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Fairgrounds Coffee, Now Open, Gives Michigan Avenue a Starbucks Alternative

The new shop is inside the Chicago Athletic Association hotel

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Fairgrounds inside the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.
Courtesy of Fairgrounds
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea, opening today inside the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, gives customers an alternative to corporate coffee shops along a tourist-infested stretch of Michigan Avenue. It’s Fairgrounds’ second shop, as the original debuted in March next to the Robey Hotel on Milwaukee Avenue in Bucktown. The menu features a variety of grab-and-go items that can be eaten on the sidewalk patio that’s just north of the CAA’s main entrance.

The coffee shop wants to be known for bringing together a large selection of coffee roasters. Those include Colectivo, Dark Matter, Stumptown, Metropolis, Verve, and Irving Farm. Coffee lovers can pick three to try a flight. Cold brew, kombucha and sparkling Rishi tea will also be on tap.

Courtesy of Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea

Breakfast items include a fried egg sandwich, breakfast taco, and matcha chia pudding. For lunch and dinner, Fairgrounds will have turkey and avocado sliders, a veggie wrap with roasted pepper hummus, and a southwest salad with a Tex-Mex influence.

The Loop is just the start as Fairgrounds’ founder Michael Schultz wants to continue to expand. While he ponders coffee domination, check out the drink list for his latest below. Fairgrounds is now open at the CAA.

Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea Bar, 12 S. Michigan Ave. inside the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, (312) 448-9015, open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Chicago Athletic Association

12 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL (312) 940-3552 Visit Website