Coffee may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the name Stubbs…unless you're a fan of Moby Dick
. Captain Ahab's first mate was Starbuck and his oft-forgotten second mate was Stubb. But while this Lakeview java joint may be second mate in name, the menu is bursting with first-rate noshes, including soups, salads and sandwiches, coffee from Fratelli's (an independent roaster in Schiller Park), pastries from Bennison's in Evanston and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip and snickerdoodle cookies from Bucktown's Hot Chocolate.
Stubbs whoops a coffee chain's butt in terms of ambiance, too, with three distinct spaces tucked into its small, sunny storefront. Grab a bar stool at the counter and sip a latte while checking out the foot traffic outside; plunk down on the brown leather couch and read the newspaper with the sun peeking over your shoulder; or score one of the half-dozen tables with stylin' orange seats. The sky blue- and cream-colored walls decked out in artwork mean no matter where you're sitting, you'll have plenty to look at, and the neighborhood feel will give you reason to linger.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood