It’s essential to any morning meal, but few breakfast spots brew a cup of joe worth celebrating. That is, except for these places:
1. Walker Bros. (locations suburbs-wide, walkerbros.net; $2.40) In our opinion, the rich Kona blend at this suburban chain tastes better than anything else on the menu.
2. Riverside Deli (1656 W Cortland St, 773-278-3354; $1.75) The best part about this full-flavored cup is that it arrives almost immediately, giving you fuel to tackle the enormous menu.
3. Victory’s Banner (2100 W Roscoe St, 773-665-0227; $2.25) The dark-roasted beans that Evanston’s Casteel Coffee blends for this café help explain why the staff here is at such peace.
4. Vella Cafe (1912 N Western Ave, 773-489-7777; $2.25) This house blend from Intelligentsia is rich and dark, a purposeful foil to Vella’s light and airy crêpes.
5. Milk & Honey (1920 W Division St, 773-395-9434; $2.15) Another Intelligentsia blend. Intell swears each one is different, and maybe they are. But we suspect M&H simply knows how to brew a perfect cup.