Bummer! I'm living in Vegas temporarily, or else I would be there- I have a ton of good ideas as well...Mercury Cafe (1505 W. Chicago Ave)http://www.chimercurycafe.com/
Big, wide open space- they host craft shows here and always have handmade goods and artwork for sale. Its a coffee shop- they sell vegan baked goods, and I'm almost positive they have some lunch-y items. It usually isn't crowded, they have a bunch of sofas and chairs and tables available. Its in West Town- right by Ukranian Village, Bucktown, and Wicker Park. Mojoe's (2256 W. Roscoe)http://www.mojoesroscoe.com/
Really funky, smallish coffee shop in Roscoe Village (which has some cute boutiques and a huge Village Thrift a mere 3 blocks away). They have coffee, pastries, and amazing ham and cheese/turkey and cheese croissants. I haven't been in since they redecorated, but last time I was in there it was all 50's diner tables and furniture. Look for the MoJoe's hand embroidered pillows- I made them for one of the owners, Dennis! The other owner, Barb is in a rockabilly band called The Honeybees (http://www.rockabilly.net/honeybees/
)- they are both super nice, and even shut down the cafe for a Christmas get together for my old workplace (not sure how much that cost though). The Bleeding Heart Bakery (2018 W Chicago Ave)http://www.thebleedingheartbakery.com/
This place just opened up a couple of months ago in Ukrainian Village. Kind of on the small side, but worth a look. Probably one of the most attractive bakeries I've ever seen- all decked out like a 1950's kitchen with pink walls and some of the best decoupaging ever!Letizia's Natural Bakery (2144 W Division)http://www.superyummy.com/
Not only is this a bakery- they recently opened a wine bar right next door that is connected to the bakery: http://www.enotecaroma.com/
. I haven't been to the wine bar yet, but I can vouch for all the items at their cafe- great coffee, and the best sugar cookie in Chicago. This is in the Wicker Park/Ukrainian Village area as well. Make sure to check out Paper Doll if you go here (http://www.paperdollchicago.com/
). It just recently moved to 2048 W Division, so its a mere hop, skip, and jump away.
Can anyone tell how homesick I am?! Hope this info worked for you- all of these places are easily accessible by public transportation. Let me know if you have any questions!