About this Business

After roasting coffee beans with his family in Pakistan, Arshad "Sony" Javid—founder of Café Descartes—indulged his love for the caffeinated drink by making pilgrimages to coffee houses in Asia, Europe, and South and Central America. In 1991, after a stint as a Starbucks barista, Sony opened his first shop, an espresso cart on the UIC campus, where he poured his decadent drinks to quench the thirst of students, professors, and dry textbooks. Today, the aficionado’s dream has expanded across six Chicago cafés, where warm, earth-toned walls, cushy armchairs, and the smell of fresh-roasted beans beckon customers to stick around for a latte, mexican mocha, or sweet pastry.

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Thomas10 years ago

Overpriced. The personal pizza wasn't very good.

Chris10 years ago

Good espresso. A little pricey vs Starbucks but the groupon helped..

Matty10 years ago

Excellent quality coffee.

Erin10 years ago

Good coffee; good service.

Matt10 years ago

good service, coffee, and overall atmosphere

Barbara10 years ago

Nice little cafe in the heart of downtown Chicago, across the street where we happened to be staying. Delicious baked goods, nice ambiance - great place to take a breather from the busyness of the downtown area.

Michelle11 years ago

Service was polite but slow. My latte tasted unusually grainy and the flavor syrup was either forgotten or a very small serving.

Amanda11 years ago

By the time I got there with my Groupon Now at about 2:00 (the Groupon Now went from 11:00 to 4:00, I got the email at 11:15) almost all of the pastries were gone. Not so cool because that was what I wanted for a mid afternoon snack. I would like to see a retailer stock up on popular items when they run a Groupon so no one misses out. Plus the counter help was not so attentive and a bit distracted when I was the only one there.

Tanya11 years ago

I've been in better coffee places. This one is OK for quick stop for a coffee and cookie.

Roneil11 years ago

The espresso drinks have been watered down the last few times I was there. The espresso is being overbrewed (too much water per shot of espresso) leading to weak and only bitter taste. I suggest either changing the process or adjusting the brewer. Customers pay a lot for espresso drinks, only to find that it tastes like water (or milk) then have to pay extra for an additional espresso shot which helps only marginally.