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Working From Home? Here Are 21 Neighborhood Spots To Get A Coffee, Beer — And Peace And Quiet

From Uptown to Chatham to Garfield Park and everywhere in between, we've got 21 spots where you can work when you're out of the office.

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CHICAGO — Working from home is great — that is, if you can get any work done at home.

While it can be relaxing to be out of the office, staying home can be distracting. But don’t worry, we can help: We asked Block Club’s reporters — who work out of the neighborhoods they cover every day — to share their favorite spots to work, meet with people and can grab a bite to eat or a coffee during the day.

Whether you’re looking for a bustling cafe that’ll help you stay energized or a quiet spot to focus with a cup of coffee, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s what our reporters suggest:

Chatham

Whitney Young Library
“The librarians are really nice, and if you need a quieter place to work you can use your card to rent out one of the study rooms for free.”
– Jamie Nesbitt Golden

Where: 415 E. 79th St.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, noon-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sundays


Edgewater

Fireside Restaurant and Lounge
“If it’s the end of the work day a pretty chill place to grab a beer and a bite is Fireside Restaurant & Lounge, 5739 N. Ravenswood Ave. While it doesn’t open until 4 p.m., the bar and kitchen stay open until 4 a.m., which is great for anyone working a late shift. The menu has pork chops, burgers, crab cakes and, on occasion, pho — which is great when it’s subzero outside. The happy hour specials during the week are also pretty great and the bar isn’t too crowded until later in the evening.”
– Alex Hernandez

Where: 5739 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Hours: 11 a.m.-4 a.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 a.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 a.m. Sundays


Credit: Facebook
Kusanya Cafe is open Monday-Saturday.

Englewood

Kusanya Cafe
“Good vibes, good people, great coffee. After your second visit, you’ll feel like a regular at Kusanya Cafe. Seating’s so cozy you’ll definitely leave with a new friend or two. If you do go, get there early enough to get a spot.”
– Jamie Nesbitt Golden

Where: 825 W. 69th St.
Hours: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday


Garfield Park

Garfield Park Conservatory
“The Conservatory might be the best place in the city to do some writing, especially on a cold winter day. While the city outside might be frozen and dry, and all the trees barren, the Conservatory is always green and lush under the climate-controlled glass dome. I like to set up at Horticulture Hall, where there are tables to work at and free, surprisingly fast WiFi. And there’s no better way to take a short break for some creative inspiration than by taking a stroll through the botanical collections in the Conservatory’s palm room, desert house or fern garden.”
– Pascal Sabino

Where: 300 N. Central Park Ave.
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Sundays


Hyde Park

Cafe 53
“When I think of cafes, food options don’t necessarily come to mind first. Maybe you can find a few finger foods, a couple baked goods or the odd breakfast sandwich, but coffee is usually the star of the show. Cafe 53 flips that idea on its head (though its coffee drinks are top-notch, too). The amount of food options in this small shop is ridiculous: From kufta and Cajun chicken sandwiches to huge pastries and a wide variety of vegan choices, it’s tough to find a better place to eat and work. Remember this cafe in the warmer months, too — there’s nothing better than working out of its serene back patio with a cup of gelato, surrounded by old Chicago bricks.”
– Maxwell Evans

Where: 1369 E. 53rd St.
Hours: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Mesler Lounge at the Sophy Hotel
“If you love grand architecture and cozy fireplaces, this joint is for you. Avail yourself of one of the comfortable chairs or couches while enjoying a drink (non-alcoholic even!) from the bar and watch your productivity soar at the Mesler.”
– Jamie Nesbitt Golden

Where: 1401 E. 53rd St.
Hours: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Sundays, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday


Irving Park

Backlot Coffee
“A great coffee shop to work with friends is Backlot Coffee. They’ve got a great chi latte and vegan donuts from Do-Rite Donuts. They also have a long, shared table which is great for groups, a parking lot and the cafe is right by the CTA’s Irving Park Blue line stop. Oh, and they have a printer for when I don’t have ink or paper at home.”
– Alex Hernandez

Where: 3982 N. Avondale Ave.
Hours: 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

The Cabin at Old Irving
“One low-key bar to hang out at and do some work is the The Cabin at Old Irving. The bar is decked out like a winter ski lodge, which is perfect for Chicago winters, and it opens at 11 a.m. Beers are pretty affordable and they also have pizza and pretzels with cheese sauce if you’re hungry.”
– Alex Hernandez

Where: 4104 N. Pulaski Road
Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Saturday-Sunday

Credit: Facebook
Cafe Urbano is open daily.

Cafe Urbano
“When I’m not working from my couch or typing up notes while in my car, I like to sit down and have a coffee at Cafe Urbano. The avocado BLT is my go-to lunch with a black coffee. They’re always playing good music like The Strokes or Lauryn Hill, and it’s a pretty great place to work alongside a friend or two, but it can get crowded.”
– Alex Hernandez

Where: 4176 N. Elston Ave.
Hours: 7 a.m.-4 p.m. daily


Lincoln Square

Geraldine’s
“Another coffee shop is Geraldine’s. It’s pretty quiet and there’s usually a seat or two available even during the lunch rush.”
– Alex Hernandez

Where: 4743 N. Lincoln Ave.
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily


Logan Square

Buzz Coffee Roaster and Baker
“There are so many coffee shops to choose from in Logan Square, but Buzz is among the best. It has desk-like setups in the front, which is amazing when you need to get a lot of work done. And it’s always quiet. Plus, they make a mean hot chocolate (I don’t drink coffee!) and the baked goods are tasty. Rosemary sea salt cookie, anyone?”
– Mina Bloom

