Blair a la Carte: Where to get your Evanston cup of joe

Blair Dunbar, Writer

I don’t necessarily love coffee. I like too much sugar in my drinks to actually appreciate the taste, but as a college student, I need coffee. That fact, coupled with my boyfriend’s love of a quality brew, means I spend a lot of time in various coffee shops in the area. I have realized the best coffee shops aren’t easily discernible. Oftentimes, it depends on what you are looking for.

Best coffee shop for your sweet tooth
Although lots of coffee shops have mixed drink concoctions, Starbucks is still the place to go if you want more sugar than coffee. Let’s face it, where else can you get a drink like a tall Java Chip Frappuccino with extra whipped cream and chocolate syrup? As far as iced, blended drinks go, Starbucks has the best options. Other coffee shops’ iced lattes or mochas just can’t compare.

Best coffee shop for studying
This one easily goes to Kafein. Its long hours are perfect for late-night studying. The couches and bookcases also give it more of a lounge atmosphere, making it more comfortable. It’s much better to sit on those couches for hours at a time than on the hard library seats. As an added bonus, they won’t kick you out even if you decide to burrow yourself there for the night, and the old Trivial Pursuit cards provide entertainment during study breaks.

Best coffee
Coffee Lab has the best coffee, hands down, of all the shops in Evanston. The cafe proudly brews Intelligentsia coffee and brings in different sources from all over the world, made from beans grown in Brazil or Nigeria. It also uses real chocolate in mochas and brew coffee with the drip method. The scones and cookies, brought in from Great Harvest Bread Co., complement the drinks.

Best overall 
The best coffee shop is Linz and Vail, which brews Intelligentsia coffee and serves delicious homemade gelato, made fresh daily. Located on Central Street, it is a little ways off campus. However, it’s definitely a doable walk, and there is something to be said for not being surrounded by college students. It’s also the best place to be if you are feeling a little hungry; the shop serves delicious sandwiches, croissants and muffins. I will say I’m a bit sentimental about the shop because I used to walk there with my grandma as a child. Nevertheless, it’s a great little cafe in the heart of Evanston and a wonderful place to grab coffee away from the buzz of Northwestern.