If fuel is to a car, then coffee is to a person. It is what most of us need to keep going for the day. For some, they cannot function well without their daily dose of caffeine. 89% of the U.S. population consume caffeine regularly. Would you believe that approximately 1.6 billion cups of coffee are being consumed daily worldwide? Four hundred million of which are consumed by Americans.
Although caffeine can be consumed in other forms such as energy drinks, tea, soft drinks, and even medication, a study of caffeine intake in college students showed that coffee is the primary caffeine source. The college students were likewise surveyed regarding their caffeine consumption, and 79% answered that they consume caffeine to feel awake. Other reasons include enjoying the taste, alleviating stress, reducing fatigue, improving concentration, improving mood, and increased physical energy and socialization.
Like everything in this world, coffee consumption has its upsides and drawbacks. Coffee contains antioxidants that, if taken in moderation, can improve one’s memory. One of the reported reasons college students consume coffee is to improve concentration, and for some, it improves their focus while in class or during studying. It has also been shown in several studies that drinking coffee has health benefits such as prevention of dementia and Parkinson’s disease, decreasing risks of heart disease, and reducing the chances of having type-2 diabetes. But one must remember that too much of anything is bad and that coffee must be consumed in moderation or a maximum of four cups a day for a total of 400 milligrams of caffeine only.
The negative effects of drinking excessive coffee include loss of sleep, stomach upset, bad cholesterol, anxiety, irritability, and excessive intake, which can cause health risks such as rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and decreased bone density. Including those, it can prevent if taken in moderation only. If you drink several cups of coffee a day, your caffeine tolerance will increase, and your body will need more of it than usual to function as you want it to. Aside from its effect on one’s body, supporting a coffee addiction can be expensive. An individual spends up to $638 every year buying coffee from shops.
Fortunately, it has been shown in a recent study that most of the college student participants can last 48 to 72 hours without caffeine intake. This means that they are not entirely dependent on their daily caffeine fix. A high number of participants stated that they drink caffeinated beverages for their taste rather than for its effects, and a great number admitted to having increased caffeine consumption than usual when they stepped into college. But still, some need their daily caffeine consumption, those trying to quit it altogether, and those who crave caffeine. They do not, however, comprise the majority of the college student participants in the study.
The effect of coffee consumption is never the same for different individuals. The experience is always as unique as our bodies react differently to caffeine. Existing medical conditions might worsen the effect of caffeine in one’s system. If you have been a regular coffee drinker, remember that moderation is the key. It is best to monitor your body and brain’s reaction first for those new or still thinking about whether to start drinking coffee.
For coffee dependents, getting that caffeine fix several times daily is the norm. College students are more than willing to spend on a cup of coffee rather than on food. Their day won’t be as productive without a cup of coffee. This is especially true for college students who have to stay up late reading hundreds of pages, meeting deadlines, and other academic demands on top of attending hours of classes during the day. College students also often meet for a group study, hang out, or date in coffee shops considering its proximity to the campus.
According to the National Coffee Association, 64% of Americans who drink coffee every day are in college students from 18 to 24 years old. It is no wonder that several coffee shops can be found around, if not inside, universities and colleges. If you are looking for the best college town coffee shops near you, browse through this list, and you might find the perfect coffee in a place with the right ambiance that offers the best perks.
Use these page jumps to explore the best coffee shops across the country that college students love!
Walker’s Coffee Shop and Pub
Joe the Art of Coffee
Living Room Café and Bistro
Big Bear Café
Spider House Café and Ballroom
Uncommon Grounds at The Corp
Rohs Street Café
Ugly Mug Café & Coffee Roasters
Bay Islands Coffee Co.
The Bourgeois Pig
Common Grounds Waco, located near Baylor University at 1123 S 8th St., Waco, TX, offers a chill and laidback atmosphere both in their indoor and outdoor seating. Aside from the usual house coffee, traditional espresso, house specialties, and milk alternatives found in their menu, C.G. Waco offers what they call the Cowboy Coffee Menu. The drinks under this menu are infused with their sweet and caffeinated secret sauce, making them stand out from all other drinks on the menu. If you require an extraordinary caffeine fix for your day or if you have sky-high academic requirements to finish, you should go straight to the “Sleep is Overrated” portion of the menu and choose between the Pig Swig, the Meltdown, the All-nighter, and the Nervous Breakdown. Any of these drinks will give you the much-needed kick to check off everything on your to-do list as a college student.
They offer catering for orders 20 and above. You can even rent their backyard space for events that can fit up to 700 people. Once in awhile, C.G. holds music events, sessions, and concerts.
