If you are in the "UChicago Memes for Theoretical Midwest Teens" Facebook group, you've probably seen the meme that's captioned by "When there’s a foot of snow on the ground but you still need to get your boujee $5 latte at Plein Air" that was posted on the Friday that we had a snow storm. And "unfortunately" I was one of those people who got tagged in this meme several times. I'm sure a lot of people wonder what's so appealing about this tiny coffee shop hiding in the Seminary Coop bookstore. Let me tell you why I'm in love with Plein Air, and why you'll fall in love with it too.


First of all, the environment of Plein Air is great, as the setup of the café is visually appealing. But since there's limited space, it can get kind of crowded depending on the time of day. In general, as someone who frequents Plein Air, I believe that it has the perfect level of buzz to go on a date, catch up with friends or study alone. In the summer, it's nice to order a cold brew and sit outside right next to the Robie House.

Coffee, Tea and More

My personal favorite thing to order at Plein Air is their latte, as baristas make beautiful latte art. But don't limit your options to just the latte, because their cappuccino, pour-over, macchiato and other coffee/espresso/tea drinks are also amazing. Plein Air also makes special drinks for different holidays. For example, the fall/Thanksgiving special is their pumpkin spice latte; the winter/Christmas special is a chaider (yes, chai tea and apple cider); and this year on Valentine's Day, they made a special ginger plum loose-leaf ice tea. Not only are their drinks delicious, but they're also super aesthetically pleasing.


Whether you're looking for a great spot for Sunday brunch or just a somewhere to grab a quick lunch, Plein Air is the place to go. Their breakfast selections include but are not limited to Mascarpone Stuffed Brioche French Toast, House Made Biscuit Sandwich and Spinach Royal Pie. If that's not your thing, Plein Air's lunch and dinner menu has an extensive selection of sandwiches, soup and salads. If you don't want something that's too heavy for breakfast or if you crave desserts during the day, I highly recommend trying their pastries. My personal favorites are chocolate croissant and chocolate chip brioche, but there are also pounds cakes, cookies, brownies and beignets for you to choose from.

Another thing about Plein Air that I'm grateful for is their super friendly baristas. They greet you with big smiles, ask about your day and occasionally compliment your outfit. In short, their spirit would definitely brighten up your mornings or allow you to recover from a stressful day.

If what I've told you above still cannot convince you to fall in love with Plein Air, why not go visit the coffee shop yourself to find out why it's so amazing? Eater Chicago listed Plein Air as Chicago's 20 Essential Coffee Shops in 2018, so what are you waiting for?