The Perfect Cup in Ravenswood is a lovely, unassuming café on the corner of Damen and Leland. It has outdoor seating.
Inside it has two large rooms. The main room contains a few tables in the bar area, where you can order anything from coffee beverages to pastries or gelato.
Your receipt includes the code for 3 hours of free wi-fi. This room has an ongoing conversation noise level.
The second room has more varied seating options, including a picnic table, several separate living rooms of couch and chair groups sharing coffee tables, and a few tables along the wall.
These tables have a perfect height to type in comfort. Other cafes have tall tables (T-Rex chest-typing) or short tables (Quasimodo lap-typing) but at these tables, the elbow angle would make even a pianist happy.
This is infinitely quieter. Their walls are lined with local art.
The a/c was at a very good level one day (cool enough to rest from the heat outside, but not freezing) but on two separate occasions it has been an arctic experience that sent us outside to defrost in the sun.
The music varies in selection but is played at an unobtrusive volume that allows you to work and hear yourself think.
As for the food and beverages, this photo does not do them justice. Don’t be fooled if they’re not pretty.
That’s a ham and cheese croissant, which they heated for me, and was really, really good, and the dirty chai was one of the best I’ve tried in the last few cafés. I’d order these over pretty ones any day.