A Caffeine Lover's Guide to SDSU

San Diego State University
United States

Late nights, early mornings and lazy afternoons- every time of day is coffee time or tea time for a caffeine loving college student like myself. As a college girl on the hunt for a good pick-me-up at all hours of the day, here are some places I believe offer the best tea and coffee at San Diego State University.  

Big City Bagels (BCB Company)

  • Where: Campanile Walkway, Love Library, (Off Campus) Hillcrest
  • Prime Time: Early morning- the line is much shorter than the Student Union Starbucks- and later (till 11pm) nights at the library. 
  • Why: Unique options, quick service, fantastic daily brew
  • Recommendations: Iced tea of the day, Iced Americano, Daily brew, Vanilla Latte


  • Where: Literally everywhere, College Avenue, Student Union, Storm Hall
  • Prime Time: Hit up the newer College Avenue Starbucks in the morning for a slightly shorter line, go to the Student Union at night because College Avenue closes at 6:30pm, Student Union is also better if you are with a large group of people
  • Why: Lots of options, Great breakfast or lunch food, Convenient and central locations
  • Recommendations: Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew, Mango Black Tea Lemonade, Cappuccino, The Pink Drink (Strawberry Acai Refresher with Coconut Milk)

Aztec Market

  • Where: Scattered around campus, locations are close to residence halls
  • Prime Time: always pretty quick but avoid between 9:30 and 10pm- it gets extra busy towards closing!
  • Recommendations Starbucks sweetened black iced coffee, vanilla cappuccino from the machine, Pure Leaf iced tea
  • Why: inexpensive, quick and easy, ability to grab a bunch to keep for later in your fridge

Shake Smart

  • Where: Student Union Aztec Market, outside the ARC
  • Prime Time: Line always moves quickly but definitely a good place in the mornings 
  • Why: a nice change from your typical coffee shop, unique options
  • Recommendations: the “Shake Your Coffee” blends protein and coffee for an incredible pick-me-up (tip: add almond butter or cinnamon!)

(Off Campus Bonus!) Pappalecco

  • Where: Little Italy
  • Why: the perfect little Tuscan cafe for an after dinner or anytime treat
  • Recommendations: the Marocchino- Espresso, Nutella and frothy milk 

Check out some of these great options on campus and stay energized, Aztec collegiettes!