1 Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
220 E. Chicago Ave.
Perfect for:The aspiring novelist
Perks:On Tuesdays, when admission to the museum is free for Illinois residents, settle into the Commons. The second-floor space provides ample seating beneath an installation of 215 lanterns, many of them filled with plants.
Cons:The high ceilings make every passerby’s footsteps echo.
2 The Robey
2018 W. North Ave.
Perfect for:The Don Draper wannabe
Perks:This Bucktown hotel, built in a century-old office building, offers an elevated view of the bustling six-way intersection by the Damen Blue Line stop from its second-floor retro lounge. Think leather armchairs, long worktables, and angular mod sofas.
Cons:The sound of tinkling ice from the bar makes it hard to resist tippling an old-fashioned before 5.
3 Daley Plaza
50 W. Washington St.
Perfect for:The people-watcher
Perks:Umbrella-covered seating in the shadow of the iconic sculpture keeps you comfortable even on sunny days, and a farmers’ market (Thursdays through October 25) supplies tasty fuel.
Cons:Pigeons dig Picasso, too — just keep an eye on your lunch.
4 Garfield Park Conservatory
300 N. Central Park Ave.
Perfect for:The workaholic in need of a tropical vacation, stat
Perks:In the airy Horticulture Hall, the sunlight streaming through arched windows and the bright green smell of the botanical displays make you feel more like a woodland nymph than an office drone.
Cons:Though less humid than other spaces at the conservatory, it can still get steamy.