When it comes to making it through winter in the Windy City, having a good cafe can be the difference between surviving and thriving. Lucky residents of the South Loop Chicago rentals at NEMA wake up each blustery morning within short walking distance of some of the city’s finest cafes, including one designed especially for residents of this superlative tower. Here are our selections for the best spots around NEMA Chicago.
The first pick on our list is Sweet Bean, which sits a mere four-minute walk from NEMA Chicago’s stylish lobby. This Taiwanese-style cafe serves coffee, tea, and a wide variety of fresh baked goods (both sweet and savory) that are sure to keep you coming back for more. From traditional Red Bean Paste Buns and BBQ Pork Buns to decadent 70% Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies and Lemon Glaze Madeleines, Sweet Bean brings variety as well as quality to the baked goods game.
A little further away from NEMA is Overflow Coffee’s new location in a reclaimed former recording studio space. This BIPOC-owned and -operated coffee shop prides itself on both its inviting atmosphere and its high-quality coffee, brewed exclusively from beans roasted by Metric. With plenty of seating and a range of food and beverage options, Overflow is the perfect place to set up for a remote work session or catch up with a friend.
Of course, NEMA Chicago residents can enjoy a high-class cafe without leaving the comfort of their own building this winter. Dollop Coffee Co. opened a location inside the tower in May, bringing a full-service kitchen as well as a late-night mixology experience to NEMA. Along with the food and caffeinated beverage options, this Dollop location is unique because it turns into a sleek cocktail bar when the sun goes down. Veteran Chicago-area mixologist Roger Landes created a custom menu for the location, which includes one-of-a-kind cocktails like Sigh No More, “a blend of Montelobos Mezcal, Fruitful Mission Fig Liqueur, Peychaud’s Bitters, watermelon and lime,” as well as nonalcoholic options like the cold brew-centric Orange Dreamsicle. Served alongside comfort foods like chilaquiles and chicken and waffles, these drinks are sure to keep residents coming back for more.
So, this winter, keep yourself warm and caffeinated at these convenient South Loop cafes. Better yet, find yourself a home at NEMA Chicago and stop by the Dollop on your way to work.