This C.G. branch does not only have amazing coffee and ambiance, but they stand for a mission. The owners being Baylor alumni, have forged a partnership with the coffee beans farm and Baylor University. For every bag of the Baylor Blend Coffee purchased, $5 goes to the Baylor Missions and community. They do stand by their line, “Drink coffee. Do good. Repeat.”
Walker’s Coffee Shop and Pub
Coffee shop by day, pub by night. This is the best way to describe Walker’s Coffee Shop and Pub. They serve seven different brewed coffees from their two unique roasts together with various pastries and sandwiches in the morning. At sunset, coffees and teas become beers and mixed drinks. The lights are dimmed, the speaker’s blast, the karaoke is set. Don’t forget that they also serve spirited coffee drinks such as the Irish Kiss Hot Chocolate, Walker’s Cider, and Keoke Coffee all day. Literally and figuratively, a mix of both the shop and the pub. Who said you couldn’t have the best of both worlds?
Due to its proximity to the campus, it has been hailed as a hangout institution of the University of Georgia as students frequent the place.
Lobster Butter Love is probably the first thing you hear after the mention of RoosRoast Coffee. It is their signature coffee, not a mouth-watering dish you probably imagined after hearing the word lobster. But as a drink, it will exceed your expectations. It is creamy but smooth at the same time, and it has a nutty taste at the end. They have other equally weird coffees to choose from like Bad Ass Women Blend, Dream Police Decaf, Mother Pheasant Plucker, and Rich French Neighbor.
Go and pay them a visit to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Students from the University of Michigan often come here to study or hang out. Locals and passers-by also go to this café to have their caffeine fix or a quick meal.
If you plan to do academic work for the whole day, then you should certainly head down to Donkey Coffee. This cozy place doesn’t only offer free Wi-Fi; they also have refillable coffee for the whole day for a very reasonable price. Ohio University students find refuge in this coffee shop during finals week as they are open for a 24-hour study session during the period.
It is not only the students that love this place but Athenians in general as well. In fact, it has won a lot of awards and recognition, and the most recent is The Athens News Readers Award “Best Coffee in Athens,” which has been bagged annually since 2003 up to the present.
If you are looking for entertainment and other activities, Donkey Coffee is also the place to be as they have regular schedules of various events throughout the week. Wednesday is for poetry, and Thursday is for music.
This 62-seat coffee shop serves seasonal coffees by Counter Culture Coffee tested and graded by Pavement Coffeehouse before it goes into their menu to ensure that every customer’s sip is unique and inviting. They have their signature pour-over coffees and their house blend Rathskeller, which can be served in various ways – like an espresso, iced coffee, or hot drip coffee. Their baristas are not only trained and certified but also friendly and helpful.
Students from Boston University prefer to grab their fresh homemade breakfast bagel from this coffeehouse and do some schoolwork given the number of single-person tables and outlets for your chargers and laptop.
It is no wonder Pavement Coffeehouse has earned praises from various magazines as the “Best of Boston,” “One of America’s Top Coffee Bars,” and “Top 10 Coolest Cafes.”
Joe the Art of Coffee
Students from Columbia University need not go farther for the caffeine fix as this coffee shop is located on campus at the Northwest Corner Building. The floor-to-ceiling windows do not only let a lot of natural light in but make you enjoy the view of the campus and the Riverside Church as well. With the location of Joe, the Art of Coffee, and the free Wi-Fi, it has become a study center for several students.
Columbia University students don’t only come to Joe the Art of Coffee for convenience. They keep coming back for the taste and quality of the coffee. This shop was recognized as one of the best coffee bars by the New York Times!
Living Room Café and Bistro
The San Diego State University café or the College Living Room, as they call it, was their very first store to open in 1991. Their primary mission was to provide students and the locals a unique and cozy space to study, meet, eat, and try different flavored coffee and exotic tea. They have outdoor seating, but the attraction is the array of mismatched furniture inside, making the place feel homey. It’s visiting your grandparents’ house. It’s probably a given, considering the name of this café.
They are open from 6 AM to 2 PM, so if you come to study, you can camp in here until you are done. Both the students and the locals can enjoy the weekly Sunday Brunch buffet served by the Living Room Café and Bistro.
Big Bear Café
Located at 1700 1st St., NW Washington, DC 20001, which is just a walking distance from Howard University, this coffee shop is considered by the students as one of the best places to get their work done. It is also a favorite among the Bloomingdale residents. Running out of seats would be the least of your concerns when heading down to Big Bear Café as they have plenty. You can choose to be seated inside or outside on the deck, garden patio, or rooftop.