Where: 2779 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Hours: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Gaslight Coffee Roasters
Gaslight is my go-to for a few reasons: It’s centrally located (in Logan Square, where I do a lot of my reporting), it gets a lot of natural light and the food is to die for. Seriously. The mushroom toast is incredible. It does get quite busy, but if you’re lucky enough to snag a table, you’ll never want to leave. Oh, and the eavesdropping is good, too. It attracts a lot of would-be screenplay writers and academics arguing over theories and such.”
– Mina Bloom

Where: 2385 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday


North Lawndale

Douglass Library
“The library is new and sleek after the recent redesign. It’s a lot more modern and comfortable than the old-school libraries of the past. The foyer has a skylight that keeps the place bright and airy, making it a perfect environment to stay focused. And the library is nice and quiet, so you have no choice but to be productive while you’re there.”
– Pascal Sabino

Where: 3353 W. 13th St.
Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sundays


Pilsen

Step Down Cafe
“Among the handful of Pilsen coffee shops, one of my favorite places to get work done is Step Down Cafe. I’m often running around the neighborhood, so I can park near the cafe and head out when a story calls. They have a friendly staff, comfortable booths, a few high tops and bar seating. They have an incredible mazapan latte and excellent cafe de olla! Plus, they just updated their food menu, which includes breakfast sandwiches and wraps, tortas, and a few other items. If you haven’t been, I recommend you check them out.”
– Mauricio Peña

Where: 2023 S. Racine Ave.
Hours: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays


Ravenswood

Sulzer Library
“Another great spot is Sulzer Library. Libraries are great for when I just need a quiet place to think while I work without needing to buy a coffee in order to hang out.”
– Alex Hernandez

Where: 4455 N. Lincoln Ave.
Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sundays


Credit: Facebook
South Shore Brew is open daily.

South Shore

South Shore Brew
“This Black-owned coffee shop was my haven when I first moved to Chicago. Maybe it’s best to come to South Shore Brew on a lighter day of work, as you’re bound to get caught up in conversation with someone (or many someones) you know if you live in the neighborhood. The baristas handle the music, and something good is always playing — I appreciated visiting one day and hearing Solange’s ‘A Seat at the Table’ front to back. Shout out to Giovanni the barista, a talented artist who is behind many seasonal creations on the menu and is always quick with recommendations for fun events around the city.”
– Maxwell Evans

Where: 7101 S. Yates Blvd.
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily


Uptown

Everybody’s Coffee
“In a neighborhood teeming with coffee shops, this is easily my go-to. Everybody’s Coffee has plenty of seating and the noise level is just right — not distractingly loud and not so quiet a phone call would throw off the room’s vibe. Plus, the coffee and baked goods are on point.”
– Joe Ward

Where: 935 W. Wilson Ave.
Hours: 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays

The Green Mill
“Did you know the legendary jazz night club opens at noon? At night, The Green Mill is bustling with neighborhood folks, jazz heads and tourists. During the day, however, it’s a quiet neighborhood bar with plenty of seating and bar space to allow for reading or writing. There’s no wireless internet available at The Green Mill. But if you need a quiet place for a meeting, or some solitude to gather your thoughts, The Green Mill is an iconic location that can’t be beat.”
– Joe Ward

Where: 4802 N. Broadway
Hours: noon-4 a.m. Monday-Friday, noon-5 a.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 a.m. Sundays


Credit: Provided
The lobby bar at Hoxton Hotel in Fulton Market.

West Loop/Fulton Market

Hoxton Hotel
“Love working from a comfy couch? Hoxton Hotel’s lobby has you covered. Laptop warriors can enjoy coffee, tea and pastries at its mini coffee bar or grab a bite from Cira, a Mediterranean restaurant, on the hotel’s lobby floor. One thing is for sure: You won’t feel alone as you chip away on that to-do list.”
– Mauricio Peña

Where: 200 N. Green St.
Hours: 24/7

West Town

West Town Library
“I get some of my best writing and research done in the West Town library. The library is inside the Goldblatt’s Building, a very historic piece of Chicago architecture. The main area has several college-sized study desks, so you can really spread out with your laptop, headphones, snacks, papers, etc. The WiFi is great and outlets are plentiful. Need a mid-day meal? Look no further than Chicago Avenue’s array of mom-and-pop taco shops. Need to step outside for a phone call? Grab a coffee next door at Six06. Or, if you want to stretch your legs on your coffee break, walk a few blocks to Standing Passenger.”
– Hannah Alani

Where: 1625 W. Chicago Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, noon-8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday


Wicker Park

Volumes Bookcafe
“I love Volumes for several reasons. It’s centrally located in Wicker Park, near the Damen Avenue Blue Line stop. The shop is quiet enough to get work done, even though it doubles as a gift and bookstore. The owners of Volumes are very plugged in to the community, so if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, check out the array of event fliers near the front door. The WiFi is fast and reliable. The drinks are fantastic. I’m a personal fan of the matcha latte with oat milk, but you can’t go wrong no matter what you order. And, since you’re in a gift store, you can end the workday by grabbing locally-made art, earrings or reading materials!”
– Hannah Alani

Where: 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Do you have a go-to spot in your neighborhood to get some work done? Send us a note at newsroom@blockclubchi.org or chime in on Twitter and let us know why it’s the best!

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