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Best coffee shop patio for the COVID cautious and/or those who just like their space

Anyone who’s ever spent much time with me could tell you that I love iced coffee, and—somewhat ironically for a person who’s spent half their life in small music venues—I hate tightly packed indoor spaces (the pandemic just made me hate them more). So, naturally, I’ve been raving about Hexe Coffee Co.’s gigantic patio since I first stepped foot on it a while back.

Hexe (“witch” in German) was founded by Parker Slade, who taught himself how to roast coffee in an attempt to curb his spending on pricey drinks. He eventually grew his hobby into a wholesale business, while supplying local festivals and markets with barrel-aged iced brews.

Opened in 2019, Hexe’s dark painted walls and curious art play up its occult flirtations, and its overall concept checks all the best boxes. Delicious local-roasted coffee? Check. Thoughtful cocktail, wine, and beer selection? Check. Decent music? Check. Excellent house-made pastries, including vegan options? Double check.

There’s nothing not to love unless you’re as crowd-averse as I am, and the fact that virtually every seat is filled almost every time you stop by makes your pulse race faster than a quadruple espresso.

Which brings us back to that amazing patio. Chicago has a lot of coffee shops, but few, if any, can boast as much outdoor square footage. The tables are nice and spread out, and it’s big enough to bring your date, your friends, your baby stroller, your dog, or all of the above without ever feeling too crowded. Sure, the drinks and snacks are the main draw, but outside on the patio they also feel like the icing on the cake.

Hexe Coffee Co.
2000 W. Diversey

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