Chicago’s impressive coffee scene is a competitive place, packed with local and national talent who take the medium seriously without veering into fussy pretension. A hot cup of Joe has fueled many a Chicagoan’s morning commute or flanked a delectable meal, but cold caffeine — cold brew, iced espresso drinks, and other buzzy blends — has become sufficiently complex as to merit its own map. Below, explore Eater Chicago’s selection of the top spots for chilly coffee around town.Read More
Where to Drink Iced Coffee in Chicago
Stay calm, cool, and caffeinated
Japanese-style cold brew sensation Kyoto Black, the brainchild of founder Justin Doggett, is widely considered a premiere destination for a chilly cup (or several) in Chicago. A fledgling business when the pandemic began in 2020, Kyoto Black has accrued a significant fanbase devoted to its smooth, chocolaty notes.
Metropolis Coffee Company
When it comes to iced coffee preparation, this family-owned company applies the same level of seriousness as it does for steaming hot cups. A neighborhood haven in Edgewater for 2003, Metropolis features potent draft cold brew and oat lattes for a dose of cool caffeine as well as rotating specials like iced French toast and “cereal milk” lattes.
The Coffee Studio
This Andersonville coffee spot solves the problem of weak, watery iced coffee with its double-strength cold brew that’s also available via nitro tap. Minimalism is of the essence at Coffee Studio, which makes it an attractive choice for purists.
A local favorite with a global perspective, Oromo is adored for its unusual and creative coffee creations. It seems apt that its cold submission isn’t a latte or frappe, but rather, a meet-cute of ice cream and caffeine that packs a real jolt. Try a Dirty Choco Chai, espresso and masala chai over two scoops of chocolate ice cream, or a cold brew float with a choice of chocolate or vanilla. Oromo operates a second location in Bucktown.
necessary & sufficient coffee
This charming takeout-only coffee window manages to stuff an enormous amount of inventive energy into its tiny corner space. In addition to flash-chilled cold brew, nitro cold brew, and iced lattes, the team also features Coffee Tonic, a refreshing iced concoction of rose-infused tonic, soda, and espresso.
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West Coast import Dayglow brings style and substance to its spare space in the Kimball Arts Center, and fortunately for customers, its creativity isn’t limited to hot drinks. Fun options include the Warhol 2.0 (orange, espresso, coconut milk, vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg) and the Totoro (charcoal, orange blossom honey, black sesame, distilled coffee, oat milk, black salt).
Big Shoulders Coffee
Chicago coffee stalwart Big Shoulders has for years served as a go-to for commuters and caffeine hunters. On the cold front, hits include its pulse-raising iced horchata lattes (double or quad shot of espresso) and iced cardamom spice lattes (quad shot of espresso, cardamom syrup, milk). Additional locations are open in the Loop, Gold Coast, and inside the Chicago Board of Trade.
Dark Matter Coffee - The Mothership
Local caffeine giant Dark Matter has plenty of hits on its hands, but few cold coffees in the city are as revered as its Chocolate City cold brew. Fruity, nutty, sweet, and smooth, it’s hard to beat on a sweltering day. Other draft options include hoppy Brown Acid and nitro Black Splash. The company has locations in Lakeview, West Loop, West Town, and Avondale.
A leading force in modern, even experimental coffee in Chicago, Metric has pushed the envelope since its 2013 founding and continues to advance with a major expansion (including an all-day cafe) coming in 2023 to Avondale. In the meantime, its team continues to put out smooth and creamy nitro cold brew and iced espresso drinks.
Hogsalt Hospitality’s tiny coffee shop inside Green Street Smoked Meats, arguably best known for its green tea-based Military Lattes, also offers a serious wallop in the form of its cold brew. Made with the brand’s “Project X” blend and steeped for 24 hours, it is a powerful cup that will keep patrons buzzing through the afternoon.
Vietfive Coffee - Chicago
Vietnamese iced coffee is, in a word, a treat. The team at Vietfive brews it through a phin coffee filter with the brand’s own robusta medium roast, sweetened per tradition with condensed milk over ice. Bright purple ube condensed milk is also available, as are oat milk and coconut milk, or patrons can drink it black.
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The Stockyard Coffeehouse
Cheery plant-laden Bridgeport cafe Stockyard Coffeehouse expertly wields Mexican flavors and ingredients in hot and cold coffee drinks. Fans of the women- and Latinx-owned business rave over its iced Mexican mochas, horchata cold brew, and mazapan cold foam.
Little Sandwich House
DeCarlo Pittman’s quaint Bronzeville cafe sparks all the fuzzy feelings of a mom-and-pop spot, well-suited for morning coffee talk or an afternoon respite. Settle in and cool off with a frappe, iced latte, or cold brew with beans from Michigan-based roaster Littlefoot Coffee.
Sip and Savor 53rd
The bright and spacious Hyde Park outpost from Trez Pugh’s Chicago mini-chain Sip & Savor is an excellent vantage point to consume the classics — iced coffee, lattes, and blended frappe mochas. Groups that include non-coffee drinkers may be pleased to find an impressive lineup of teas, as well. Additional locations are open in Bronzeville, South Loop, and Rosenwald.