When the first dandelions and butterflies emerge, Chicagoans change from jeans to cut-offs and from steaming joe to an icy brew. It’s more than tossing some cubes in coffee at these flavor driven shops. It’s a global caffeine celebration featuring rich coffee mixed with complementary elements resulting in big, vital taste.
519 N Clark St.
Chicago IL, 60654
Both coffee bar locations in River North and Streeterville brew joe from Chicago’s best roasters, Intelligentsia and Metropolis. Beatrix Streeterville General Manager John Economos says, “We bring variety to our iced coffee by cold brewing a Beatrix blend from Intelligentsia that is specific to our restaurant. From there, we are able to use that same cold brew for other offerings like the Mexican Iced Coffee. Also, we’re proud of our Nitro, as it is made with a La Colombe cold brew, which is a bit different than other nitro coffee offerings found around the city.”
Kanela Breakfast Club
502 E Illinois St
Chicago, IL 60611
With locations in Lakeview, Old Town, Wicker Park and Streeterville, Kanela Breakfast Club will pry those eyeballs open with a half dozen or so cold coffee bevvies, like the Greek Frappe (iced coffee with a thick layer of foam on the top) or the Spring Special – an espresso mocktail called Black & Bubbly that consists of a double shot of espresso and soda water, served on the rocks with an orange twist.
2035 N. Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
The nitro-conditioned coffee is chilled coffee combined with nitrogen and served on tap at the cozy Bucktown shop. Ian Bruns, office manager at Ipsento says, “The Ipsento is our most popular drink and is made with coconut milk, honey, cayenne pepper, espresso, and a little bit of whole milk (which can be substituted for almond or soy). A really nice balance of sweetness and spice.” All coffee is sourced and roasted in house which takes a heap of time and effort, but when you try the end product, say an iced Nutella lattes, you’ll be glad it was.
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Wired Coffee House
3508 North Broadway
Chicago, IL 60657
The Vietnamese iced coffee at the Lakeview java shop is extraordinary: it’s a super sweet combination of chicory coffee mixed with ice, condensed milk and half and half. Watch as the coffee drips via a unique French press into a glass with condensed milk in the bottom. The completed brew is then stirred together and served over ice. Iced Cafe Bombon, a Wired Coffeehouse speciality, is served in a clear glass, with three distinctive layers – condensed milk, ice and iced coffee topped with milk foam. Wired purchases organic beans from small batch farmers in Ethiopia and the Pay-It-Forward wall (pick something on the menu itemand purchase it for a pal or a stranger) is just another indication of the shop’s generous vibe.
Same Day Cafe
2651 N Kedzie Ave
Chicago, IL 606
A great way to cap off your classic American meal of a grilled cheese, egg salad sandwich, fried egg on toast, Patty Melt or chicken pot pie is with one of Same Day Cafe’s egg creams or a luscious iced coffee. The mint iced coffee will have your taste buds sing and the iced coffee with horchata will pair perfectly with a peanut butter or brown butter sugar cookie. Horchata, for the uninitiated, is a milky Mexican beverage made with rice and oftern flavored with sugar and cinnamon.
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.