Marissa Mayer of Yahoo! may have banned her employees from working from home, but Chicagoans haven’t gotten the message–just take a look around the city during regular work hours. Whether your Chicago apartment seems to resemble the size of a closet or you just need some human contact once and awhile, the Windy City’s cafes have got your back. This Chicago neighborhood guide gives you the scoop on three of the best Chicago neighborhoods for telecommuters.
Wicker Park is Chicago’s artistic hub, and sometimes it seems like everyone works from home. Take a stroll down Milwaukee Avenue and you’ll see what we mean. On an average workday, you’ll see laptop-laden coffee drinkers working diligently–likely because it’s hard to walk down a city block in this Chicago neighborhood without running into a coffee shop. One of the best in town is the Wormhole, especially if you like to take a work break to play Super Mario Bros. or pretend you’re Marty McFly (this joint has a Delorean). To top it off, these baristas are pros at latte art, and routinely craft unbelievable coffee creations. Pull up a chair at one of the community tables, all of which are accompanied by a power strip (genius!), and join the party. Need to mix it up? Filter, Lovely, Buzz and Francesca’s on Damen are all great spots to be productive.
It may be hipster nation (who said that’s a bad thing, anyway?), but Logan Square is home to some great coffee shops. Like most areas in Chicago, this northwest side neighborhood has its own distinct community feel. Logan Square stands out because much of the area is sectioned into quiet tree-lined streets and bustling city blocks. If you’re looking for a quiet place to get down to business, Rewster’s Café, Ipsento and Café Mustache are perfect. Although these spots are small, they are rarely overcrowded. If you don’t want to risk not being able to find a chair, New Wave Café is massive and has everything from cozy couches to actual work desks–but also has fairly loud music.
If you’re looking at Chicago neighborhoods on the north side, Lincoln Square is a refined, but hip area. Coffee shops like The Grind and The Perfect Cup are, well, perfect. With bright light streaming in from outside, both of these locales will keep you awake while you chug away at your work. The Grind is fairly small, so you’ll want to snag a chair early here, but The Perfect Cup is lined with tables and chairs that are perfect for one (plus a laptop, of course).