“Chicago SUCKS as far as studying places go,” wrote Francois B., a somewhat disgruntled Yelp reviewer. While that may be true for Francois (and Yelp reviews aren’t always the best barometer of worthwhile places to visit) there are actually quite a few coffee shops and cafés Chicago’s students can visit if they’re looking for a change in scenery, quality coffee or good food while they study. Here’s a list of places near some of Chicago’s popular universities that new students may want to check out.
Northwestern University- Evanston
While Northwestern has a lot to offer as far as libraries, student lounges and outdoor space for studying, NU students can be found enjoying cafés all over Evanston for their ample space, Internet access and good coffee. The Unicorn Cafe, just a five-minute walk from campus, is a favorite among Northwestern students, who can often be seen working on laptops or reading at the tables outside on a nice day. With a decent amount of space, free wifi and Metropolis coffee (a Chicago favorite), Unicorn Café is a good alternative to the Starbucks across the street. Be prepared to bring cash; it doesn’t take credit cards.
If you’re serious about your coffee and want a bit of latte art to go along with it, head to The Brothers K coffee shop on Main Street. It apparently boasts a great patio and friendly, personable baristas (which can be somewhat of a rarity in ‘hip’ coffee shops these days). Metropolis coffee and free wifi abound. A second outpost, The Other Brother Coffeehouse, is located on Sherman Avenue.
DePaul University- Lincoln Park
Just down the street from DePaul’s campus on N. Sheffield Avenue, Savor the Flavor has what many Chicago students would likely want from a café: lots of space with large tables, Metropolis coffee and free wifi. Many Yelp reviewers praise its food, especially the grilled cheese sandwich and ice cream, but some say it’s a little pricey.
Another Lincoln Park coffee spot known for its good food is The Bourgeois Pig located on Fullerton Avenue, also not far from DePaul’s campus. Its menu features numerous dessert and pastry options, as well as sandwiches and salads with cute names like ”The Hobbit”, “The Tale of Two Turkeys” and “Ham I Am”.
Walk into Noble Tree Coffee and Tea on North Clark Street on a typical day and you’ll find several students scattered throughout the café’s three floors, hunched over books and laptops. Noble Tree – which is much bigger than it looks from the outside – has the feel of a huge, cozy abandoned house, with charmingly mismatched furniture throughout. There’s so much space, it’s fairly easy to snag a table, but if you’re looking for a truly unique study experience, try and find the Pacman game-turned-table on the second floor and play a round or two for a study break.
Loyola University, north campus- Rogers Park/Uptown/Edgewater
Students looking for ambiance, super-friendly baristas and lots of space to study should definitely stop by the one and only Metropolis Coffee Co. near Loyola’s northern campus. While many of the cafés on this list brew its beans, the actual Metropolis is a can’t-miss for most Loyola students, with many sandwiches and pastries to go along with its popular coffee. People are encouraged to come and stay a while, so you’ll never feel rushed.
The Daily Cup, just a short walk from the Loyola Red L stop, serves fresh food and baked goods, gelato and delicious coffee, all at a reasonable price. Open until 10 p.m. on weekday evenings, the Daily Cup is a convenient study place for Loyola students eager to study in a coffee shop that’s not the Starbucks nearby.
University of Chicago- Hyde Park/University Village
Intelligentsia coffee, good food and beloved owner Belinda seem to be the main draw at Hyde Park’s Café 57, not far from the 59th Street, University of Chicago Metra station. Though Yelpers admit the space is small, they praise the atmosphere and employees. May be a good place to spend at least an hour or two studying, and the free wifi definitely helps.
Kick back with a gelato or a panini to go along with your coffee at Istria Café at the Hyde Park Art Center. The café takes cues from the Istrian peninsula, incorporating a mix of traditions from the Italian, Croatian and Slovenian area into its meticulous preparation of the Intelligentsia coffee it brews. Lots of comfy seats, free wifi and a cool, artsy vibe seem to satisfy Istria’s regulars.
The Unicorn Café
1723 Sherman Ave. (between Church St. and Clark St.)
*Davis Purple line
The Brothers K Coffeehouse
500 Main St. (between Chicago Ave. and Hinman Ave.)
*Main Purple line
The Other Brother Coffeehouse
1549 Sherman Ave. (between Grove St. and Orrington Ave.)
*Davis Purple line
Savor the Flavor
2545 N. Sheffield Ave. (between Altgeld St. and Lill Ave.)
*Fullerton Brown, Purple line
Bourgeois Pig Café
738 W. Fullerton Ave. (between Burling St. and Children’s Place)
*wifi with purchase
Noble Tree Coffee and Tea
2444 N. Clark St. (at Arlington Place)
Metropolis Coffee Co.
