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Aurora, Illinois, also known as the "City of Lights", has a rich coffee culture that spans back many decades. This vibrant city, brimming with diversity and history, boasts some of the most unique and distinctive coffee shops in the state. From its charming, small-town vibes to its bustling downtown, Aurora's coffee shops serve up much more than a good cup of joe. They offer a glimpse into the heart of a city that thrives on its sense of community, hard-working ethos, and love for quality coffee.

The selection process for the top coffee shops in Aurora involved a careful analysis of several key factors.

How We Picked These Coffee Shops

  • Quality of their coffee: Superior taste and high standards in sourcing beans were non-negotiables.
  • Online customer reviews and ratings: These gave us insights into the customer experience and overall satisfaction.
  • Environment of the space: We considered whether the ambiance was conducive for work, relaxation or socializing.

Two of the noteworthy spots on our list include Java Plus and Endiro Coffee. Java Plus is not just an online café but also has a cozy physical location. It's the perfect spot for coffee lovers and tea enthusiasts alike with their top-quality coffee and artisan loose leaf teas. Endiro Coffee, on the other hand, has a mission that extends beyond coffee. They are committed to ending child vulnerability globally and upholding diversity and inclusivity in their hiring practices. Read on to discover more about these and other outstanding coffee shops in Aurora.

A Deeper Look at Our Picks

Java Plus

4.7 out of 271 Reviews • 1677 Montgomery Rd, Aurora, IL 60504
Java PlusJava Plus

Java Plus is an online café that enables a unique digital experience for coffee and tea lovers and has a cozy physical location on the corner of Montgomery and Waterford in Aurora, Illinois. At Java Plus, they have their customer's back whether you are a coffee fan or a tea lover. The café offers top-quality, Clean Hot Air Roasted coffee from farms across South America, Mexico, Ethiopia, Indonesia, and the Middle East. They take pride in their artisan loose-leaf teas and tea blends.

For those who enjoy a variety of flavors, their staff brews delightful lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, and other specialty drinks. They also serve freshly baked doughnuts, bagels, and paninis to complement your drink. Java Plus roasts its coffee after receiving an order to ensure the freshness of its product. Whether you sit in their comfortable Aurora café or enjoy your purchases from the comfort of your home, Java Plus aims to become your one-stop artisan coffee and tea source.

Endiro Coffee

4.6 out of 850 Reviews • 29 W New York St, Aurora, IL 60506
Endiro CoffeeEndiro Coffee

Endiro Coffee is not just your typical coffee shop. Their vision is to end child vulnerability globally through the means of coffee. They aim to "brew all the good they can," starting from the tree to your cup. Not only do they serve delectable local food and specialty coffee, but they also offer an online shopping platform for the convenience of their customers.

Despite the locations stretching from Aurora to Uganda, Endiro Coffee is deeply committed to inclusivity and diversity. They believe everyone should be given equal opportunities to learn, grow, and succeed, so they train, hire, and support individuals of all abilities across all stores. They launch initiatives like the Sign Language Café, hiring people from the deaf community, to show that inclusive hiring practices can pave the way for success. With the company's growth, they plan to continue integrating employees with disabilities in all store locations to provide more opportunities.

Endiro Coffee is more than just a cup of coffee; it's a company with a cause, aiming to better society while providing high-quality food and beverages. So they'd love to have you if you happen to be around.

Society 57

4.8 out of 171 Reviews • 100 S River St, Aurora, IL 60506
Society 57Society 57

Society 57 is a versatile social space located in the historical Pocus building in downtown Aurora. Established under the philosophy of fostering culture, coffee, and community, Society 57 offers a spectrum of experiences. Operating daily from 8AM to 4PM, Society 57's coffee shop boasts locally-sourced and unique roast selections from all over the country. Their special seasonal offerings, such as the Honey Spice Latte or Strawberry Matcha, are also a must-try. Within this 9,000-square-foot area, you can find a variety of seating options, making it a perfect space to work, connect with friends, or just relax.

In addition to their cafe, Society 57 shines as an event destination, boasting a premier wedding venue, mid-size meeting rooms, and the capacity to host a myriad of other private events. Their antique building, which overlooks the scenic Fox River, harmoniously combines history with modern design, providing a comfortably elegant and memorable experience.

Society 57 also offers a 4,000-square-foot event space that can accommodate 150-250 people, complete with a custom bar and lounge area. Flexible rental packages, robust amenities, and an in-house event team support ensure seamless organization for any event. While recommended preferred caterers ensure a fuss-free feast, outside caterers are also welcome. They believe in supporting nonprofits, and thus offer discounted rates for 501 c3 non-profits.

Easily accessible, surrounded by ample public parking and situated just half a mile away from the Aurora Transportation Center, Society 57 stands as a gateway for novel experiences just around the corner.

Vivi Bubble Tea

4.2 out of 210 Reviews • 4332 E New York St, Aurora, IL 60504
Vivi Bubble TeaVivi Bubble Tea

The ViVi Bubble Tea shop in Aurora has some enjoyable operating hours. You can drop in anytime between noon and 8 pm from Tuesday to Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays, they stretch their hours and stay open till 9 pm. Sunday, they're back to their 12 pm to 8 pm schedule. Check out their menu on their website, make an order, or maybe learn more about the place.

