Get Ya Caffeine On: The GSB and the Bourgeois Pig
The Business School Cafeteria:
Officially called the Everett Kovler Café (A hidden GOLDMINE!!), this cafe is located inside the Business School on 58th and Woodlawn and is a large, atrium-style cafeteria. During the week the cafeteria is open until 10pm and until 3pm on Saturday.
Linda says: It took me until the end of Winter quarter to find this place. It is very bright and open, unlike many of the dark wooded and basement cafes on campus (which can become a real drag in the winter months). It offers a huge salad bar, fresh made sandwiches, a variety of hot entrees (including sweet potato fries!!), cereal, breakfast foods, fruit, a large selection of bottled sodas/pops, juices, etc, as well as Starbucks coffees and teas. This place gets pretty crowded at lunch time, but I found it to be an ideal spot on Saturday mornings—it is always empty and the windows make being inside not so depressing. If the early close time seems too constraining there are also tables available in the atrium outside of the cafeteria.
Margaret says: Populated by men with belts and shoes that match, women in button-downs, groups of kids from the lab school, and cafe savvy U of C students, this is an open, well-lit space with a great selection of pretty darn great food. The sweet potato fries are a HUGE draw for me, as are the soft-serve frozen yogurts (maybe I need to find a nutritionist). I joined Linda a few times here, but never really became a regular for studying purposes– I really need to spread out and the tables are the perfect size for 2-4 people to chow down on. But I definitely make the trek for mealtime goodness and a break from the New American Collegiate Style architecture (aka Faux-Oxford, aka Fauxford) of the main campus.
The Bourgeois Pig (http://www.bpigcafe.com/)
Located in Lincoln Park in DePaul-land off the red/brown line Fullerton stop, the Bourgeois Pig is a cozy coffee shop offering delicious coffee, and extensive selection of loose leaf teas, and a HUGE chalkboard menu of soups, salads, and mammoth sandwiches. They also have a delightful baked goods selection (the cupcakes are gigantic).
Linda says: This is a great place to go and get work done and a throwback to coffee shops from my undergrad days. As Geoff pointed out in his comments, it doesn’t have internet access so distractions do not come so easily (however it’s annoying if you are trying to do research but great if you just need to sit, focus, and write as you are forced to avoid checking facebook/myspace/email a million times). Their espresso is so delicious and they conveniently have water jugs nearby for those days when you drink WAY too much coffee. I’m also a big fan of the loose leaf tea selection. If you need food to avoid the over caffeinated stomach rot feeling, the Pig’s menu is extensive, tasty, and very vegetarian/vegan friendly. The café gets crowded on the weekends, but weekdays it’s fairly quiet, especially if you can get the table in the upstairs back room (the rooms are kind of decorated like an old house).
Margaret says: I second all of these pointers, and would like to expound upon the goodness of the seating situations. In the upstairs back room, there is a huge rustic wood table, my favorite sort of surface for studying or writing. There are some funky old couches, but they look like you’ll slide right off if you try to sit on them. Can’t say I’ve ever tried, though. The sandwiches ARE delish, and they have delightful names (you could have “The Sun Also Rises” or “The Catcher in the Rye”). In the summertime, there is a bit of outdoor seating so you can soak in the sun–during the day, the upstairs rooms’ large windows keeps the light flooding in, too.