More and more I’ve felt myself slipping into the world of grown ups… I recently had to duck over to Chicago for a < 24 hour visit to handle some paperwork (point #1). After a double shift at work (point #2) I caught a bus that arrived in the city at 1am, which felt equal parts adventure and obligation (#3). And even though I stayed up till 4am gossiping with the friends I was crashing with, they still had to commute to jobs in the morning (point #4). So while I’m still floundering in this world that expects me to “adult,” I do know one thing adults do that I’m already very proficient at….and that’s coffee.
When Lydia suggested I hit up The Coffee Shop while she was at work because it “seemed like the kind of place that had gluten free bagels” I was…skeptical. On my own with nothing to do in the morning, though, I headed off to hunt it down and at the very least get down some coffee. I didn’t expect to find, hidden away in Edgewater (a northern neighborhood of Chicago home to Loyola-Chicago) a gluten free mecca patiently awaiting me, smelling of fresh brewed coffee, cherry cheesecake, and homemade quiche. The Coffee Shop may not look like much on the outside, with its paper lettering and creepy empty handed butler mannequin, but I promise you the rag-tag quirky aesthetic pairs perfectly with high-quality, freshly baked and brewed goods.
I stood off to the side of the glass case of beautiful cheesecake and pessimistically asked the owner, “do you have anything gluten free?” She looked at me with an eye of knowing and waved her hand grandly to the menu board, saying, “Sarah, everything the light touches shall be gluten free.” Okay, no. But she might as well have! The Coffee Shop serves gluten free cakes, quiches, bagels, and sandwiches can be made gluten free. Even better? THEY DON’T CHARGE EXTRA FOR GLUTEN FREE. They also take care to grill gluten free bread in tin foil to minimize cross contamination. Unlike most “quirky” coffee shops that have one sad cookie on the counter as the requisite gluten free item, at The Coffee Shop you have dozens and dozens of options.
Like the young rebel I am, I actually opened a tab in preparation to stuff my face. For breakfast I ordered a nutella latte, and an egg sandwich prepared on gluten free bread with red peppers, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese. To go I took a spinach and feta quiche and a bagel with cream cheese, so I could eat those downtown and on the bus instead of shelling out big time. All in all it came to $16…which is what you’d be paying for just one of those items made GF down in the loop!
All in all, I’d recommend The Coffee Shop to anyone, gluten free or otherwise. It’s a well kept secret of northern Chicago, cheaply priced with fresh and yummy food and amazingly kind staff.
1135 West Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660
Hours vary but opens 7:30am on weekdays, 8am on Saturdays, 10am on Sundays.