Who has the best coffee in Lake Forest/Lake Bluff?

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Who has the best coffee in Lake Forest/Lake Bluff?

Ava Manelis, Staff Writer

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If you’re anything like me, the best thing to wake up to in the morning is a nice cup of coffee. With the countless coffee shops around Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, it might be hard to decide where to go for your morning pick-me-up.

I took it upon myself to rank (most of) the coffee shops in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff in three different categories- presentation, cost, and taste on a scale of 1-5 stars.

Lake Forest

Starbucks

The first coffee that I tried is Starbucks, a coffeehouse chain that is probably the most popular place for coffee around the town. It is located on Western Ave. in Market Square, and here I tried their Iced Chai Tea Latte drink.

Presentation- ★★

The presentation was not anything special, just a plastic cup with the Starbucks logo.

Cost- ★★

A venti (or large) sized coffee from here was a little under $5 , which is pretty pricey for an everyday buy.

Taste- ★★★★★

This drink was very high quality and well done, with a perfect chai tea latte flavor. I loved this drink, and I would give it a 5/5 for taste.

Dunkin’ Donuts

The second coffee place I visited is Dunkin’ Donuts, which is another very popular coffee chain around the town. It is also located on Western Ave. in Lake Forest, and I tried the french vanilla iced coffee here, which is a version of their most popular drink (which is any flavored coffee!)

Presentation- ★★

The presentation was not anything special, simply a plastic cup.

Cost- ★★★★

A medium size coffee from here was only $2.60, which is much cheaper than any other coffee shops around our town.

Taste- ★★★★★

I love a good vanilla coffee and this drink was perfect! It was the perfect amount of sweetness while still keeping the coffee taste alive, and it definitely gets 5/5 stars.

Egg Harbor Cafe

I next visited Egg Harbor, which is a restaurant that serves delicious breakfast and lunch foods, and also has some fun coffee drinks. I decided to try their Mocha Java drink, which is half coffee and half hot chocolate. I also tried their flavored coffee of the day for a bonus, which was caramel flavored coffee and it was very delicious!

Presentation- ★★★★★

The presentation of the Mocha Java was my favorite by far, served in a glass mug and topped with whipped cream.

Cost- ★★

This drink was pretty pricey at around $5 , and on top of my meal it was kind of a splurge.

Taste- ★★★★★

I loved the mix of hot chocolate and coffee that this drink had and it was super delicious. This drink definitely gets 5 stars for taste.

Einstein Bros. Bagels

I next went to Einsteins, which is an American bagel and coffee chain located in Lake Forest town. I tried the regular latte here, one of their most popular coffee drinks according to a staff member.

Presentation- ★★★★

The presentation was pretty solid, with a normal coffee cup but the latte itself being very pretty.

Cost- ★★★

This drink was pretty normally priced at around 4 dollars for a medium-sized latte.

Taste- ★★★★

I enjoyed this latte a lot, as it was the normal latte taste that I am used to but just a little bit sweeter, which I love! It definitely gets ⅘ stars for taste.

 

Lake Bluff

Bluffington’s Cafe

The first place I visited in Lake Bluff is Bluffington’s Cafe, a specialized sandwich place which serves breakfast and lunch. I tried the latte here, as they didn’t have too many offers for coffee drinks.

(Photo creds to google because I forgot to take a pic!)

Presentation- ★★★

The presentation was okay, with the cup not being anything special but the latte itself being very nice looking!

Cost- ★★★★

This drink was mediocrely pricey at around 3-4 dollars, but again lattes are usually more expensive than regular coffee drinks. This was actually a pretty good price in my opinion for a latte.

Taste- ★★★★

I enjoyed this latte, as it was the normal latte taste that I am used to.

Hansa Coffee Roasters

I tried Hansa next, a chain coffee shop located in Lake Bluff. I had their honey latte here, recommended by a friend of mine!

Presentation- ★★★★★

The presentation was very nice, with a mug and art on top of the latte, so I would give this drink 5 stars for presentation.

Cost- ★★★

This drink was kind of pricey at around 4 dollars, but lattes are usually more expensive than regular coffee drinks.

Taste- ★★★★★

I loved this latte, as it was a perfect amount of sweetness with the honey in the latte. It was very delicious and definitely gets 5 stars for taste!

Panera Bread

I also tried Panera, a restaurant in Lake Bluff that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as some spectacular coffee drinks. I had their Caffe Mocha here, which is a mix of espresso, foamed milk, and chocolate.

Presentation- ★★★★

The presentation was pretty nice, with a sleek green coffee cup and the drink itself being pretty with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle on top.

Cost- ★★★

This drink was kind of pricey at around 4 dollars, but specialty drinks like mochas are usually more expensive than regular coffee.

Taste- ★★★★★

I loved this mocha, as it was a perfect mix of chocolate and coffee flavors, so it definitely gets 5/5 stars for taste!

Prairie Espresso

I last tried Prairie, a local coffee shop tucked away in an alley on Scranton Ave. (Bonus points because you can bring your pets here!!) Here, I tried their normal coffee with a splash of creamer.

Presentation- ★★★★

The presentation was pretty normal, with a classic to-go cup and a customized Prairie coffee sleeve. I would give this coffee  ⅘ stars for presentation.

Cost- ★★★★

This drink was a pretty normal price, at around 3 dollars for a medium sized coffee. I felt like this price was pretty fair, so it gets  ⅘ stars for presentation.

Taste- ★★★★

I wasn’t expecting much since I didn’t order a specialty drink and only a regular cup of coffee, but I was pleasantly surprised with the taste of this coffee. I would give it a ⅘ stars for taste.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with all of the coffee shops in Lake Bluff and Lake Forest. I enjoyed my drinks at all of these places so they all got pretty high rankings, but my favorite coffee shops were definitely Hansa and Prairie of Lake Bluff and Egg Harbor of Lake Forest. These places all had awesome drinks (both specialty and normal drinks) as well as a comfortable and cozy coffee shop environment!