Off Campus Study Spots: Robust Coffee Lounge
When you walk into Robust Coffee Lounge, you’ll be greeted by the smooth smell of espresso, soft music over the speakers, and hearty laughter from behind the counter. Named “One of Chicago’s 15 Best Coffee Shops,” Robust is at the corner of East 63rd and South Woodlawn – only a short stroll if you live in either Burton-Judson or South.
The floor-to-ceiling windows drench the front of the store in beautiful sunshine while a room near the back is decorated by tall bookshelves and cozy lamplight. The bookshelves in the back boast a selection of books to read in between tasks, and the tables are covered with cloth that looks like newspaper. Robust is the type of environment where you can bust out a hum paper, quiz a friend on flashcards, or have a job interview.
The baristas at Robust take pride in being “curators of coffee.” Everything on the menu is either locally-sourced or made in-house. From Belgian waffles (and SO many topping options!) to banana French toast or chicken-feta wraps, there’s a meal for any time of the day.
My favorite menu item is their dark hot chocolate. It’s totally chocolatey throughout (versus only chocolatey at the bottom), and perfectly sweet. Pair it with one of the sprinkle-covered donuts from the cabinet and you have perfection on a plate.