1039 W. Granville Ave.
*Granville Red line
The Daily Cup
1217 W. Devon Ave. (between Sheridan Road and Broadway)
*Loyola Red line
Hyde Park/University Village
5030 S. Cornell Ave. (between 49th and East End Ave.)
1220 E. 57th St
It’s that time of year again. Provided Chicago finally decides to stay warm, there’s a good chance you’ll be seeking refuge from the summer heat at a local movie theater near you. Here’s a list of some of the films you can enjoy while you’re there, including a couple of the requisite comic book movies (X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern), a handful of sequels (Transformers 3, The Hangover 2) and some other movie about a wizard named Harry that you’ve probably never heard of.
Check out the timeline to find out when the movies you’re looking forward to are coming out, including movies playing outdoors as part of Chicago’s Movies in the Parks series.
The Potential Blockbusters
The Hangover 2
The Wolfpack’s back for another adventure, this time in Bangkok, Thailand. Ed Helms, Zach Galifanakis, Bradley Cooper and Community’s Ken Jeong return. May 27
X-Men: First Class
Meet archenemies Professor X and Magneto before they were enemies. Set in the early 60s, X-Men: First Class follows Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Micahel Fassbender, playing young Magneto) as they start a school for humans with special abilities. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, also starring Jennifer Lawrence. June 3
Strange incidents and disappearances occur after a train crashes in a small Ohio town during the summer of 1979. Kyle Chandler plays a local Deputy trying to uncover the truth behind the unusual events. Directed by Star Trek and Lost’s J.J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg, Super 8’s likely a must see for sci-fi fans. June 10
Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, a test pilot turned superhero. The film also stars Blake Lively and Peter Sarsgaard. June 17
Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon
The Autobots and Decepticons face off again in a race to find a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon that could help both sides win their epic battle. Shia LaBeouf and Tyrese Gibson return, but fans may be sad to see Megan Fox replaced by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as Sam’s new love interest. Other new additions include Patrick Dempsey, Alan Tudyk, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand. July 1
Fun fact: Transformers 3 was filmed mostly in Chicago.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Harry, Ron and Hermione return to Hogwarts for the final battle against Lord Voldemort. July 15
Captain America: The First Avenger
Starring Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving and Tommy Lee Jones. July 22
Cowboys and Aliens
Pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Directed by Jon Favreau and starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde. July 29
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Scientist James Franco experiments on a chimp named Caesar while trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Human vs. ape war ensues. Also stars Andy Serkis and Slumdog Millionaire’s Freida Pinto. August 5
For the Kids
Kung Fu Panda 2
Po’s awesome new life as The Dragon Warrior is threatened by a villain hellbent on destroying kung fu. Starring Jack Black, Angelina Jolie and Jackie Chan. May 27
Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy return racecar Lightning McQueen and truck Mater as they race through Europe and Asia while competing in the World Grand Prix. Also stars Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer as British spies Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. June 18
Winnie the Pooh
Join Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, Owl, Kanga, Roo, Eeyore and Christopher Robin for a bit of childhood nostalgia. Starring John Cleese, Craig Ferguson and Zooey Deschanel. July 15
Smurfs take Manhattan after being booted out of their village by an evil wizard. Starring Hank Azaria, Katy Perry and Jonathan Winters. July 29
Mr. Popper’s Penquins
Jim Carrey stars as a businessman who’s life completely changes when he inherits six penguins. Also stars Carla Gugino and Angela Lansbury. June 17
Tom Hanks directs and stars as a middle-aged man who goes back to college after losing his job. Julie Roberts and Bryan Cranston also star.
Jason Bateman, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie Day and SNL’s Jason Sudeikis star as three friends who plan to murder their ‘horrible bosses’ to improve their lives. Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey star as the three bosses. July 8
Friends With Benefits
Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake star in a movie that seems suspiciously similar to the recent Natalie Portman/Ashton Kusher movie, No Strings Attached. July 22
Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore. Gosling plays suave wingman to newly single Carell.
