Corner Bakery Cafe

140 South Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60603

A little over 50 locations all over the country make Corner Bakery Cafe an institution at most of the largest cities in the country. The Dallas- based chain of coffee shops serve up quick and convenient coffee and light cuisine in a classy environment. Wooden floors, polished mahogany panels and brass make this the kind of coffee shop where professionals meet for business deals and executives want to come for a finer cup of coffee. With a healthy dose of class, this place lives up to its refined appearance.

The bakery has a variety of coffee shop delicacies, the classic menu of soups and salads, sandwiches and bakery sweets. Many of these offer dairy-free and/or vegetarian options. Eggs and simple sandwiches for breakfast, hearty sandwiches for lunch and pastas for dinner. The menu items are well conceived, most ingredients are brilliantly simple and rely on fresh ingredients. I’m a fan of the paninis here, which are crisp and fresh, coming in a couple of varieties with different meats and cheeses. It’s about the perfect thing for a light breakfast on the go, and if you’re living or workinf downtown that’s pretty ideal.

The coffees seem to be the biggest and most popular draw here, and there are a few different varieties to try. All of them are good, I think, and it’s even nicer the coffees have free refills. You don’t see that every day in a chain of this size. The “Bakers Blend” is the basic cup they have here, I’d say its distinguishing characteristic is its strength. It’s a plain flavor but it’s a real cup of wake-up juice. I’ve come to appreciate black coffee for the subtle differences in flavor, and this stuff is definitely overpowering. The “Hazelnut Cream” is about the opposite taste, it’s lighter and has a natural sweetness about it. Definitely more of a decadent coffee for desert or for taste. Cafe Europa is somewhere in the middle, and there’s a decaf version which is basically plain, too. Good coffee.

The atmosphere of the place is really very neat. Everything about the place seems classy, with the aforementioned polished wood and brass making the place much more upscale than your typical coffee shop. These kinds of shops are definitely not uncommon, but this one does have the good food that lives up to the appearance. I’ll also say the crowd here is very dressed up. Corner Bakery’s coffee shops seem to be set up around major corporate offices, and it seems to be a favorite for small meetings. All around, it’s a really great place though. I’d definitely say it’s a good coffee place.


  • The overriding theme of the coffee shop is that it’s perfect for business meetings and lunches.
  • Alternatively it’s also a great place for breakfast. The foods are convenient to grab-and-go, and the coffee is great.
  • Some locations open  as early as 5:30 a.m., so consider this place especially if you’re an early bird.

Corner Bakery on Urbanspoon

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