After a long day of working on your academics, you can unwind and take a break from 4 PM to 6 PM during the happy hour when they serve their specials – sliders, garden greens, grilled cheese, mussels, and Steigl Tallboys.
If you are tired of cafeteria and microwave food, you can opt to reserve for their special guest chef takeover dinners. Every dinner is unique, and you can be sure to have a new experience every time, from Korean barbeques, 5-course dinners to rowdy oyster shucks.
If you are not a fan of eating out and would rather eat within the comfort of your dorm or apartment, you can visit their very own Farmer’s Market, where you can order grocery and pantry items as well as prepared family meal items for pick-up.
You can sit in on their community events, ranging from live music, storytelling, comedy, film screenings, and special community dinners. You can even plan out your very own event. Since they have a garden just outside their building where they grow their produce, gardening lessons are open for those who are interested.
They can host various events such as wedding ceremonies, receptions, birthday surprises, and just about any event, including weekend daytime brunches.
Spider House Café and Ballroom
If you can’t decide what to eat or drink or simply craving for something, Spider House Café and Ballroom is the place for you. They have five food trucks at the blanketed patio that all serve pizza, burger, Mexican and Greek food, and vegan milkshakes. They also serve craft beers, wine, and cocktails if you would prefer those over a cup of coffee when studying or doing your thesis. Enjoy nightly entertainment such as comedy and trivia, arcade, art gallery, crafts carnival, and ballroom events. There’s free Wi-Fi, too, so you pretty much have everything you need all in one place.
It is located near the University of Texas at Austin and is open from 10 AM to 2 AM.
Uncommon Grounds at The Corp
This coffee shop is located right in the Georgetown University Leavey Center. It is operated by Students of Georgetown, Inc., known as The Corp. Their motto is “Students Serving Students,” and they have lived up to that. All the employees are likewise students of the university. They also exhibit the students’ talents by having open-mic nights for poetry, live music performances, and art exhibitions.
The Corp is a non-profit organization that offers services that cater to the needs of the students. The coffee shop Uncommon Grounds is one of them and has served as a study nook for Georgetown students. Aside from the traditional coffee they serve, they also have lattes, teas, and pastries to fuel you for the day.
Rohs Street Café
The most appropriate description of this café is that it is an art museum coffee shop in a church. It is located right next door to the University Christian Church. Aside from the churchgoers, students from the University of Cincinnati are also loyal customers of the church’s venture into the hospitality business as they prefer to call it. Indeed, the staff is very hospitable and likewise knowledgeable about what they serve. Artworks from various artists are on display on the shop’s walls. It was one of their ways of bringing the Clifton community together and showcasing talent at the same time.
Rohs Street Café is open until the late hours in the evening, and there are enough seats and tables to accommodate studiers and locals who want to dine out or drink coffee. They are, however, closed every Sunday morning so that church services won’t be interrupted.
Caffe Strada is in very close proximity to the University of California Berkeley that it is now widely recognized as an extension of the campus. It’s open until 12 M.N., making it a perfect place to study. You can opt to sip your coffee at the outdoor seating on the patio or wherever else you think is comfortable! This coffee shop has highly caffeinated drinks to keep you up and alert for that important paper, but you can have their mild drinks, too, for the casual chill.
According to feedback from customers, they have fast and excellent customer service from very friendly staff. It is probably one reason why they enjoy sitting and sipping their coffee in the Caffe Strada coffee shop.
Ugly Mug Café & Coffee Roasters
This married couple-owned café is located at 1309 NE 43rd St., Seattle, Washington. What’s striking about this café is the name itself as well as its logo. Ugly Mug Café and Coffee Roasters is just a small, warm, and cozy nook near the University of Washington, Seattle.
They sell cool shirts both in-store and on their hip-designed official website. You can also find all of their roasted coffee creations, such as the Espresso Yourself! The other complicated named bags like organic Mexico Oaxaca Coop Sierra Mixteca de Yucuhiti and Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Gelena Abaya are on their website.
Bay Islands Coffee Co.
It’s not much of a shop as it is a stand with a few benches located at a parking lot. However, you should not be deceived by its size. They have surely lived up to their tagline, “Being Better since 1997!” Being just a walking distance from the University of Florida, it has become a drive-through and go-to grab a drink shop for students and locals. The staff is also very friendly, which adds to the many factors that make you keep coming back for a drink or a bite. They serve bagels, croissants, and sandwiches as well.
