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 joe. 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, warm up on your fall road trip at these six fan-favorite cafes, diners and coffee shops.
Gosia’s Coffee Shop
8836 Brookfield Ave., Brookfield, IL
Founded by a Polish immigrant with a passion for quality coffee, Gosia’s is the perfect place to start your trek along the Route 66 coffee trail. Proudly serving Colectivo Coffee and fan-favorite Troubadour pastries, you’ll also find freshly brewed teas and smoothies that pack over five servings of fruit in every 20-ounce glass. Try a frappe or one of Gosia’s other signature, blended drinks, which fetch rave reviews from their customers. Using beans from Milwaukee’s famed Colectivo Coffee, most of Gosia’s freshly brewed beverages are available hot or over ice. Baked goods from Troubadour include classics like muffins, croissants, scones, Danishes, turnovers, cookies, brownies and other decadent dessert bars.
Caffe di Moda
1012 Burlington Ave., Lisle, IL
“Inspired By Italy, Uniquely Chicago” is the theme at Caffe Di Moda. Situated just across the street from the Metra Train Station in Lisle, this cafe is committed to using quality ingredients. You’ll find a selection of Italian brand coffees and imported European dough, which sets this shop apart from many of its neighbors. The menu boasts delicious items like the stuffed cornetti (think croissant), available in both savory and sweet varieties. Pastries are made in-house in decadent flavors such as chocolate-cream, salted-butter-caramel and maple-pecan. Breakfast isn’t the only option here, make sure you come back and try out Caffe Di Moda’s lunch and dinner menus, as well. Don’t forget to order an affogato, a delicious blend of hot espresso poured over icy gelato.
Joliet Route 66 Diner
22 W. Clinton St., Joliet, IL
Located in the heart of downtown Joliet, just off of 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 some classic road trip diner eats, pair with your cup of joe with one of the restaurant’s signature, hot plates - served with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Jitters Coffee House
178 N. Chicago St., Joliet, IL
If you’re looking for an independent, mom-and-pop shop in the heart of downtown Joliet, then chart a course for the ever-popular Jitters Coffee House. Catering to Joliet’s locals and travelers alike, patrons can enjoy the freshly brewed coffee and comfortable atmosphere at this cute fan-favorite cafe. Housed in a beautifully restored, historic building, Jitters offers 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., No. 104, Plainfield, IL
With over eight types of blends and brews on the menu at any given time, this roasting location is serious about its coffee. Featuring mostly Colombian and Ethiopian beans, you still can find an outsider roast that most likely will be unique to this 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, IL
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 at 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 the popular location. Check out BlackDogVinylCafe.com for a full list of upcoming live events.