Our Picks: 11 Must-Try Coffee Houses Around Campus

It’s time to break free from our “basic” selves. Starbucks and Caribou are amazing, but you should definitely look at these smaller coffee houses around campus; they all have unique aspects and are one-of-a-kind. Here’s a list of some of Her Campus’ favorite coffee locations around campus.

1. Bordertown Coffee

You can find this unique coffeehouse right on 16th Avenue in the heart of campus. Bordertown coffee has a unique set up: it’s remodeled from an old fraternity house. They’re known for their amazing bakery (the giant chocolate chip cookies are to die for), and their ethical coffee. According to their website, they their coffee comes from small farms, where  the farmers and workers are treated and paid fairly. Additionally, you can rent out their “Library Room” to use as a group meeting space or a quiet place to study

2. Black Coffee and Waffle Bar

Good coffee and amazing waffles—what more could a collegiette ask for? You’ve probably seen Black Coffee and Waffle Bar in many Instagram and VSCO photos due to their perfect-looking waffles and delicious tasting coffee. You’ll definitely be attracted to their wide variety of options. This one can be found right on Como Avenue, just a short walk, bike or bus ride away!

3. Purple Onion

The Purple Onion Café is a hot spot for University students to study and enjoy an amazing crafted coffee, outstanding bakery treats, or a warm meal. Purple Onion has a lot of seating and is open Sunday through Thursday until midnight, making it a common study location for students. You can find Purple Onion right on University Avenue on the edge of Dinkytown.

4. Mapps

This Riverside coffee shop is known for their amazing tasting coffee. The rich coffee taste and many espresso options will have you coming back for more. Stop by in the winter for options from your standard coffee to warm apple cider, or take a walk in the summer to get a mint frappe or berry smoothie.

5. Surdyk’s Café

This super convenient location can be found on the first floor of Northrop! Not only is this a good stop on your way to class, but you can pick up a drink and some snacks before/after shows in Northrop and during intermissions. Their coffee is great, but you can stop by for an amazing breakfast sandwich or lunch Panini too!

6. Espresso Royale

According to their website, their founder has been brewing coffee since 1985. They focus heavily on having the best coffee beans in order to have the best tasting coffee around. Espresso Royale is awesome because they work with organizations like Crop to Cup and RainCatchers to help farmers get their products to the market and build clean water systems in Haiti. Catch Espresso Royale on 14th Avenue in Dinkytown.

7. Spy House

This café has beautiful architecture in their large brick building filled with natural light from the gorgeous windows. You can find this coffee house on Broadway Street in Minneapolis’s Art District, not far from campus. Make sure to bring your camera, as they are well seasoned in latté art. Your cup and the scenery will make you want to take so many artsy pictures.

8. Espresso Exposé

This coffee house is in Stadium Village, so it’s a great option if you’re in class over on East Bank or if you live in Superblock. They have unique drinks such as Nutella Lattés, and amazing popovers. Many people come here specifically for the popovers, since they’re awfully hard to find on campus. You can tell they really care about their customers because of their quick and friendly service. The building’s scheduled to be torn down after this summer to make room for a new apartment complex, so get those popovers while you still can!

9. Wise Owl

Wise Owl is found in the lower level of Walter Library. If you’re having a study session in the library, this place will be the one for you. Their drinks taste amazing, and they have a nice variety of snacks—you can even get sushi! This is a great place to help you stay awake during those long study days, especially during finals!

10. Hard Times

Hard Times is another Riverside coffee house over on West Bank. Their claim to fame is their all vegetarian and vegan drinks/food. This one is great for staying up late; It’s open until 4 a.m. every day! It’s more than just coffee—they serve full entrées from breakfast to dinner. Definitely the place to be, whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or a diehard carnivore!

11. When in doubt: Coffee Machines

These are great if you’re looking for a cheap and quick option before class. These are found in many buildings on campus like Folwell and Rapson. You can get your coffee in just a couple minutes here, and costs a fraction of what you would pay at your standard coffee house. These are great if you need coffee in a hurry or your wallet is running low!

During your finals week, try something new, treat yourself and experience some of these hidden coffee house gems. They’re all great places to study and are all unique and great in their own way! I promise they won’t disappoint, and who doesn’t love discovering their new favorite coffee spot?