Places to hide and work

So after the MAPH Halloween Party many of you may be looking for that place to hide and work on your Lacan paper free from the distractions of your usual haunts. Here are some recommendations for places work around Hyde Park and Chicago.


Exterior of The Bourgeois Pig on a warm day.

North and Northwest Side

Head north and off the Fullerton el stop you can go to the Bourgeois Pig where they have good tea, coffee, sandwiches and lavender shortbread and if you find a table you can stay for a very long time undisturbed. It can get a bit busy so if background noise is not your preference choose another spot.

If you venture as far north and west as Lincoln Square  (off the Western Brown line stop) you have your pick of coffee shops. You can switch from one to another though out the day. For those into branding there is a Starbucks, but even better are the little coffee shops  The Grind, and Cafe Neo where laptops are welcome and you can stay all day. If you need a break you can always shop the secondhand stores or the the independent bookshop the Book Cellar (which also has a cafe) or take in a movie at the Davis as a reward for a day of hard work.  Further down Lincoln Ave. is a Chicago Public Library branch and a Julius Meinl where you can also study in peace.  There is another Julius Meinl on Southport and Addison (Wrigleyville) which is equally pleasant and close to both red and brown line stations.

Alliance Bakery’s vintage-y sign

Ben’s pick’s for good places to work are Noble Tree (Lincoln Park) it is four stories and has lots of space to hide and write and Dollop (Edgewater) and Cafe Mustache (Logan Square- near the California Blue line stop).  I’d add Alliance Bakery which has decent French macaroons and a nice room next door where you can work while you nibble your pastries and sip your beverage.

Hyde Park

So you need to avoid Harper and Z&H or the Regenstein. If you need the quiet of a library a library and don’t want to run into fellow MAPHers who might distract you try studying in the Crerar Library or the Law School Library. If you need caffeine with your studies, There is an Istria coffee shop in the Hyde Park Art Center or the Smart Cafe is also great. Bonjour Bakery is another  option and a bit removed from campus.



Just a short bus ride from Hyde Park. You can use the Harold Washington Library on State Street or the DePaul University Library (just enter the DePaul building on State and Jackson through the Barnes and Noble and take the elevators upstairs) you do not need an ID to enter it is always quiet and full of business journals which will not be distracting.  There are great tables in the Chicago Cultural Center where you can camp out and if you need a break you can peek at whichever free exhibit is on display. Right next door to the Cultural Center is an Intelligentsia with great coffee there is another Intelligentsia on Jackson Ave, close to the Harold Washington Library.

Happy haunting and happy studying.





5 thoughts on “Places to hide and work

  1. Marybeth Southard

    My brother works at the Noble Tree in Lincoln Park. I hear they have some pretty solid coffee!

  2. Bill Hutchison

    Are there good places to go where people don’t mind the occasional lapse into weeping whilst curled into a fetal position and mumbling about the mirror stage, the “real,” and asymptotically approaching the “ideal-I”? I keep getting asked to leave….

  3. Maren

    I have to add Filter on Milwaukee to the list. I worked there peacefully for about 5 hours this weekend. It is a huge space with tables and vintage couches and food. Just get there before 11 if you really want a table, I think the rocking back and forth might have been drowned out the plaintive tones of Billie Holiday.

  4. Jessica Johnson

    Okay, I know this is months later, but are there any places to work in Hyde Park that are open past 7pm?

  5. marenr Post author

    Jessica, I noticed that the Divinity school cafe (Grounds of Being) was advertising being open until 8 pm on certain days. You should check their sign. The Harper Memorial Commons and the Libraries are open 24 hours weekdays during the quarter until 8 on Saturdays you should check to see when holiday hours start. The Starbucks on 55th is open until 9:00 and Cafe 53 on 53rd is open until 9:00 but you might want to call and confirm that before you lug your work up there.

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