos from point A to point B and start feeling a bit of a slump, make sure to stop by one these places to stay caffeinated!