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Aug 22, 2011 11:21 AM

Great espresso near Water Plaza?

Will be visiting Chicago 9/12 to 9/17. I have most of our dinner plans made thanks to the regulars here. One thing I can't live without is high quality espresso, and cappuccinos. I am from the SF/Bay area and my standards are high. Blue Bottle in SF is one of my standards if anyone is familiar . S@#$@@#cks. does not qualify, they are in the milk business not the coffee business. Thanks in advance for any help, you don't want me wandering your streets espresso deprived. Also, what is chow worthy near Wrigley for pregame eats and good beer? We are really looking forward to chowing in Chicago.

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  1. As a nearly-lifelong resident of Chicago I have no idea where that is? Do you mean Water Tower Place?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ferret

      Yes that is what I meant. Sorry!

    2. You'll find recommendations in these topics:

      Favorite Cafees / Coffee in Chicago? -
      Best Coffee Shop in Chicago? -

      Unfortunately, none of them is right near the Water Tower (the historic water works that survived the Chicago Fire of 1871) or Water Tower Place (the multi-use high-rise that includes a shopping center on the lower floors). To go to Intelligentsia, our best and most well-known local coffee roaster, you could hop on any CTA bus going down Michigan Avenue to Randolph. Or, if it's a nice day, you could walk; it's about 3/4 mile. If you wanted to stay close by, Lavazza, which is not local, has shops a few blocks north in the Hancock building and on Walton, and a few blocks south on Ohio.

      >> what is chow worthy near Wrigley for pregame eats and good beer?

      The recommendations in this topic are still current:

      Where is a good place to go after a day game at Wrigley? -

      Intelligentsia Coffee
      55 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL

      162 E Ohio St, Chicago, IL 60611

      Espression Lavazza
      140 E Walton Pl., Chicago, IL 60611

      Espression Lavazza
      875 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

      1 Reply
      1. re: nsxtasy

        nstasy, I never cease to be amazed at your generosity on the Chicago boards. CH is so lucky to have you here!!

      2. I really want to echo nsxtasy's recommendation for Intelligentsia. A short trek from Water Tower, but worth it at least once.

        Many places around Wrigley are likely to be packed before (if not during and after!) a game, so be prepared for crowds (if you don't find a place that will accept reservations). Goose Island, Chicago's oldest brewpub, has an outpost near Wrigley field (3535 N. Clark St.). They have a stronger taplist at their original location, but this one isn't bad. Food is all right - options run a little on the heavy side and are mostly limited to burgers/sandwiches.

        Sheffield's (3258 N. Sheffield Ave.) is a great place for beer. Open for a long time now, they were one of the early adopters for craft. Food menu is mostly barbecue - at least, that's what they like to highlight. It's decent. Their beer garden is a nice place to hang out and drink.

        Blokes & Birds (3343 N. Clark) is another gastropub-ish concept, though they do pull it off reasonably well. Lots of British comfort food, so it can be a little heavy. Nice selection of beer, though, with many of its taps pouring European beers and plenty of domestic bottles.

        2 Replies
        1. re: danimalarkey

          Goose Island was recommended to us by a former Chicagoan out here. Would it be possible for 2 to walk in at 11:30ish and get seated and eat in time to walk to game which starts at 1:20? I don't know if brew pubs take reservations the ones around here don't. I will definitely check out Intelligentsia. I would take their barrista class if it was offered on a day I could attend. Thanks again.

          1. re: scfinson

            You know, according to their website, Goose Island does accept reservations. As for how long to expect a meal, it would probably be best to ask the restaurant when you call. Personally, I avoid the entire neighborhood when there's a Cubs game!

            For what it's worth, Goose's belgians are outstanding, especially their Sofie and Matilda. their IPA is also a nice version of the style - not as hop-centric as most American versions and closer to what I've had in England. The menu at this Clark St. location isn't as extensive as at their original location, so some of their more adventurous/experimental beers won't be available here. Still some nice things - from their website, it also looks like they have guest drafts from Two Brothers. That's another local brewery that makes some really solid beers.

            Intelligentsia also offers tours of its roasting facility - again, sadly not when you're in town. But if there's a next time...

        2. Chicago's local roasters continue to open additional locations.

          Intelligentsia will be opening new shops this year in Logan Square, Wicker Park, and Old Town; the latter may be close to the Water Tower.

          Two of Chicago's local roasters in outlying neighborhoods have recently opened locations in the downtown area not far from the Water Tower. Dollop, based in Buena Park, opened in Streeterville at 345 E. Ohio. Bow Truss, based in Lakeview, opened in River North at 406 N. Wells.

          Asado, based in Lakeview, will be opening in West Town this month and the Loop next year.