For as long as people have been traveling along Route 66′s pavement, they’ve been looking for the perfect place to pull up and enjoy an invigorating cup of java. While the coffee culture along The Mother Road has changed considerably in the last century, you’ll still find ample destinations to get a road-trip recharge. From cold brew to French press, from cappuccinos to artisan roasters, there’s a unique cafe experience awaiting you along The First Hundred Miles.
Joliet Route 66 Diner
22 W. Clinton St., Joliet
Located in the heart of downtown Joliet, just off the historic Mother Road, you’ll find the Joliet Route 66 Diner. Emblazoned with a classic neon shield sign, this vintage diner features classic hot coffee that’s always served “good and strong.” Road-trippers can’t get enough of this quaint diner’s throwback 1960s interior and wide menu of hearty breakfast and lunch favorites. For something classic to pair with your cuppa Joe, try one of the diner’s signature “hot plates” – served with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Jitters Coffee House
178 N. Chicago St., Joliet
If you’re looking for an independent, mom-and-pop shop with great coffee and a friendly staff, then look no further than Jitters. It caters to Joliet’s locals and travelers alike, with diners enjoying the wonderful food and comfortable atmosphere at this cute, fan-favorite cafe. Housed in a beautifully restored, historic building, Jitters lets you choose from a wide selection of both hot and cold beverages, grab-and-go meals, tasty snacks and a full menu – offering “anytime breakfast.”
Ten Drops Coffee
14903 S. Center St., #104, Plainfield
With over eight different types of blends and brews on the menu at any given time, this roasting location is serious about its coffee. While it features mostly Colombian and Ethiopian beans, you still can find an outsider roast that will most likely be unique to their menu alone. Now add all that to the syrup and blending choices, and you’ll get exactly what you want here at Ten Drops. It is situated near the confluence of two great highways, Old U.S. Route 66 and The Lincoln Highway, so you can check off two bucket-list destinations by visiting one seriously good roastery.
Black Dog Vinyl Café
16108 Route 59, Plainfield
If you’re looking for a record store, coffee house and live music all in one convenient place, then you’ve reached nirvana here at Black Dog Vinyl Café. Light breakfast, pastries and grilled panini are on the eats menu here at the Black Dog, but offerings don’t stop there. Unlike other coffee places, this café features a robust live music venue plus wines and craft beer, so there’s something for everyone at this popular location. Check out BlackDogVinylCafe.com for a full list of upcoming live events.
Krema Coffee House
24038 W. Lockport St., Plainfield
Because it roasts beans sourced from Costa Rica to Peru and everywhere in-between, you’re sure to find something delicious and different at Plainfield’s Krema Coffee House. Located in the heart of the historic downtown, this spot is a convenient walk from turn-of-the-last-century B&Bs, fine dining and a plethora of unique boutiques and antique shops. Check out their daily brunch menu for egg-based dishes and fresh baked goods, all utilizing only the finest ingredients available. For specials, discounts and added benefits, be sure to sign up for their coffee club online.
Mimi’s Café Shop
209 N. Water St., Wilmington
Located in Wilmington’s downtown Water Street shopping district, this popular coffee stop is the perfect place to relax with a macchiato, chai tea latte or iced cappuccino, while enjoying a relaxed family-friendly atmosphere. On the menu, you’ll also find a wide variety of non-coffee beverages, grab-and-go snacks, doughnuts, bagels, yogurts, soups, sandwiches and paninis – made to order. The shop hosts a revolving selection of special seasonal beverages, like apple cider and shamrock frappes. To see a full menu, and to place a convenient order for pickup, visit their website.
Café 110 West
110 W. Tremont St., Odell
Although they offer a delicious evening menu Thursday through Saturday, this down-home location shines at breakfast. Steak and eggs, Café French toast, omelets and skillets can all be enjoyed alongside a fresh-brewed coffee or tea. Speaking of teas, their freshly brewed sweet tea is always a fan favorite.
ACRESinn Market-Cafe and Restaurant
107 W. Madison St., Pontiac
ACRESinn is a small (but mighty), locally owned cafe, restaurant and market in downtown Pontiac. It’s known for using locally sourced and responsible ingredients, and you’ll find a diverse menu of house-made specialties and a sprawling selection of coffee and teas. ACRESinn stocks your traditional coffee, latte and cappuccino offerings, all made with ethically sourced, quality beans, alongside some other exciting options like cortados and cold brews. If you have kids in your party, the cold brew root beer is a can’t-miss treat. In addition to these delicious drinks and hearty menu items, you’ll find an on-site marketplace at ACRESinn stocked with plenty of house-made, local and artisan-made foods and drinks. This selection is ever changing and always featuring something new and exciting, so be sure to take a look next time you dine here.
The Cup and The Scone
213 W. Madison St., Pontiac
At The Cup and The Scone, coffee is king and everything is house-made. From fresh-baked goods to coffee sauces and syrups, you’ll be able to taste the quality ingredients in everything they make. Hot chocolate, Italian sodas and real fruit smoothies round out the extensive coffee menu. Check out their online pictorial montage of the building’s elaborate restoration.
Café Fontana Italian Bistro
1024 W. Reynolds St., Pontiac
Billed as an Italian Bistro, Café Fontana stays true to its roots with an extensive coffee menu featuring espresso, lattes, mochas and macchiatos – but it doesn’t stop there. You can choose from five different iced blends, as well as fresh fruit smoothies and tough-to-find, flavored Italian sodas. Cafe Fontana also offers an extensive menu featuring authentic favorites like pizza, calzones and pastas. Finish your meal off with Italian gelato for a truly genuine experience.