@spot popped up in late 2007 in the River North neighborhood, filling an almost complete void of local coffee shops and lunch spots. The sleek cafe serves as much more than just a place to grab a cup of joe, as it has become a haven for neighborhood folk toting computers and toddlers alike.
While the paninis and sweet snacks shouldn't be overlooked, @spot's forte is its wide variety of drinks. Featuring Chicago's own Metropolis Coffee, more than 25 premium loose-leaf and infused teas, house-mixed masala and green-tea chai lattes and an array of hot ciders and iced drinks, @spot has the answer to any of your year-round beverage needs. In addition to using locally-brewed coffee, @spot prides itself on using many products native to Chicago, including Kim & Scott's stuffed pretzels and Gale's Root Beer, the brainchild of local chef Gale Gand. Prices are in line with what you would expect from a trendy coffee shop, with cookies and similar treats coming in around $2 and espresso drinks starting in the $3 range.
Offering free wi-fi, a bookshelf full of tech books and a seemingly never-ending supply of electrical outlets, @spot is the ideal place to hunker down with your laptop in hand. A rather large children's play area, with toddler TV and an assortment of games and toys, has also proven to be very popular for parents and babysitters looking to provide their little ones with a fun distraction.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Laura Brown