Formerly: This quaint coffee shop combines soothing, classic aesthetics, a trendy menu and a high-speed portal to the outside world. An ideal stop for the plugged-in crowd with its free wi-fi access and handful of iMacs ($2.50/30 min.), it's also designed to appeal to those who camp out at coffee shops. Natural light pours from the generous skylight and the lush, decorative curtains, collection of idle clocks, stained glass, exposed brick and classic scotch-drinking furniture create the aura of a posh European library.
Pause's tagline, "smell the coffee," beckons the average city dweller to step in from the chaos to indulge in its urban charm and satisfying, if expensive, beverages. You can get your coffee straight-up or wander into designer drink territory. Two of the more original options, both topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle, are Berry White with raspberry and white satin and the Grasshopper with mint syrup and dark chocolate. All drinks are anchored by Chicago's own Intelligentsia coffee. A few of coffee's close friends, the bagel and the muffin, are also available.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jeremy Freeden