Coffee has been changing the American food industry for generations, so it’s become incredibly normal to file into a coffee shop to grab a morning drink, without the time to sit down and fully enjoy it. For most of us then, taking the time to sit down with a book and music or with friends on the weekend is a calming, grounding experience to take time for yourself. This time of the semester is crazy stressful for everyone, so I’m going rank some of my favorite nearby coffee shops by Flavors, Space, Variety, and general Vibes to give you a sense of where the best-hidden gems are to take a relaxing moment for yourself, and maybe get a treat to enjoy too!
- Village Coffee. Flavors: 6/10, Space 6/10, Variety 7/10, Vibes: 4/10. Ya’ll probably know why the vibes are off. Even though this is a convenient spot, seeing as it’s just down the hill, I’d much rather go to River Road. They have a good variety of drinks, and they taste pretty good, but I’m always kind of wanting more. It’s got a pretty nice vibe with lots of spots to sit and study, and it tends to be calm even on weekends. At the same time, it’s never open late enough to enjoy on the weekdays, plus it’s closed on Sundays. Just not my favorite.
- Ragamuffin. Flavors: 7/10, Space: 6/10, Variety: 8/10, Vibes: 8/10. Located in the village of Alexandria, about a 10-minute drive away from Denison, this small spot doesn’t look like much on the outside but is a total hidden gem once you go in. It treated me right the last time I drove home, with a delicious bagel and dirty-chai combo. It is a bit cramped without a lot of seating, but they offer a variety of tasty-looking pastries and creative coffee combinations. If you’re in the area, I’d say check it out!
- Station Coffee. Flavors: 5/10, Space: 6/10, Variety: 6/10, Vibes: 8/10. Another coffee option in Granville, Station is a lot smaller and a bit pricier than River Road. It has a much wider variety of pastries and food options, but the coffee itself left a bit to be desired for me. The space is a bit cramped, but there’s enough room to sit down and lots of outdoor space to enjoy a nice day. Even though I’d rather eat a pastry than drink a latte, it’s a good place to mix up your regular coffee hangouts, or get brunch!
- River Road. Flavors: 8/10, Space: 7/10, Variety: 8/10, Vibes: 8/10. This is probably the average Denison student’s favorite and for good reason. The building (even though it’s currently under renovation) is homey and quaint, and the actual coffee itself is delicious. There are a ton of options for creative drinks for any flavor you might want, and they’re able to do a variety of dairy-free options. From study dates to weekend hangouts, there’s enough space to slow down with a german dark chocolate mocha or honeysuckle latte and rleax.
- Fox in the Snow. Flavors: 10/10, Space: 9/10, Variety: 6/10, Vibes: 9/10. There are multiple locations of Fox in the Snow across Columbus, but the one I’ve visited is in New Albany, about 20-25 minutes away. This coffee shop prides itself on its espresso, so you won’t find tons of flavored latte combinations here if that’s more what you’re into. I adore their cappuccinos, and they have absolutely beautiful pastries baked fresh every day. The actual space of the store is open and light, very peaceful. The only downside is it’s popularity, which means people buy up the pastries quickly. It is also on the more expensive side, but if you can afford it and really enjoy high-quality espresso it’s a must-go!
I hope this post encouraged you to take a break and treat yourself. The semester is almost over but until we get there, take care of yourselves!