The Best Study Cafés in Charleston

Especially with online classes, sometimes you just have to get out of the house—or dorm—to get some work done. Here are a handful of Charleston’s best spots for everything from light reading to cramming for that test:

**Keep in mind that masks are required to order, as well as social distancing**

  1. 1. Kudu Coffee and Craft Beer

    journal on a table with coffee at a restaurant

    Located just off campus on Vanderhorst St., Kudu is a favorite amongst students at CofC. As well as big tables to spread out on, they have an outdoor courtyard with lots of plants and a calming water fountain; all of this makes for a very chill, laidback vibe. Their artisanal coffee is also absolutely fantastic, and they are open until 9 pm on most days. Only downside: they don’t have WIFI, so you have no choice but to read that textbook (or get distracted people-watching).

  2. 2. Harken Cafe

    holding a tablet in a coffee shop

    Take a crisp morning walk this fall to Queen St. to enjoy this cozy café and brunch spot. Harken Cafe has a cute outdoor seating area, as well as a bunch of tables inside, and the interior is gorgeously decorated; you have to go just for the bathroom plastered with vintage flora posters. Their coffee and tea are also A+, but make sure you head their early because they close at 3 pm!

  3. 3. Second State Coffee

    Cafe Table French Press Coffee Vintageheart

    Second State Coffee is another student favorite on the other side of campus from Kudu. They have free WIFI and delicious drinks, plus the minimalist atmosphere and incredible natural lighting make it a great place to focus on schoolwork. It is very popular, but a small space, so you might have to wait a minute to snag a seat.

  4. 4. Mercantile and Mash

    person pouring coffee

    Mercantile and Mash is a bustling café and bar combo with ample indoor seating. It’s located a bit farther from campus but has free parking. They have free WIFI, a bunch of cool teas, and ever sought-for oat milk. If you’re looking to spend a while there, they also have a stellar lunch menu with sandwiches, soups, and salads.

  5. 5. Honorable Mention: Starbucks (south side of King)

    phone, headphones, and coffee with foam art

    Though they are closed for dine-in right now, this Starbucks used to be open pretty late (I’m talking 11 pm) and has a lot of seating upstairs, including a nice big table and comfy armchairs. We all know Starbucks doesn’t have the greatest coffee, but this is a good late-night study café to keep in mind for the future.