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Cafe Descartes (Loop)

View Map111 E. Wacker Dr., Chicago
Tel: (312) 565-2557
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Editorial Review of Cafe Descartes (Loop)

"I drink, therefore I am," reads the logo for another installment of Chicago's popular Cafe Descartes coffeehouse, the saying a clever take on the 17th century philosopher's most quotable phrase (although, ironically, it's a hypothesis Descartes probably would have rejected). This Loop version on the popular oatmeal-lovin' UIC and Lincoln Square coffee chain is designed much the same as its predecessors, a European-style cafe with a few modern flourishes and a plethora of huge leather recliners.

Regular coffee here will usually run you between $2 and $3, and the fresh brew manages to be stiff without being bitter. The other latte, espresso, and gelato concoctions will go into the $3-$5 range, with the oatmeal latte being the chain's signature drink, a mix of espresso and oats and fruits a delightful meal in and of itself. Not in a coffee mood? A wide variety of San Pellegrino products are available for your mineral water needs, as well as little 8-ounce glass bottles of Coca-Cola and Sprite that are, quite frankly, the cutest bottles of pop you will ever see.

In addition to the "I drink, therefore I am" pun that greets customers, there are a few other decorations that playfully touch on the philosophical theme: Black and white paintings of history's greatest minds Nietzsche, Hobbes, Aristotle surround the room with intellectual prowess, while a scale of justice sitting on the counter appears to ask which dessert presented the better deposition for pure satisfaction: the Rice Krispie treats or the scones? In a part of town where you could get stampeded by shoppers or businessmen at any given moment, this is an oasis for those wishing to sit back, sip on a latte, and casually look out the window to the exhausting hustle and bustle of an external world that may or may not exist outside of our flawed sensory perceptions.

Average cost: <$10

Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert

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6:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday; closed Saturday-Sunday

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