Cafe Deko – Chicago, Illinois

Written By: author image Simon Ritchie
author image Simon Ritchie

We’re excited to be back in Chicago, Illinois today to meet George and Karol of the excellent Cafe Deko.

We chat about the strong connection between coffee and community, how to make excellent cappuccino at home and start dreaming of vacations with a bucket list trip to Venice, Italy, and Costa Rica.


George and Karol, tell us more about yourselves and your journey in coffee

Hey, I’m George, the owner and founder of Café Deko. My journey began with a passion for the artistry and craftsmanship behind a perfect cup of coffee. As a barista, I honed my skills and developed a deep appreciation for the complexities of coffee production and preparation.

I’m Karol, co-owner of Café Deko. My journey in coffee began with a simple love for the beverage, but it quickly grew into a mission to elevate the coffee experience for others.

The sweet part of our story is that we met at Cafe Deko when George initially opened it and now, we are both riding this boat together. For us, coffee is more than just a beverage – it’s a medium through which we connect with others and celebrate our community and culture. We are excited to continue this journey, sharing our passion for coffee with fellow enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Cafe Deko Chicago Illinois Inside

So Cafe Deko – what’s your place like?

Our coffee shop, Café Deko, is located at the bustling intersection of Halsted and Diversey in Lakeview, Chicago. Inspired by Art Deco design, our space exudes a unique charm and ambiance. Step inside it to feel the inviting atmosphere, from soulful tunes to warm smiles.

We proudly source our beans from Philosophy Coffee, crafting blends like our house blend featuring 80% Costa Rican beans and notes from Honduras, Brazil, and Sumatra. Whether it’s a medium-light or medium-dark roast or a rich dark roast espresso, we’ve got something for every palate.

You’re a big fan of Cappuccino…how do you make the perfect cup?

Our favorite coffee to make is a classic cappuccino. There’s something about the balance of rich espresso, velvety steamed milk, and airy foam that never fails to delight the senses.

Some quick tips for making it perfectly at home include starting with freshly roasted coffee beans and grinding them just before brewing. An important step also is to steam whole milk to create creamy foam, aiming for a velvety texture. Of course, you can get creative with flavors and variations, like adding cocoa powder or trying different milk alternatives.

How do you make great coffee at home…and what would be your dream setup?

At home, we currently use a semi-automatic espresso machine, specifically the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II. And our bucket list espresso machine would be the Synesso MVP Hydra 1.

Cafe Deko Cappuccino Chicago

What other Chicago coffee shops are worth a visit beyond Cafe Deko?

If our doors were temporarily closed, our go-to place would be Coffee Lab. With its exceptional coffee, Coffee Lab is a favorite among coffee enthusiasts.

What’s the best coffee shop you’ve ever visited?

La Casa del Café, located in Costa Rica, is a hidden gem nestled in a stunning coffee plantation. Despite its small size, this charming coffee shop offers visitors a delightful experience. You can sip on a freshly brewed cup of coffee while soaking in the breathtaking view of the coffee fields stretching out before you.

It’s the perfect spot to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Costa Rica while enjoying the rich flavors of locally grown coffee.

Which coffee shops worldwide should everyone check out?

Caffè Florian in Venice, Italy, stands as one of the oldest coffee shops globally, with a rich history spanning over 300 years. Its timeless charm and iconic ambiance make it a must-visit destination for coffee enthusiasts worldwide. The elegant interiors, adorned with classic décor and ornate furnishings, radiate an air of old-world charm and sophistication.

Sitting down for a cappuccino at Caffè Florian is not just about enjoying a cup of coffee; it’s an immersive journey through centuries of Venetian culture and tradition.

Cafe Deko Chicago Illinois

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our CoffeeOtter readers?

We’d like to express our gratitude to all the coffee farmers around the world who work tirelessly to produce the beans that fuel our passion for coffee. Their dedication and hard work often go unrecognized, but without them, none of this would be possible.

Where can people find Cafe Deko?

We’re at 800 W Diversey Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614

Thanks so much, George and Karol. We can’t wait to visit you and the team at Cafe Deko again soon!

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Simon Ritchie Editor