For the bibliophile who also likes to sip a cup of coffee or tea, finding the right bookstore that lets you sit and linger over a cuppa is the best place to be. Luckily, the Chicago area offers quite a few independent bookstores that let you start reading a new book or magazine while grabbing a bite or something to drink. To find a great bookstore that also serves coffee or at least allows you bring in your own favorite hot beverage while you peruse the selection, consider checking out the following non-chain bookstores in the Chicago area.
The Book Cellar
4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
With colder weather fast approaching, it will help to warm up by sipping a hot beverage at the Lincoln Square neighborhood’s Book Cellar, which offers an assortment of drinks that is as varied as the titles of books available for sale. The store’s selection of hot drinks include cafe Americano, cappuccino, espresso, chai tea and brewed coffee and tea. The extensive menu also includes sodas and other cold beverages, as well as baked treats, sandwiches and salads. The Book Cellar’s selection doesn’t stop there, either, as you can also have a glass of wine or beer while tackling “Ulysses.”
Town House Books & Cafe
105 N. 2nd Ave.
St. Charles, IL 60174
If you’re in the southwest suburbs, you might want to give Town House Books & Cafe a look the next time you feel like drinking some coffee or tea while you read. The store’s in-house cafe features a selection of brewed specialties, including cappuccinos and lattes, as well as tea and hot chocolate. If you’re a bit hungry, make sure to tuck into the cafe’s selection of breakfast and lunch items; the cafe also offers a hearty menu for Sunday brunch. Town House Books & Cafe is also conveniently located in downtown St. Charles, making it the perfect stop during a day of shopping.
Elgin Books & Coffee
66 S. Grove Ave.
Elgin, IL 60120
For bookworms in the northwest suburbs, consider giving Elgin Books & Coffee a look the next time you’d like a cup of coffee while reading a book. The store offers a variety of coffee drinks and tea, as well as an assortment of baked goods. You can also visit Elgin Books during its many events, including its book discussions and book signings. Are you looking for a mystery or classic novel to go with that coffee? Then be sure to check out the store’s selection, which includes approximately 50,000 titles that are used or out-of-print, so you’re sure to find something you’d like to read.
3251 N. Broadway Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
While Unabridged Bookstore does not have an in-house cafe, you are still free to bring in your own cup of coffee or tea while you shop. The store offers a selection of magazines, fiction and nonfiction books, as well as children’s books. Established in 1980 and located in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, Unabridged offers a variety of events, including author signings. But where should you get coffee? The Coffee & Tea Exchange, located at 3311 N. Broadway, is just steps away from Unabridged and offers a selection of beverages and baked goods.
Lake Forest Book Store
680 N. Western Ave.
Lake Forest, IL 60045
Located just across the street from the Lake Forest Metra train station, the Lake Forest Book Store is just the right place for looking for a great new book with a cup in hand. While the store doesn’t have an onsite coffee shop, you can still bring in coffee or tea from coffee shops nearby, including Caribou Coffee and Starbucks. The bookstore, which was established in 1949, features a selection of fiction and nonfiction titles, including best sellers and children’s books. It also hosts book clubs and author signings, and offers plenty of chairs so you can get comfortable and start reading.
Related: Best Indie Bookshops In Chicago
Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.