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La Colombe Coffee (Wicker Park) Review

La Colombe Coffee (Wicker Park) is a cafe located in Chicago’s trendy Wicker Park neighborhood. Read on to learn everything you need to know about La Colombe Coffee (Wicker Park).

Review Summary

  • 12oz Coffee $3.00; 12oz Latte $4.25 (pre-tax)
  • Good for short work visits (e.g. 1 hour)
  • Good for conversation and quality coffee

Location and Hours

La Colombe (Wicker Park) is located at 1552 N Damen Ave and is open daily from 6:30AM to 7PM (7AM open Saturday and Sunday). The entrance is located right next to the Damen Blue Line station at the heart of Wicker Park.

Menu and Prices

La Colombe offers a standard range of third-wave coffee options, anchored by a deep roster of “On Tap” cold selections.

Espresso and coffee beverages come in one size (12 oz), with the option to upgrade your bean choice from “Cornerstone” to “Workshop” for 50 cents.

La Colombe offers a variety of bean types for espresso, drip, and pourover.

The “On Tap” list includes an Oat Milk Draft Latte ($5) and a delicious Nitro Cold Brew with Lemon ($4.25)

At the small (12oz) size, some pre-tax prices are:

  • Coffee – $3.00
  • Latte – $4.25
  • Cold Brew (one size) – $3.75
  • Tea – $3.00

Pastries are available, as is a small selection of pre-packaged sandwiches. While the pastries are probably a good choice, there’s really no excuse to eat a pre-packaged sandwich in Wicker Park. Whole bean coffee is also available for around $15 for 12 oz.

Cafe, Wifi, and Power

The cafe is located on Damen just next to the Blue Line station. It’s a little recessed, but easy to find.

Space is relatively limited. There’s seating for about 40 people in total, but much of it is shared / bench seating.

With around 13 small tables along two walls, five high-top bar seats, and a shared six-person high-top table, the effective capacity is more like 20 people.

Wifi is password protected, but the password is prominently on display. Notably, the wifi is turned off on Saturday and Sundays to keep the space for socializing and conversation.

The speed clocked in at only 15 Mbps. This is good for most tasks, but less than the speed recommended to stream Netflix 4K.

As you might expect from a cafe that turns the wifi off two days a week, power outlets are hard (maybe even impossible) to come by.

Cafe Experience

Visiting La Colombe on a weekday morning after rush hour, there was never much of a line. With its location right off the Blue Line, it surely catches a good rush hour crowd, but this is probably tempered somewhat by the Starbucks around the corner.

Like much of Wicker Park, La Colombe more tolerates people on laptops than encouraging them. That said, it’s an inescapable reality of any Millennial-filled Chicago neighborhood that your cafe is going to be at least 50% laptops during the day.

While there were a few conversations going on and some music playing, it wasn’t loud enough to require headphones to focus. The low foot traffic when I visited definitely helped in this regard.

I’d like to come see it on a weekend, some day. Turning off the wifi on weekends isn’t just about making it hard to work. Most everyone can hotspot on their phones these days.

Turning off the wifi basically tells people “working not welcome.” Given that there’s a Starbucks about 100 feet away, I have no objection with this approach.

Relatedly, the lack of readily available outlets keeps people from sitting on their laptops all day in your cafe.

The cafe is definitely good for a short work period on a weekday, but if you were stranded in the neighborhood and needed a temporary workspace for an afternoon, you’d be better served by the Starbucks Reserve store around the corner.

About La Colombe

La Colombe began in 1994 in Philadelphia. The chain has since expanded to 30 cafes across six cities in the United States. Chicago itself has five La Colombe cafes.