In an (uncharacteristically) wooded and rolling Chicago neighborhood, at a pocket-sized commercial corner next to the Metra Station, Cafe Luna gets points for its existence alone. Tin-ceilinged, spacious, commodious, this is the kind of independent, community-based coffee shop that was supposed to be extinct by now. (There are precious few Starbucks south of Madison.) It looks like it does a lot of commuter business. They brew Coffee & Tea Exchange coffee (an underrated product) and sell grilled sandwiches, pastries and other standards.
My son and I played a quiet game of chess while we lunched. I had a stocky black bean soup and some peppery cornbread. (Big Shoulders Bakery -- ever heard of them?) Not perfect (I wish they hadn't nuked the cornbread and we were harassed by fruit flies), but a nice place to take a load off if you're in the neighborhood.
This part of town is rich with early 20th century architecture. As you head out, check out the Robert W. Evans House two blocks away (9914 S. Longwood, an early-ish Frank Lloyd Wright property) and the gymnasium reliefs at the Vanderpoel Humanities Academy on 95th St.
1742 W. 99th St.
Chicago, IL 60643