For hometown week, I thought it fitting to feature the place in my neighborhood I go to more often than any other: Julius Meinl.
There's a lot to love about Meinl. It's an Austrian coffee house that's been around since 1862 (its only locations, strangely enough, are Chicago and Austria) They serve delicious coffee and beautiful pastries, from the simple (blueberry scone) to the insane (perfectly-constructed multi-layer mousse cakes).
They do a brisk takeout coffee business, including "Happy Hour" before 8am on weekdays where a large coffee is $1.50 and a large latte is $2.50- a deal my husband and I take advantage of at least twice a week before work.
They also have a lovely sit down option, with cute marble tables and a nice breakfast and lunch menu with a mix of delicious sandwiches and salads with more traditional Austrian favorites (spaezle, anyone?) When you dine in, they serve your coffee on a small silver tray with a cookie and a glass of water on the side. It's a very, very pleasant place to sit and do some studying or reading or to meet a friend for dessert. If you find yourself on the north side of Chicago, (which you should- my neighborhood is great!) I highly recommend you check it out!
(Photos from Meinl.com)