Link's Sweet BeanWilmette | Website
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Here's what you should know about this Wilmette cafe: They roast their own coffee, bake their own treats and dedicates wall space to local artists. Inspired by the indie coffeeshops she frequented as a resident of Rogers Park, Lourdes Link opened this cafe and bakery in 2005. Link's staff receives shipments of raw coffee beans from Central and South America, Africa and Indonesia and roasts them in-house, always stocking about a dozen blends at a time. Many are organic and fair-trade, when possible. Her massive roaster is actually situated near the window for java fans to see, and it's not out of the ordinary to find her passing out samples of a new blend. Small-batch goodies like old-fashioned scones, muffins and cookies are proffered daily.
On the walls, you'll find paintings and sketches from local North Shore artists. On the menu, you'll find light lunch eats such as grape-studded chicken salad on a crossaint and fresh mozzarella and pesto on ciabatta, plus a few salads and soups during the cooler months. When the weather warms, look for Palazzolo's gelato and sorbet, too.