Asado Coffee Co: the best cup of Jose in Lakeview

Zac Schon, Opinions Editor

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 coffee mugs

Lakeview is a Mecca for coffee shops, since both Clark and Lincoln have a Starbucks every half a mile (along with an independent coffee shop at the same ratio). When often we think of an independent coffee house, we think of the image of exposed brick, worn books on a shelf on the wall for aesthetics, and a collection of hipsters behind the register debating if Bianchi’s are too mainstream – along with their plans of moving to Portland. However, a fresh Iberian take on coffee has found its way to Lakeview and excitement should begin to ensue.

Asado, located at 1432 W. Irving Park, brings the Spanish style of coffee to Lakeview—and to this reviewer, the bar has been raised. The small shop boasts many decorative Spanish tiles, photography of Spain and Lisbon, the coffee sacks of the beans they import, and other Spanish accents. The music is outside of the typical indie rock scene of other coffee shops, as ambient techno and other non-diegetic sounds narrate your coffee experience.

But what is most important here is the coffee.

Instead of your typical cup of Joe, or in this case Jose, the flavor is obvious, and the roaster that sits behind the counter is a monument to the painstaking effort of the owner’s attempt to make the perfect cup. There are no frozen drinks or ones laden with sugar and crème at Asado; if you come here, it’s because you like the taste of coffee and can appreciate the flavor much like a wine drinker can have six bottles of a cabernet and tell you why each of them have a great flavor.

If you’re into lattes, their café con leche easily trumps anything else you can find in the city as it makes the famous spot on Broadway and Briar’s coffee taste like a glass of water. The menu is quite limited and there is no sort of food sold there, and the hours are as well since they close at 5pm on Mondays.

However, the staff is not only friendly, but also knowledgeable and passionate about their craft. The effort behind each cup suggests this is not simply a basic customer/owner relationship, but rather, something that exhibits care. Overall I would give this Lakeview gem 4.5 out of 5 stars—almost perfect, since the horrible hours hinder any sort of ability to work on anything for a long time.