Nothing is stopping us from drinking iced coffee year-round, but it's especially hard to pass up during the hot, sweaty summer season. Chicago's got fantastic coffee shops and brunch places putting out stellar versions, too, so put down the frozen cocktails and frosé and grab one of these great drinks to perk you up in the morning.
RECOMMENDED: Best coffee in Chicago
The best iced coffee drinks in Chicago
This ginger-curry latte might be our new favorite thing, making us excited to drink it year-round. It's warm from a bit of curry and ginger, but it's still iced. It brings in spices that remind us of Christmas, but it's light and refreshing enough to be a perfectly fun summer drink.
You can get the military latte at Hogsalt's Sawada Coffee all the time, but you can also get it iced. With matcha, espresso and white chocolate, it's gorgeous and green on top, white on the bottom (until you stir it up, at least) and is refreshing in the way that matcha is a refreshing drink with a bit of creaminess just right to start your day.
Xoco serves a velvety bottled iced coffee drink that's based on chef Alonso Sotelo's grandmother's recipe. Piloncillo, Mexican cinnamon, brown sugar, allspice, clove, star anise, black pepper and orange zest are cooked down and then cold-brewed with Intelligentsia's El Diablo coffee. After 48 hours, it's strained, bottled and capped with a bright yellow cap featuring a tiny design drawn by server Miguel Cotorra.
If you've had nitro beer, you understand the idea—nitrogen is added to a liquid to make it smoother and creamier—and now the same technique is being applied to coffee. At Beatrix, the nitro coffee is made by adding nitrogen to La Colombe coffee in a keg, then dispensing it on tap. There's a foamy head, and it doesn't taste as acidic, which means you really don't need to add cream.
You may not be able to roll right up to the counter and ask for a Shakerato at Big Shoulders Coffee, but no worries. Snag a bottle of Seasons Soda out of the fridge and ask for espresso on top of it. The soda is slightly sweet, cutting the acidity of the espresso and turning it into a super refreshing jolt to your morning.
Oromo Cafe looks damn fancy when you first walk in. The lattes list is a bit overwhelming with a bunch of choices, but when you start really looking through it, you'll see that it's not too far from what you've had as far as coffee's concerned. But grab the pistachio-rose latte. It's floral and garnished with rose petals, which is adorable and nice on the nose. If you're looking for something that reminds you of spring, this is certainly your latte.
Best coffee shops in Chicago
It wasn't until we compiled this list that we realized what a great coffee city Chicago is. There are numerous spots that appeal to coffee nerds and other places to just grab a cup on the way to work. Whether you want a spot in the Loop, a neighborhood joint in Logan Square or a Bridgeport spot that roasts its own beans, you won't go wrong at any of the best coffee shops in Chicago.