Stop and smell the coffee

Cupitol is both authentic and Instagram-worthy


Cupitol serves Instagram-worthy coffee and tasty breakfast dishes | George

From unique brunch spot to cozy café lounge to fun evening bar, Cupitol seems to have everything customers want—unless what you want is a blonde vanilla latte with your name and a green logo on the cup. The quality and originality of this hip café in Evanston attract different customers than Starbucks rewards fanatics.

The weekday crowd is diverse and relaxed, with people snacking, chatting, studying, working, and meeting.

In one corner, a college student sits on a comfy bench with headphones on and a coffee cup, notebook, and laptop spread out over a decent sized two-top. In the middle of the cafe, two friends chat on counter stools. An interview is going on at another table.

Lively voices, chill music, constant clinking of dishes and whirring of appliances from the kitchen all create a background ambience that matches the vibe of the coffee shop. The large space makes it fairly easy to both tune out the noise and focus on work, and chat with friends while not feeling disruptive to anyone else.

On Sunday mornings, the line of social brunch goers is out the door. Several families crowd around a long dining table while another party gathers on sleek sofas by the front window.

There is a relaxed and creative vibe that comes from the unique blend of different people doing their own thing. This mood is enhanced with funky background music, a friendly walk-up counter (advertised as European style), the combination of artsy chalkboard and handheld paper menus, an open kitchen, the variety of seating, and the almost overwhelming range of menu items.

Various breakfasts are served, including specialty french toast (a pumpkin dish in the fall) and all kinds of pastries (such as cinnamon muffins, almond croissants, and berry scones). It is best to order these earlier in the day when they are freshest, as with any bakery.

The lattes are artistic enough to appear on Instagram, and teas come with small karafs for steeping. Beyond the typical beverages served in a cafe, the cold pressed juices and fresh smoothies are both flavorful and vibrantly colorful.

The menu spans occasions while limiting what they serve to ensure excellence. The distinction of their dishes justifies paying a little extra.

For the variety, vibe, and quality, a trip to Cupitol is worth the drive to Evanston, worth the pricey items, and probably worth a tip to the friendly barista.

Its location on Grove Street in the middle of Evanston adds to the bustling coffee shop feel. Cupitol is an independent business, and there is one other location in the River East neighborhood of Chicago.

The café is open from 7 AM until 9 PM on weekdays, but they stay open an hour later on Saturdays and close an hour earlier on Sundays. With accommodating hours, purpose, and menu, the statement on their website is certainly true: “Cupitol brings together all the best elements of a restaurant, bakery, cafe and exclusive bar.”

No matter what you’re looking for in a coffee shop, Cupitol probably has it. Unless it’s a pre-ordered triple-venti-soy-no-foam-latte.