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Ennui Cafe

6981 N Sheridan

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Detail for Ennui Cafe : Restaurant, American

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This sunny coffehouse has been a haven for neighborhood regulars for years. An outdoor, dog-friendly, patio open in warmer months affords patrons a view of the lake, and interesting people watching along Sheridan. The cafe itself, a bit below street level, is sunny and full of castoff furniture which adds a well-used feel to the place. In addition to coffee drinks, the menu includes reasonably priced items such as eggs espresso, a variety of baked goods, fruit, salads, soups, hummus plates, foccacia, and tons of desserts. Ennui is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; cash only. - Alotta, 06/05/2006

Sort of like a little library, coffee shop and performing arts center combined. Parts of the day are perfect for newspaper or laptop, evenings tend to host eclectic music performance. Walls sport local arists. Ambiance is layed back...service is a bit Parisian, but the folks feel genuine. Can't beat summer days sitting in the outdoor patio with the feels like neighborhood. - Carrie Hixon, 08/20/2007

I just visited Ennui for the first time. The service was attentive, low-key, and pleasant, and the galaktoboureko--which I was told was made right there--was plenty tasty. Come on, galaktoboureko fans, this is not an easy thing to find! (BTW, for deprived souls, it's a custard-filled phyllo pastry.) The decaf was pretty mediocre, I've got to say, but I appreciated the refill and may deserve no better for drinking decaf. Looked like a great place to spend time with your laptop, too. - Anita, 02/15/2007

Unfortunately, this cafe has new ownership. Nothing is homemade (they have no information about ingredients in the pre bought food either so don't bother asking). The new owner is very very very rude. When you go in there it seems like you are annoying him by wanting to buy something. Often he will not even make eye contact with you and only says 'YES?' when you stand at the counter. The last breakfast sandwich i bought was burnt. (They probably didn't care because I was taking it to go and would only find out after I was home.) Also, the new owner has no problem yelling at employees in front of customers making everyone feel uncomfortable. At his other café in evanston they have lids with straw holes for iced drinks. Here, they do not provide that luxury. Good luck finding napkins or milk for your coffee, you might get yelled at. - Sheila, 11/29/2006

FYI - Ennui, is now a smoke free establishment due to new Chicago laws. - Local, 06/17/2006

You are missing out if you pay attention to some of these negative old reviews. Ennui is newly remodeled and better than ever. It has also expanded to include two new eateries: Shut up and Eat (www.shutup-and eat) and Don's Backroom, which is a casual eating place next door. This is a tried and true Rogers Park icon, and the owners are local folks who have strong, deep ties in the neighborhood. Don't let a sunny day go by without enjoying their fabulous outdoor patio. The smoking section is pretty small now, so ventilation is not the issue it once was. Check it out!!! - Kimberly Bares, 07/08/2004

If you're a dog lover, Ennui (or Enweird, as we call it), is a great place in the summer. The drinks and treats are good, and the staff is super friendly. & the dogs on the patio are well behaved, within reason. Inside, cigarette smoke is overwhelming. - Stephanie Ward, 02/29/2004

As much as I support locally owned coffeehouses, I have to give a thumbs down to Cafe Ennui. The coffee is quite good but do yourself a favor and get it to go. Extremely poor ventilation makes the entire coffeehouse one big smoking section. On Wednesdays and Sundays there is a screechingly loud jazz band performing right next to your ear making conversation/concentration impossible. Really, the cafe is too small for live bands. The service is fair/poor...several times the staff just plain forgot my order (after I paid for it) and I needed to remind them - and I was a regular daily (and tipping!) customer for about 5 years! Still better than Starbuck's, but they need to make some changes before I'll be back. - James Marshall, 02/05/2003

What a cool place! Great people, locals and Students etc. Rotating art featuring Chicago artists, music, books all add to this layed back vibe. Good food. Some of the best soup in town. I don't dig Starbucks all that much so this place was exactly what I needed for coffee or even milk shakes. I was here a lot in the summer and was really surprised when they hosted the Rogers Park jazz fest, which in my opinion was on par with the Chicago Jazz Fest in quality of the music. Though, on a much smaller scale, made it way more enjoyable to listen and see the musicians. How many small cafes do that? Very fun. - Christopher John, 12/27/2002

Ennui is a wonderful cafe right by the lake. I love that they are animal friendly (outdoors only!) and that they are the main sponsors for the Rogers Park Jazz Series. I find the coffee to be some of the best Chicago has to offer. It's strong but not bitter like Starbucks. The food is very tasty and made by the owner. The artwork changes frequently to suit everyone's personal tastes. - Ari Tavis, 12/19/2002

Shocked as I am about the negativity here, I thought I would give Ennui the credit that it deserves... A place to relax and enjoy the company of friends without the pretention so common in other coffee houses. A local and 'one-and-only,' don't go if you expect Starbucks service (I want it and want it NOW)- expect to catch up with the locals, warm up with some hot apple cider, and relax. - Ana Celeano, 11/26/2001

A wonderful place. Relaxed, fun, unpretentious. The staff is friendly, good food, fine coffe. A welcome antidote to Starbucks, Caribou, and similar corporate coffee houses. - Dennis Fritz, 02/15/2001

I know it's best to say nothing if there's nothing good to say, but my experience at Ennui Cafe was so substandard that I feel others must be warned. Bad food, counter staff with major attitude problems, a truly filthy unisex restroom, and to add insult to injury, the coffee was HORRID. They allow dogs to wander the outdoor seating area, fighting, knocking over things and people feeding them off of cafe plates. Where’s the Health Department? Rogers Park is still lost in the 60's, and Ennui Cafe tries to recapture the worst that decade had to offer. - Mary Schatz, 08/19/2000

One normally makes concessions for coffeehouses - one goes for the 'atmosphere' and conversation with fellow patrons as much as the fare. But, when the fare is mediocre, the coffee is abysmal, the conversation is banal and cliquish, the music is antique in the poorest sense of the word, the 'artwork' belongs on a daycare center bulletin board, and the owners are rude, pretentious and arrogant, the best recommendation is simply, stay away. - Paul Baker, 07/21/2000

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