Here's the link if you want to check it out. In case you're craving a midday bubble tea in Aurora, ViVi's got you covered.

Panera Bread

4 out of 756 Reviews • 1330 N Orchard Rd, Aurora, IL 60506
Panera BreadPanera Bread

Panera Bread is a fast-casual bakery-cafe located at 1330 N Orchard Road in Aurora, Il. It sits just north of West Indian Trail. They have a strong belief in serving good, clean food - devoid of artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors or colors. They continually strive to perfect their range of offerings which span from soups, salads, sandwiches to sweet bakery treats.

The cafe is open for dine-in from 6:00 AM to 9.30 PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. In addition to dine-in, they also offer curbside pickup. They have made their cafe comfortable and convenient with amenities like WiFi, Rapid Pick-Up, Delivery service, a Community Room, and Catering. With its warm and welcoming ambiance manned by caring staff, Panera Bread is all about making visitors feel good with their food.

Gloria Jean's Coffees Fox Valley Mall

Gloria Jean's Coffees Fox Valley MallGloria Jean's Coffees Fox Valley Mall

Gloria Jean's Coffee offers a range of gourmet and flavored coffees. One featured product is Special Blend American Coffee, a medium-bodied blend made with three distinguished Arabica beans from Central America. This coffee boasts rich, nutty chocolate and brown sugar aromas with stone fruit flavors.

They also offer the Toasted Almond Crème Coffee, a medium-roasted, 100% Arabica coffee with the aroma of freshly roasted almonds and earthy, stone fruit flavor notes.

Check out their complete collection for uniquely flavored and delicately crafted coffee blends.

Panera Bread

4 out of 521 Reviews • 2987 Kirk Rd, Aurora, IL 60502
Panera BreadPanera Bread

Panera Bread at Aurora in the Hamra Plaza on Kirk Rd is a warm and welcoming fast-casual bakery-cafe that serves clean food which you can feel good about. Open from 6:00 AM to 9:30 PM from Tuesday to Saturday, the cafe believes in serving food without artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, or colors from artificial sources.

The cafe is committed to constantly finding new ways to make every soup, salad, sandwich, and sweet bakery treat you eat the best—and cleanest—it can be. If you're ever in a rush or just want to avoid the hustle and bustle, you can always take advantage of the cafe's curbside pickup, rapid pick-up, and delivery services. Plus, they even offer catering! For the tech-savvy and work-focused, the cafe provides WiFi for your convenience, and for those who prefer to stay in their car, a drive-thru option is available.

An Intriguing Glimpse into Aurora's History

Aurora, famously known as the "City of Lights," carries a rich history marked by innovation, progress, and culture. As Illinois' second-largest city, nestled on the edge of the Fox River, its population has grown to over 200,000 residents. Here are some intriguing historical facts:

  • Aurora was the first city in the United States to illuminate its streets with electric lights in 1881.
  • It is home to the Paramount Theatre, a grand cinema palace that opened in 1931 and is now known for its Broadway series.
  • The city was a major stop on the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad with a bustling manufacturing scene during the Industrial Revolution.
Aurora, Illinois in 1882
Aurora, Illinois in 1882

An Affinity for Coffee

The love for coffee in Aurora isn't a recent trend; it's deeply rooted in the city's history. The locals' fondness for coffee grew hand in hand with the city's industrial development. As the city's population increased, coffee houses emerged as spaces for socializing, business meetings, and sometimes, a quiet escape. This love has only grown stronger over the years, transforming the city into a haven for coffee lovers.

Most Frequented Coffee Corners

Aurora is rich with eclectic, charming coffee shops dispersed throughout the city. These spots have become hubs for socializing, studying, and grabbing a quick coffee to go. The most frequented coffee corners in Aurora include:

  • Downtown Aurora: Known for its vintage ambiance and classic coffee houses.
  • The Fox Valley Mall: Boasting trendy cafes and eateries.
  • The West Aurora Neighborhood: Brimming with cozy and welcoming coffee shops.

Wrapping Up

Aurora's vibrant coffee scene is a reflection of the city's cultural diversity, historical roots, and the warm spirit of its residents. Each coffee shop carries a unique story, a distinctive ambiance, and most importantly, an exceptional cup of coffee. As you venture through Aurora, make a point to visit these shops, soak in the environment, and discover your favorite blend. There's a lot more to coffee in Aurora than just a caffeine kick—it's a way of life.

Meet the expert

My coffee journey spans 15 years of diverse experiences. Starting from those first sips, my passion for the industry has grown steadily. I've enjoyed working at a local coffee shop, exploring cultures worldwide, meeting incredible farmers on plantation tours, and helping launch a family member's coffee roasting venture. Throughout this journey, discovering and buying coffee from local roasters to support community businesses has been a pleasure. Through Roast Love, I aim to create content that informs, raises awareness, and helps you, the reader, buy and brew that perfect cup of coffee.

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