30 Minutes or Less
Starring Jesse Eisenberg as a delivery guy kidnapped and forced to help two criminals (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) rob a bank… with a bomb strapped to his chest. Also stars Parks and Recreation’s Aziz Ansari. August 12
Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin stars as a teen who suspects his neighbor (Colin Farrell) is a vampire in this remake of the 1985 original. Also stars Doctor Who’s David Tennant. August 19
Our Idiot Brother
Starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, and Rashida Jones. August 26
The Tree of Life
Tells the story of Jack (Sean Penn), his life growing up in 1950s Midwest and his tumultuous relationship with his father. Directed by the Terrence Malick, IMDB calls this film “a true event” for cinephiles and fans of the reclusive Malick. Also starring Brad Pitt and celebrated Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life could be a good alternative to the standard action and comedy fare. May 27 (limited release)
Starring Ewan McGregor, Mélanie Laurent and Christopher Plummer and directed by Mike Mills in his first film since 2005’s Thumbsucker. June 3
Based on the bestselling novel, stars Emma Stone as an aspiring writer who befriends two African American maids (Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer) in 1960s Mississippi.
While most Chicagoans are still sleeping off Friday and Saturday night hangovers, a loyal group of soccer enthusiasts gather at bars like North Center’s Globe Pub, 1934 W Irving Park Road, to watch “the beautiful game”. Expats and natives alike pack in – six-hour time difference be damned – to look on as their favorite English Premier League, Major League Soccer and La Liga teams duke it out in age-old rivalries.
Arsenal vs. Stoke
Up bright and early for the 8 a.m. Arsenal vs. Stoke match, financial markets professional Fernando Adler spent some time before kickoff relaying the troubled history between the North London and Straffordshire clubs to a friend.
“They don’t come out to play soccer at all. At all,” Adler explained. “They’re only out there to foul. They are the opposite of Arsenal, the antithesis of Arsenal.”
Originally from Argentina, Adler spent some time working in London, where he became an obsessed Arsenal fan. Though it’d be easier for him to watch at home, he makes the trek to the Globe for the exciting atmosphere.
“This place is awesome,” Adler said. “I think, because it’s kind of a pain to watch these matches, you get more of a hardcore group here, which is nice. Like, people here cry [over games].”
Adler isn’t the only expat who enjoys the Globe.
“Usually when I come in here, more than half of the people are not from the United States. You have English, you have Irish, you have people who have lived in England. A lot of Africans.”
Gary Winters, one of the pub’s owners – and a disgruntled Arsenal fan – also spoke to the Globe’s diverse crowd.
“Liverpool fans usually have the whole back area filled up when they play” Winters said. “And they often lose. And United has a pretty good following. Usually there’s also a whole load of Germans back there.”
Winters spent most of Arsenal’s frustrating match (they lost 3-1) joking around and screaming at the TVs with friends Doug Mraz and Rich Balabuzko.
“Arsenal supporters are by far the best tippers and by far the funniest,” Winters joked.
“And most handsome!” Mraz added.
To quell the disappointing result, the three treated themselves and a few lucky patrons to champagne in celebration of St. Totteringham’s Day, one bright spot in Arsenal’s otherwise painful season.
Manchester United vs. Chelsea
As the bar filled with Chelsea and Man United fans, architect Ani Tipnis and waitress Rose Salvi, both Liverpool fans, prepared to root for Chelsea to beat their team’s biggest rivals.
“It’s not that I want Chelsea to win. I just want United to lose,” noted Tipnis, who’s originally from India.
They shared a table with Roxanne Provence, a public school teacher, and Dili Yang, a grad student, who are both somewhat saddened Arsenal fans who stayed to watch, hoping Arsenal’s London rival Chelsea could thwart United’s chances of winning a record 19 league titles.
Two hours later, however, their prayers were left unanswered after United’s Nemanja Vidic scored the second goal that secured his team’s 2-1 victory over a lackluster Chelsea.
United fans cheered. Chelsea fans headed for the door while Collin Carter, a telecommunications account manager, sat at a now empty table waiting for the La Liga match to begin.
A supporter of both Barcelona and Manchester United, Carter, who was born in Jamaica and has been coming to the Globe since 1999, was clearly happy with the win. “It’s been a good season,” Carter said, with a smile.
Though fans of bitter rivals, Tipnis and Carter, a Scouser – Liverpool backer – and a Red – Manchester backer, – enjoyed some friendly post-match banter, further proof that the Globe isn’t your average football pub.
“It is truly a world bar, in my opinion,” Tipnis said. “You’ll make good friends here.”