As a college student (aka one of the nation’s top caffeine consumers) living in the coffee capital of the US, I feel it’s important to have your coffee stops established. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to bunk up in a booth for a midterm and study for hours, or looking for a grab and go spot, the Ave and the surrounding campus area are rich in options. Now, let’s discuss the qualities one should look for in a regular coffee spot. First things first: atmosphere.
It’s all about your purpose. Are you going to enjoy a drink with friends or are you looking to hunker down and bust out your chemistry homework? If you’re looking for a social atmosphere, Café on the Ave provides a spacious dining area with large tables that you and your friends can gather around to discuss the day’s happenings. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a serene spot to do homework, head to Café Allegro down a little alley on The Ave. The lobby might seem a bit busy but, a trip upstairs will bring you to a secluded lounge that’s practically silent besides the sound of keys on laptops and people sipping their coffee.
Now that we’ve covered atmosphere on to the next priority: quality. Being an avid coffee drinker, I find myself rating the quality of the shots, the ratio of ice to drink, all the while debating if it was worth the arm and the leg I paid for the beverage. If you’re looking for a cup of coffee that will make you forget that you’re failing your math class, I have a few suggestions. The Ugly Mug Cafe, located on 43rd, not only presents quirky décor but also a very good cup of coffee. While it’s a quite small establishment, it’s the perfect place to grab and go. Another stop is a lot closer to home for some: Bean and Bagel, located right behind the west campus dorms. I found this place while walking back from class and it proved to be worth the stop. I felt a bit skeptical at first and the prices were a bit high but for good reason. Quality coffee and very quick service mostly made up for the $5 price point.
Whether you’re about the experience or finding the best cup of coffee on campus, here’s a starting point. Coffee is an essential part of any college student’s career and better to find your staple spots now, rather than later. I will leave you with one last tip, when you’re looking for a coffee shop to be a regular at, choose like you’re choosing a partner: look for quality, stability, and charm.