My seasonal affective disorder is kicking in early. What are the best cafés with lots of natural light, ideally the sort of place I could sit with a book for a couple of hours on a Sunday? The landing coffee spot in the Modern Wing is the gold standard, but how about some alternatives without the $18 cover charge?—Julie Fountain, Bucktown
Atrium Wine Bar As its name indicates, Fox & Obel’s wine bar is bordered largely by windows. All the better to cop a squat in front with some seasonal-blues-busting herbal tea from the café. 401 E Illinois St (312-379-0112).
Inspiration Kitchens This newish Garfield Park eatery and café is from Inspiration Corporation, a social-service org that schools the homeless and ex-cons in culinary arts and food service. So bask in the bright space and know that warm-fuzzy feeling isn’t just from the sun. 3504 W Lake St (773-801-1110).
Little Branch Café After this sunny South Loop bistro café resurrects you in the daytime, kick off your no-SAD night at the bar with a classic cocktail. Might we recommend the fittingly named Corpse Reviver (gin, Lillet blanc, orange curaçao, Herbsaint)? 1251 S Prairie Ave (312-360-0101).
Puck’s Express The MCA’s quick-service café—which offers sandwiches, pastries and coffee—benefits from massive windows that overlook the museum’s sculpture garden. And there’s no admission fee required—so enjoy your moment in the sun. 220 E Chicago Ave (312-397-4034).—Madeline Szrom