6 Best alternative Coffee Shops in Chicago (A cheaper alternative to Starbucks in Chicago)

Chicago has a variety of coffee shops that will provide quality coffee at pocket-friendly prices. But what is the best alternative to Starbucks coffee shops in Chicago?

Starbucks provides quality coffee, and everyone who has taken coffee from their stores can attest to that. But besides quality, price is a significant factor that affects customers’ decision on which coffee shop to get their coffee from. I live in Chicago, and I think I have an extensive experience in various coffee shops. For a long time, I used to take Starbucks coffee. However, I lost my job and had to cut the budget for coffee. However, I realized there were other coffee shops with quality and lower prices; hence, I could still take coffee within my budget. This post will help you know the 6 best alternatives to Starbucks Coffee Shops in Chicago.

6 Best alternative Coffee Shops in Chicago

Starbucks has quality coffee, but the high prices are a good reason for looking for an alternative. Some of the best Starbucks alternative coffee shops include Gloria Jeans, The human bean, McDonald’s, Sputnik, Dunkin’, and Metric coffee.

Gloria Jeans

Best alternative Coffee Shops in Chicago

Gloria Jeans is an excellent coffee shop that provides some of the best espresso drinks in the US. I have been to the branch at Chicago Ridge Mall mostly to get their classic coffee or frozen chiller beverages. Gloria Jean’s prices on drinks are a bit cheaper than at Starbucks. My favorite espresso chiller at Gloria jeans is the Ultimate cookie espresso which is the equivalent of cookie espresso at Starbucks. I save between $0.5 to $1.5 when I get my beverage from Gloria Jeans rather than Starbucks.

It is essential to note that Gloria Jeans is a reputable brand with more than 1400 stores across the globe. Its huge presence can be noted by the fact that it was ranked number three in customer service for coffee chains across the US. Additionally, the product’s quality can be compared to that f Starbucks. Although they had received criticism over offering drinks with high-fat content and failing to provide nutritional information for their products, they have made amends and are now more health conscious and provide nutritional information for their products.

The human bean

The human bean

The human bean is a perfect alternative for Starbucks, especially those who love hot or iced espresso beverages, smoothies, and lattes. It isn’t easy to differentiate between the espresso at Starbucks and the one at this coffee house. The quality and taste are a perfect match. The café and drive-through experiences are also the same at Starbucks.

Although the services and quality of beverages offered at the human bean are similar to those offered at Starbucks, the prices of products are significantly different. You can save up to $1 when purchasing at the Human bean. If you are a coffee addict and make several orders daily, you will save significant money buying at the Human Bean over Starbucks.

The Human Bean has more than 23 years of providing quality coffee. Apart from being in Chicago, it is in more than 300 locations in the US. You will not have to change your favorite Human Bean drink when you move from Chicago.


Alternative Coffee Shops in Chicago

Mcdonald’s is a household name and is best known for its food. Its menu also includes various drinks, especially coffee. Mcdonald’s coffee and Latte are quality and good tasting. They are great alternatives for the Starbucks espresso and Latte. one of the notable differences between Starbucks and Mcdonald’s drinks is their prices. Taking drinks from Mcdonald’s saves you a significant amount of money compared to Starbucks. For instance, a single shot of espresso costs $1.75 at Starbucks, while it only costs $1 at Mcdonald’s.

Mcdonald’s has more than 30,000 stores across the globe, and hence you will not have a significant struggle even when you move from Chicago. The more than 80 years of experience have helped the company to master the art of producing quality foods and beverages. It is one of the reasons their drinks are of high quality and top-notch customer service.

Sputnik coffee company

Sputnik coffee company

Sputnik coffee company boasts roasting and brewing high-quality coffee, making their drinks unique and sweet. In Chicago, the Sputnik coffee company has made a name and attracted numerous customers. Part of the reason customers love Sputnik coffee is because of the fair prices they get for the beverages. You can save up to $1.5 on a single drink when you purchase at Sputnik coffee company instead of Starbucks.

Sputnik coffee company offers you an opportunity to make your preferred coffee drink home by selling you their specially roasted coffee. Preparing your coffee at home will even save you more money. As the company grows and expands, it is expected to have more beverage options at its cafes.


A cheaper alternative to Starbucks in Chicago

One of my favorite drinks is Caramel iced coffee. I would order up to three times daily from Starbucks in the summer. After losing my job, I realized that my coffee addiction was not sustainable. I could not completely stop taking the drink, but I could not afford to order from Starbucks. It was time to look for an alternative. While I got the drink at $2.75 from Starbucks, I got the drink at $2 at Dunkin. Therefore, when looking for both quality and fair prices, Dunkin is a perfect alternative to Starbucks.

The company has over 8,500 stores, so you are likely to find it when you relocate from Chicago. The company has more than 72 years of operation and has perfected its art of preparing quality beverages.

Metric Coffee

What Milks Goes Best with Matcha?

Metric Coffee specializes in roasting coffee. However, the company has cafes where delicious coffee is served. A shot of espresso at the café is about $1 compared to $1.75 at Starbucks. You will save up to $1.5 for a drink with a double espresso shot. The fact that the company roasts its coffee means it has high-quality coffee.

The company is also growing the variety of coffee beverages at the café. While you may be unable to control your coffee drinking habits, you can cut spending by exploring this great alternative.


Starbucks is an international coffee shop famous in the US and across the globe. It has quality beverages and services. It is, however, known for its high prices on drinks, and when you are tight on budget, there are great alternatives that can help you have your coffee at a relatively lower price. Since there are many alternatives, it is essential to review to find the one that suits you best.

Leave a Comment