Bake 2246 W North Ave, 773-384-7655
Occupancy rate Approaching capacity
Number of kids 5
New York Times sightings 0
Wedding-cake tastings in progress 1 (the table without kids)
Conclusion If you have kids—or you simply happen to prefer conversation with kids—take a seat. But don’t even bother bringing a newspaper—the room won’t be quiet enough to read it.
Buzz: Killer Espresso 1644 N Damen Ave, 773-366-8377
Occupancy rate About half full
Number of kids 0
Number of girlfriends annoyed that boyfriend is on laptop 1
Conclusion For distraction-free reading and/or Facebooking, head to the quiet back room. The front room may be empty, but the significant takeout business will only interrupt you.
Filter 1373–75 N Milwaukee Ave, 773-904-7819
Occupancy rate Near full
Number of kids 2
Conclusion Don’t let the laptops fool you—it’s a charade. There’s more checking out going on here than at a supermarket.
Letizia’s Natural Bakery 2144 W Division St, 773-342-1011
Occupancy rate Three-fourths full
Number of kids 0
Bicycle helmets strewn about 2
Chocolate cake samples 12
Couples in matching hats 1
Conclusion For quiet time with your computer, head to the back (or, in warmer weather, the patio). Otherwise, all the young, earthy couples sharing muffins might be too much for a lonely heart.
Milk & Honey 1920 W Division St, 773-395-9434
Occupancy rate At capacity
Number of kids 2, at the kitchen bar in the back
People in line Surprisingly, only 5
Percentage of tables with at least one order of huevos rancheros 50
Conclusion Perhaps the most beloved brunch spot in Chicago—but go early to avoid the wait and to ensure you get the huevos before they sell out.
Alliance Bakery 1736 W Division St,773-278-0366
Occupancy rate Near full Number of kids 1, very well-behaved
Non-Apple laptops 1
Number of rules posted on each table 5, including “This is not a library; talking is allowed.”
Number of people in the room talking 2, out of 21
Conclusion Despite Alliance’s best efforts to the contrary, this is the Wicker Park equivalent of a college study hall.