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  1. Chelsea Waldrop
  2. Rich Troche
  3. Marty Sweeney
  4. Gabe Wilkins
  5. Mayra Preciado
  6. Dan Flowers
  7. Daniel Murphy

Our barista crushes

Readers and staffers reveal their favorite baristas at local coffee houses.


RECOMMENDED: Best coffee in Chicago

Shift All day, every day at A De•li•cious Cafe(3827 N Lincoln Ave, 773-477-9840)
Admirer says “Chelsea, owner and only full-time employee at this vegan joint…is awesome. She wears a short pixie haircut and eats like she gives a damn.”
Relationship status Taken
Best barista skill “The best part is being behind the counter and the conversations I have with customers.”
Side job None. “This is my life.”

Shift Evening manager at Citizen Skate Cafe(924 W Wilson Ave, 773-751-5809)
Admirer says “Big brown eyes and a great smile. Always friendly and he makes the most amazing vanilla latte I’ve ever had.”
Relationship status Single
Best barista skill “I’m pretty easy going, and I love talking to people. I just really enjoy sharing a great cup of coffee with others.”
Side job None

Shift Evenings at Intelligentsia(3123 N Broadway, 773-348-8058)
Admirer says “Marty, the tall ginger…is superfriendly, very knowledgeable about his coffee and always has a kind word to say.”
Relationship status Taken
Best barista skill Customer service. “I try to treat people the way I’d want to be treated if I ordered coffee, which is really friendly.”
Side job None

Shift Mornings, Monday–Friday at The Goddess and Grocer(25 E Delaware Pl, 312-896-2600)
Admirer says “I call him ‘Cute Coffee Guy.’ He’s just supernice and friendly and chats in the morning.”
Relationship status Single. “…Do I get to find out who said this?”
Best barista skill “Probably my sense of humor. And I make a skim latte better than anyone.”
Side job Comedian at various open mics and improv stages around town

Shift Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings at Cafe Jumping Bean(1439 W 18th St, 312-455-0019)
Admirer says “She has an unbelievable smile. You won’t miss her—until you leave the café.”
Relationship status Taken
Best barista skill “We all put our own touches on the coffee. But I have one customer who asks me for a double-shot espresso with just the right color—I do that really well.”
Side job Full-time student

Shift Monday and Friday mornings at The Common Cup(1501 W Morse Ave, 773-338-0256)
Admirer says “He’s absolutely lovely. I always know I’ll have a good morning when I see him through the window.”
Relationship status Happily involved with “someone special”
Best barista skill “Friendliness…I call many of my regulars by name, I know their drink choices and sometimes I even know what’s going on in their lives.”
Side job “This is my side job. I’m a full-time server at Grand Lux Cafe.”

Shift Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings at Atomix(1957 W Chicago Ave, 312-666-2649)
Admirer says “When Dan started working there, the whole mood of the place shifted. He chats up everyone in the morning and is always quick with some incredibly witty counter banter.”
Relationship status “Not just married—happily married. That probably doesn’t fit in with the whole ‘crush’ thing, does it?”
Best barista skill “Personalizing the experience. I learn customers’ likes and dislikes, and try to remember something about them. I really try to take the customer’s experience beyond an exchange of money for goods.”
Side job “This is it. Managing Atomix and taking care of my nine-month-old daughter.”

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