Red Eyes Coffee
Address: 4164 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 60618
Hours: 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. weekends
Red Eyes Coffee felt like walking into my grandma’s house. The homey smell of baked goods and freshly brewed coffee surrounded me as I stood in the doorway. The neighborhood coffee shop with baked goods, sandwiches, drinks, and even ice cream holds all the necessary snacks to keep your study group going strong. Deciding what to get was a big challenge. The menu and case of baked goods were so large I ended up going simple and getting coffee. I ordered a decaf cappuccino (which is very rare to find) and my friend got the strawberry smoothie. The coffee was amazing. Definitely better than anything you’d get from Starbucks. For being a local coffee shop, I was very impressed with the prices. You could get a whole meal complete with a sandwich and coffee for less than ten dollars. In terms of studying, this place would be perfect for a group study session. The large room has countless couches, large tables and benches that can be pushed into any arrangement needed. The lighting is cozy, but the many windows keep it bright. Be sure to check out their cool fish tank as well. While being on the further side, Red Eyes is about a 25 minute walk from Lane, but easily doable with the right weather and study buddies by your side.
Loba Pastry and Coffee
Address: 3422 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, 60657
7 a.m. -3 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekends
Loba was not what I had expected at all. From reviews and research, the place seemed fancy and formal, which was true in the menu but not in the space. With only one large table to sit at, the chances are low that you will consistently get a seat for you and your study group. When me and my friends walked in, it became apparent very quick that we would not be able to stay long. Because of the low amount of seating all at one table, it would be hard to concentrate on work or have a conversation with so many people in close proximity. Loba specializes in pastries, artisan coffees and teas. If you want to catch the pastries, you’d better go as early as possible. I got there two hours before they closed and there was only one kind of pastry left. Loba’s drinks are on the pricier side, but compared to most coffee shops around, I can safely say this place had some really great and uniquely sourced drinks. The intricate selection of green and black teas from around the world made it really hard to pick what to get. I ended up choosing a specialized green tea from Japan. This was no Twinings tea. It was brewed with loose leaves at a specialized temperature and had hints of grain and floral flavors. If you are a tea guru, I would definitely check this place out. Loba also has specialty coffee tastings of different brews from around the world. One of the workers told me that the owner travels looking for new coffees and brings them back for customers to try. Although Loba does not have the ideal “study environment,” I would definitely recommend stopping in on you way to the Brown Line, or if you find yourself in the neighborhood. Loba is a little over a 20 minute walk from Lane. It closes before school gets out, so make sure to check it out on a weekend or during lunch.
Hero Coffee Shop
Address: 439 S. Dearborn St.
7 a.m. – 7 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekends
Out of all the shops I visited, Hero definitely has the most unique coffee. The second I walked into the store, my eyes were drawn to the chalkboard with all the crazy latte flavors. Mint chocolate chip, honey nut, vanilla rosemary and gingerbread cookie were just some of them. I chose the lavender latte, wanting to try something new. The man at the register said the lavender syrup was made homemade in-store. The drink definitely had a lavender vibe. It was a bit on the bitter side, but 100 percent what I had asked for. The shop has a bunch of tables that could easily be pushed together with a big group, or split up for a quiet personal study environment. The store also serves bagels and baked goods if you get hungry. I wouldn’t describe the atmosphere as a cozy, boho style coffee shop, but the tables are sturdy, the lighting is good, and work can definitely get done here. I would definitely recommend trying one of
the interesting latte flavors and twisting up your normal coffee routine. Hero is located the closest to Lane, just a quick 15 minute walk up Roscoe.
Address: 3827 N. Lincoln Ave.
8 a.m. – 6 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekends
If you are a vegan or health fanatic, this place is just for you. Delicious has a variety of vegan and vegetarian drinks and food. Sometimes when studying goes late, you need more than just a coffee. I ordered the Shots Fired vegan burger. I’ve been to many vegan restaurants and I have to say, this burger was one of the best I’ve had. Every piece of food is homemade, including the vegan meats. The low prices at Delicious are impressive. Most vegan shops are more expensiv
e because of the meat and milk substitutes, but at Delicious you can get a whole meal and a drink for around seven to ten dollars. I fell in love with the adorable decorations at Delicious. The shop is filled with multiple colorful vintage chairs and tables. There is even a little nook with two comfy chairs and a decorative bookshelf filled with board games and merchandise. The place would definitely be a hit with a group of close friends or study mates. If the weather’s nice, be sure to check out the secluded patio garden out the back of the shop. Delicious can be found on Lincoln, about a 20 minute walk from Lane. Stop by and try some amazing vegan food and to get some work done in this inspiring space.