Looking for some peace and quiet in the Windy City? You’re not alone!
The hustle and bustle of the big city can be exciting but sometimes you just need a quiet spot to sit and reflect. Not every coffee shop is going to offer you the zen atmosphere you need to get some studying done. How do you find a place that offers the quiet calm of studying at home while still giving you the opportunity to explore the city? We decided to find out for ourselves.
Best places to study in Chicago
The perfect study location needs a couple of key things: free Wi-Fi, somewhere you can sit and plug in your laptop, and a quiet atmosphere. We scoured the city of Chicago to find the best locations in each neighborhood that meet all three criteria. Here’s our list of the best study locations in the Windy City.
Neighborhood: Chinatown Address: 2100 S Wentworth Ave Hours: Mondays and Wednesdays: 12–8PM, Tuesdays and Thursdays: 10AM–6PM, Fridays and Saturdays: 9AM–5PM, Closed Sundays
Just off the Cermak-Chinatown redline stop, this Chicago public library branch is free to the public for daily use. Both levels of this two-story complex have tables with access to outlets where you can set up shop. There are also study and meeting rooms available for rent and access to printers and scanners for all your homework needs. When you’re done studying, you’re only a five minute walk to the Chinatown Square, where you can sample some of the best food the city has to offer.
Neighborhood: Wicker Park Address: 1474 N Milwaukee Ave Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9:30AM - 9PM, Sunday: 10AM - 8PM
Owned and operated by sisters Rebecca and Kimberly George, this independent bookstore cafe has it all. Their spacious seating section and free Wi-Fi make for the perfect study location. Browse their collection of books near the back of the store and enjoy a quiet but friendly atmosphere that has all the charm of your local library with coffee and sweets to match.
Neighborhood: Lakeview East Address: 1201 West Roscoe Street Hours: Monday – Friday: 6AM - 6PM, Saturday & Sunday: 7AM - 6PM
No fuss and no frills is the best way to describe this homey little coffee joint. If you’re looking for a place to study that feels like you’re working from the comfort of your own kitchen, then Two Hearted Queen is the place for you. The mismatched furniture and friendly staff create a comfortable atmosphere perfect for settling down and studying.
Neighborhood: Lakeview Address: 659 W Diversey Pkwy Hours: Open daily: 7AM–9PM
Next Door is a first of its kind community and learning space owned by State Farm. It offers free programming where anyone can walk in and ask questions about finance and insurance, as well as open spaces where you can study. There are also conference rooms and study areas available for free rental. And the best part? You can bring your own food and drink into the space with you (and yeah, there’s a Starbucks just down the street!)
Neighborhood: Uptown Address: 1020 W Lawrence Ave Hours: Open daily: 7AM–7PM
Located inside the renovated Lawrence House Flats in Uptown, Heritage Outpost is a bike friendly study spot perfect for the student on the go. The art-deco styling and artistic atmosphere are sure to inspire anyone and the coffee selection is second to none. And, if you can’t find a spot in the cafe itself, the Lawrence House lobby has plenty of lush seating available for use!
Neighborhood: Logan Square Address: 3039 W Fullerton Avenue Hours: Open daily: 6AM–9PM
Sip of Hope is one of the most unique spots in the city. The collaborative minds of Hope For The Day and Dark Matter Coffee have turned Sip of Hope into the world’s first coffee shop where 100% of the proceeds support proactive suicide prevention and mental health education. Not only is this a quiet place where you can study, but you get to support a good cause while doing it.
8. Portage Grounds
Photo credit: No Shame Adventures
Neighborhood: Portage Park Address: 5501 W Irving Park Road Hours: Monday–Friday: 6AM–7PM, Saturday & Sunday: 7AM–7PM
Famous for their incredibly Instagrammable patio, Portage Grounds is a beloved neighborhood hotspot with a chill atmosphere perfect for studying. This cafe offers ample seating with plenty of space to spread out with your laptop. Not only that, but there’s a quiet room that you can book on their website, perfect for study sessions or group project meetings.
Neighborhood: River West Address: 1223 West Grand Avenue Hours: Monday–Friday: 7AM-7PM, Saturday: 8AM-7PM, Sunday: 8AM-6PM
Mismatched mugs and furniture aren’t the only thing you’ll get at Sip Coffee House. Opened in 1999, this location is one of the longest running independent coffee shops in the city! The upstairs landing perfect for stealing away a few quiet hours to get your work done and in the summer months, two outdoor patios provide additional seating. Serving locally owned Intelligentsia coffee, this cafe is teeming with Chicago pride.
Take note of this!
The perfect study spot can make or break your mojo. If you’re looking to get away from your dorm or apartment, taking an afternoon to explore the city can recharge your batteries. Study sessions don’t have to be dull. Break the mold and venture out!
Since you're in a studying mood, we thought we might help you out! Check out our guide on APA format made easy!
Lauren Pope is a Content Marketing Manager at Oracle and a former content marketer at G2. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, the G2 Learning Hub, and other sites. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching true crime shows and singing karaoke. (she/her/hers)