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Five Great … Locally-Owned Coffeehouses

Photo courtesy of the Arcedium CoffeeHouse in St. Charles.

Photo courtesy of the Arcedium CoffeeHouse in St. Charles.

My love affair with coffee dates back to college, when my roomies got me hooked by convincing me to try it in a mug filled with ice cream. Soon, I was hanging out at the Espresso Royale in Urbana, feeling very bohemian and not requiring ice cream in my coffee anymore!

We have a new series on Go West Young Mom called "Five Great …" and this week, it listed five great locally-owned coffee shops in the far western suburbs. We hope readers will weigh in with places we might have missed – and maybe it will inspire all of us to try a new spot.

1. Arcedium CoffeeHouse is located at 60 Indiana St., in St. Charles, in a bright, newly renovated space across the street from the Blue Goose Supermarket. It’s been open less than two years, but when I visited on a recent Saturday, I was happy to see nearly every table occupied. Arcedium offers free Wi-Fi, a meeting room that can be reserved (it seats about 20 people) and such a diverse drink menu that I just gave up and ordered what the barista recommended – I know it was a latte with the word “mistletoe” in it, and I left very happy. It also offers soup, sandwiches and pastries.

2. The Village Grind is located at 19 N. Main St. in downtown Oswego. It’s known for great coffee, delicious pastries, homemade gelato, friendly staff and a charming atmosphere – it’s located in an old house. The Village Grind is located walking distance from Hudson Crossing Park, featured this fall in the “Greatk Parks!” series. In fact, two moms I met in the park the day I visited Oswego couldn’t stop raving about the coffee they brought down to the park with them on a windy, cold day — both how tasty it was and how inexpensive.

3. Limestone Coffee & Tea sits at the corner of Wilson and North River Street in downtown Batavia. Limestone offers free Wi-Fi as well as small community room that can be reserved for meetings, study groups, etc. The vibe here is a bit more “industrial chic.” As you might guess from the name, the owners (a mother-daughter pair) are also proud of their selection of gourmet teas. There’s also a selection of bakery items, although I rarely escape Limestone without buying a delicious slice of quiche, of which a number of varieties are usually available.

4. River’s Edge CafĂ© is located at 18 Downer Place in downtown Aurora. I haven’t been able to check River’s Edge out yet, but I’m looking forward to stopping by soon. From this recent article in the Beacon-News, I learned that the cafĂ© closed in October but re-opened in January with a new family managing the cafĂ© with support from the River Valley Community Church. The owners and managers stress that they are committed to the redevelopment of downtown Aurora and want to provide “a place where stomachs are filled, connections are made … and lives are expanded.” It offers free Wi-Fi, sandwiches and soups prepared in-house, coffee and tea, and in the warmer months, patio seating overlooking the Fox River. There are plans to have musicians and comedians perform at the cafĂ©, too.

5. Graham’s 318 is located at 318 S. Third St., just two doors down from Graham’s Fine Chocolates. Visiting here takes me back to my “bohemian” college days – it’s located in a charming, old house, has an awesome fireplace and when you close the door in the bathroom upstairs, the temperature seems to drop 10 degrees. Graham’s 318 provides free Wi-Fi, and in addition to coffee and tea, it has a selection of pastries, soups, salads and sandwiches. It is probably best known for its chocolate fondue – you pick your dipping ingredients from a long list including strawberries, bananas, pound cake, etc.

Are there any locally-owned coffeehouses in the far western suburbs that you think should be on this list? Tell us about them!

Tara Burghart, of Geneva, is a former journalist turned stay-at-home mom. She is the founder of a blog called Go West Young Mom that seeks to help young families enjoy all that the far western suburbs has to offer by highlighting special events, places, people and businesses.

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