Top 10 Best Coffee Shops In Champaign, Illinois

Champaign, Illinois, a vibrant city nestled in the heart of the Midwest, boasts a thriving coffee culture that caters to the diverse tastes and preferences of its residents and visitors alike. With a rich history, an array of unique establishments, and a welcoming atmosphere, the coffee shops in Champaign offer more than just a caffeine fix; they provide a haven for socialization, creativity, and relaxation.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the top 10 coffee shops in Champaign, exploring their historical significance, cultural diversity, and the essential role they play in the community. Additionally, we will discuss the nuances of coffee shop etiquette, ensuring that every visitor can fully immerse themselves in the local coffee scene.

Top 10 Coffee Shops In Champaign, Illinois

  1. Café Kopi: Located in the heart of downtown Champaign, Café Kopi is a beloved local institution renowned for its cozy ambiance, artisanal coffee blends, and delectable pastries. Whether you’re seeking a quiet corner to work or catching up with friends over a latte, Café Kopi offers an inviting space for all.

  2. Flying Machine Coffee: Nestled in the historic Lincoln Square Mall, Flying Machine Coffee combines vintage charm with contemporary flair. With a commitment to sustainability and ethically sourced beans, this establishment serves up exceptional coffee alongside a selection of mouthwatering baked goods.

  3. Aroma Cafe: Tucked away in the vibrant Campustown district near the University of Illinois campus, Aroma Cafe exudes a laid-back atmosphere perfect for students and locals alike. From their signature espresso drinks to their flavorful sandwiches, Aroma Cafe delights patrons with its diverse menu and welcoming ambiance.

  4. Hopscotch Bakery + Market: More than just a coffee shop, Hopscotch Bakery + Market offers an eclectic mix of freshly baked goods, artisanal groceries, and, of course, expertly crafted coffee. Whether you’re in the mood for a savory quiche or a sweet treat, this charming establishment has something to satisfy every palate.

  5. Café Paradiso: Situated in the heart of Urbana, Café Paradiso is a cozy retreat known for its laid-back vibe and delicious coffee creations. With an emphasis on community and sustainability, this family-owned café serves up organic, fair-trade coffee alongside a selection of wholesome fare.

  6. Pekara Bakery & Bistro: Combining European charm with Midwestern hospitality, Pekara Bakery & Bistro offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. From their freshly baked bread to their artisanal pastries, every item on the menu is crafted with care and attention to detail.

  7. Art Mart: A beloved institution in the Champaign-Urbana community, Art Mart has been serving up gourmet coffee and delectable treats for over 65 years. With a commitment to supporting local artists and producers, this iconic establishment offers a unique shopping experience alongside its delicious coffee offerings.

  8. Page Roasting Company: For coffee aficionados seeking the perfect brew, Page Roasting Company delivers with its meticulously sourced beans and expertly roasted blends. Whether you prefer a classic pour-over or a creamy cappuccino, the skilled baristas at Page Roasting Company are dedicated to crafting the perfect cup every time.

  9. Espresso Royale: With multiple locations scattered throughout Champaign and Urbana, Espresso Royale is a familiar sight for coffee lovers across the city. Boasting a diverse menu of espresso drinks, teas, and smoothies, this popular chain caters to a wide range of tastes and preferences.

  10. Cafe Zojo: Tucked away in the charming neighborhood of Old Farm, Cafe Zojo offers a welcoming atmosphere and a diverse menu of coffee drinks and light bites. Whether you’re stopping in for a quick pick-me-up or settling in for a leisurely afternoon, Cafe Zojo provides a cozy retreat from the outside world.

Historical Overview

The coffee culture in Champaign traces its roots back to the early 20th century when immigrants from Europe brought their love of coffee with them to the Midwest. As the city grew and evolved, so too did its coffee scene, with local entrepreneurs opening up cafes and coffeehouses to cater to the increasingly diverse population.

One of the earliest coffee shops in Champaign was Art Mart, founded in 1956 by local artist and entrepreneur Harold Gregor. Originally conceived as a gallery and art supply store, Art Mart quickly became a gathering place for artists, intellectuals, and coffee enthusiasts alike, thanks to its cozy atmosphere and delicious coffee offerings.

Throughout the decades, Champaign has seen a steady influx of coffee shops and cafes, each adding its own unique flavor to the local coffee scene. From cozy neighborhood cafes to trendy urban coffeehouses, the city offers a diverse array of options for coffee lovers of all stripes.


One of the defining characteristics of Champaign’s coffee scene is its diversity, both in terms of the establishments themselves and the people who frequent them. From hipster hangouts to family-friendly cafes, the city offers something for everyone, regardless of age, background, or taste preferences.

This diversity is reflected in the wide range of coffee shops and cafes scattered throughout Champaign and its surrounding areas. Whether you’re craving a classic espresso at a traditional Italian coffeehouse or a gourmet pour-over at a trendy urban cafe, you’ll find no shortage of options to choose from.

Moreover, Champaign’s coffee scene is also diverse in terms of the people who frequent its establishments. From students studying for exams to professionals meeting for business lunches, coffee shops serve as gathering places for people from all walks of life, fostering a sense of community and connection among residents and visitors alike.


Coffee shops play a vital role in the social and cultural fabric of Champaign, serving as more than just places to grab a quick cup of coffee. They are gathering places where friends meet to catch up, where colleagues brainstorm ideas, and where strangers strike up conversations with one another.

In addition to fostering social connections, coffee shops also play an important role in supporting the local economy. Many coffee shops in Champaign source their beans from local roasters and suppliers, helping to create jobs and support small businesses within the community.

Furthermore, coffee shops often serve as venues for cultural events, such as live music performances, art exhibitions, and poetry readings. By providing space for creativity and expression, coffee shops contribute to the vibrancy and diversity of Champaign’s cultural scene.

Coffee Shop Etiquette

While each coffee shop in Champaign has its own unique vibe and atmosphere, there are some general etiquette guidelines that patrons should follow to ensure a positive experience for everyone.

  1. Respect the space: Whether you’re studying, working, or catching up with friends, be mindful of the other patrons around you and keep noise levels to a minimum.

  2. Support the staff: Baristas work hard to craft the perfect cup of coffee, so be sure to show your appreciation by tipping generously and treating them with kindness and respect.

  3. Clean up after yourself: Be sure to bus your own tables and dispose of your trash properly to help keep the coffee shop clean and inviting for others.

  4. Be mindful of your time: While it’s perfectly acceptable to linger over a cup of coffee, be mindful of how long you’re occupying a table, especially during peak hours when space may be limited.

  5. Follow the house rules: Some coffee shops may have specific policies regarding outside food and drink, laptop use, or pets, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and abide by them accordingly.

By following these simple guidelines, patrons can help create a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone in the coffee shop.


In conclusion, the coffee shops in Champaign, Illinois, offer far more than just a caffeine fix; they provide a gateway to community, creativity, and connection. From cozy neighborhood cafes to trendy urban coffeehouses, the city’s diverse array of establishments cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences, ensuring that every coffee lover can find their perfect brew.

As gathering places for friends, colleagues, and strangers alike, coffee shops play a vital role in fostering social connections and supporting the local economy. By following simple etiquette guidelines and treating baristas and fellow patrons with kindness and respect, visitors can fully immerse themselves in the rich and vibrant coffee culture of Champaign. So whether you’re a longtime resident or just passing through, be sure to take some time to explore the city’s coffee scene and savor all that it has to offer.