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Get Your Caffeine Fix At These 5 Local Coffee Chains

Chicago Retail

There's an old saying: "You can't buy happiness, but you can buy coffee and that's pretty close!" We'll take that a step further and ask that you ditch the Starbucks the next time you need a caffeine fix and head to these five coffee chains with deep Chicago roots!

1. Bow Truss Coffee Roasters


Founded: 2012 in Lakeview

Locations: Seven in Chicago (For locations, click here.)

This company has grown by leaps and bounds since opening its first location in Pilsen four years ago, with no signs of slowing. Bow Truss plans to open nine more stores by 2017. Thankfully, Bow Truss' 14k SF roastery will be able to handle the demand.

2. Bridgeport Coffee Co


Founded: 2004 in Bridgeport

Locations: Four (For locations, click here.)

If you're a purveyor of pour overs, Bridgeport Coffee Co makes arguably the best one in Chicago. It roasts its own direct trade beans at a small warehouse near its Bridgeport flagship store, and has expanded to include shops in the Hyde Park Art Center, Beverly and the Roosevelt Collection. Most important, Bridgeport Coffee Co is dedicated to only operating in South Side neighborhoods.

3. Dark Matter Coffee


Founded: 2008 in Humboldt Park

Locations: Three (For locations, click here.)

Maybe you've seen founder Jesse Diaz on TV, plugging Dark Matter in Honda Pilot commercials. Dark Matter is arguably the mad scientist of this list, with a barrel-aged coffee program and extreme small batch coffee fermentations that bring out unique characteristics in each blend.

4. Dollop Coffee Co


Founded: 2005 in Uptown

Locations: Eight (For locations, click here.)

If the rule of retail real estate is "follow the rooftops," Dollop is following it with expert precision. Its storefronts are in every red-hot neighborhood, ready to capitalize on increased foot traffic. Each shop serves coffee from local roaster Metropolis.

5. Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea


Founded: 1995 in Lakeview

Locations: Six (For locations, click here.)

Founder Doug Zell wanted to bring a sophistication to coffee, similar to how we view pairing wine with food. Doug's vision paid off as Intelligentsia expanded into a global brand with stores in Chicago, New York and LA, roasting plants in Chicago, LA and San Francisco, and training labs in New York and Atlanta. Peets Coffee & Tea bought a majority stake in Intelligentsia last October.