The Killers @ Lollapalooza 2013 - Emily Machura
The Killers @ Lollapalooza 2013

Let’s face it: if you’re planning on attending a music festival in Chicago this summer, chances are, at some point, you’re going to need a good cup of coffee.

Maybe you’ll need some coffee to fuel yourself for a day of drinking and dancing to some of your favorite bands in the sun, or maybe you’ll just need it to nurse away your hangover from the previous evening. Regardless, here are some suggestions for you, based on proximity to various festivals hosted in the city this summer.

Union Park: Pitchfork Festival July 18–20 and North Coast Music Festival August 29–31

Pitchfork Music Festival 2013 - Emily Machura

Ugly Mug Café
1458 West Chicago Avenue
M-F: 6am-8pm Sat: 7am-8pm Sun: 7am-7pm

With a rotating selection of local roasters, Ugly Mug keeps things fresh, local and exciting. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the “Butter Coffee,” which is blended to order with grass-fed butter and agave syrup.

La Colombe Torrefaction
955 West Randolph Street
M-F: 7:00–7:00 Sat-Sun: 8:00–7:00

Nice and close to festival grounds, Philadelphia-born La Colombe features its own locally-roasted blends and single origin coffees. Try getting your coffee brewed on the Alphadominche Steampunk brewer.

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Pitchfork Music Festival will also feature a booth run by Dark Matter Coffee, where they will serve cups of cold-brewed coffee, as well as “Chocolate City Facials,” which you’re just going to have to ask them about…

Grant Park: Lollapalooza August 1–3

Dollop South Loop - Emily Machura
At Dollop in the South Loop.

343 South Dearborn St
M–F: 6am–8pm Sat–Sun: 7am–8pm

This newly opened café just off the Jackson Blue line stop serves Metropolis coffee and baked goods, and sandwiches from Hoosier Mama pie company. They also offer ample seating room and a self-serve sparkling water tap so you can fill up your water-bottle in style

Monadnock Building
53 West Jackson Blvd.
M-F: 6am–6pm Sat: 8am–4pm Sun: Closed

A small but classic Intelligentsia location in the historic Monadnock building–it’s a little hidden, so you may luck out and miss some of the crowds of festival-goers elsewhere. Try the feature espresso, or their range of drip coffee offerings. Selections for both vary daily.

If you need a fix Sunday, there is also Intelligentsia’s busy Millenium Park location (53 East Randolph Street), just a block off the park.

For a cup of joe once you’ve entered the festival grounds, La Colombe will be serving iced coffee at their booth in Chowtown.

Humboldt Park: Riot Fest September 12–14

2013 Chicago Trip-1000012
Caffe Streets is a design trip. (Photo by Alex Bernson)

Caffe Streets
1750 West Division St

Caffe Streets has long been a Chicago specialty mainstay, featuring their own Metric Coffee and a rotating selection of other roasters. Caffe Streets employees make a mean cappuccino, and for those festival ultra-hangovers, you can also order your cold brew “neat”—all concentrate, no ice.

Star Lounge Coffee Bar
2521 West Chicago Ave
M–F 6am–9pm, Sat 7am–8pm, Sun 8am–8pm

The flagship location for Dark Matter Coffee, Star Lounge was one of the first specialty cafes in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. Try one of their Latin-inspired lattes, which feature spices such as cayenne, habanero and rosemary.


Regardless of which festival you’re enjoying, if you’re planning to go to any of the after-shows hosted at Wicker Park’s famous Double Door but still need one last pick-me-up, head to The Wormhole Coffee located at 1462 North Milwaukee Ave, which stays open daily until 11pm. Consider a pour-over of one of their rotating guest roasters, or a Koopa Troopa Peanut Butter Chocolate latte.

View Where to Get Coffee Before Heading to Your Favorite Chicago Music Festival in a larger map

Emily Machura is a Journalism student at Columbia College Chicago. This is her first feature for

All photos by Emily Machura unless noted.

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