This place is considered a gem in the community by the local community. They have no official website of their own, but you can check out their Facebook page, Bay Islands Coffee Co.
Besides serving ethically sourced coffee from small farms and serving freshly baked goods, what makes Bordertown Coffee—which is essentially a non-profit devoted to helping feed children—stands on a property with a rich history.
Located at 315 16th Ave. S.E. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, right inside the University of Minnesota, Bordertown Coffee used to be the Theta Chi Fraternity house. Despite Bordertown expressing its interest in the property, it was eventually sold to a developer. It was soon set to be demolished until the Heritage Preservation Commission declared it for historic consideration.
Bordertown used a $300,000 cash gift to acquire the building, but rioters broke in and torched it before the deal was closed. Members of the Sigma Nu fraternity dealt with the situation to help kick the rioters out.
When the dust settled, the historic structure was renovated and reconstructed with the help of volunteers. A year later, Bordertown Coffee finally came to be!
The Library room, as they call it, is open for reservation for any group of more than four people for a closed room meeting, conference, or any other event. You can reserve the room for an entire semester as long as you regularly inform them of your intent to do so. The use of the room is free. That’s right; they won’t require you to purchase anything from the shop. The only rule is not to bring food or drinks bought outside. As a courtesy and aid to their cause, make sure to purchase even just a cup of coffee.
It is to be noted that since it is located within the University of Minnesota and the majority of its customers are students, the coffee shop schedule and operations depend mainly on the school calendar in terms of breaks and vacations.
The Bourgeois Pig
This café, located at 6 E 9th St. Lawrence, Kansas, may be small, but it exudes warmth and comfort like no other, with very friendly staff to boot! Students from the University of Kansas visit this place not just for their coffee that, by the way, has not received any negative feedback to date! People come for the café’s alcohol and other beverages, too! Business hours are from 7 AM to 2 AM for the entire week. However, they don’t start serving beers, cocktails, and wine until 9 AM, as mandated by Kansas law. If they were allowed to, I’m sure customers would flock right after opening their doors for their signature drink mix.
If you have homework to do, books to review, and research to read, or if you want to celebrate something, get over a heartbreak, have a refreshing drink, then The Bourgeois Pig is the go-to place any time of the day. They provide friendly, great, and fast service. The owners aimed for a calm and relaxed vibe in the day and a vibrant and buzzing vibe at night and they surely achieved that.
Hailed as the home of the original cappuccino, Caffe Reggio has been around since 1927. It was the first coffee shop to serve cappuccino in the United States! It also houses the oldest espresso machine in New York City, which takes a special spot in the shop. Your caffeine fix of choice is here, from the strongest of cappuccinos to the mildest of lattes and all else in between! If you are looking for a satisfying bite, order yourself some pasta, omelets, sandwiches, crepes, or pastries.
It is a study haven for New York University students and writers who love the cool Italian vibe, with antique Italian décor and artwork to their imaginative juices flowing. It is a perfect place for a romantic date as well.
This nationally recognized coffee shop is frequented by students from Northwestern University. It’s an awesome study spot until the wee hours! It’s also a place where students hang out to take a break from the school buzz. If the place is not packed with students, Evanston residents stay to enjoy their food and drinks with their friends, just chitchatting.
Beyond being a business, the coffee shop has formed a relationship with the students and the school beyond the normal business-customer interaction. Kafein supports the university’s functions and other causes and the talents and skills of its students. Their stage accommodates students for open mic nights and lives music performances, just like their walls display the artworks of the N.U. Students. This is what sets them apart from other local coffee shops in town.
Don’t be deceived by the exterior of this coffee shop housed in a warehouse building near the University of Tennessee. It is also located next to the Old Gray Cemetery, which adds to its unique vibe. It has outdoor seating, bike parking, Wi-Fi, and is wheelchair accessible. The ambiance of the place and the well-lit indoors by natural light full of green lush will surely spike your productivity, and you will get things done. This place truly provides a remedy for your work pile and deadlines, among other things.
You will have many coffee and non-coffee options, and you can ask anything about coffee from their very knowledgeable baristas. They will be more than happy to help customers learn about what they are ordering.
Another reason to visit Remedy Coffee is their book swap library. The rule is that you can take a book if you put in one of yours on the shelf.
Alley Cat Café
The Alley Cat Café, formerly known as the Alleycat Coffee House, is open 24/7 to serve you locally roasted coffee, smoothies, pastries, vegan brownies, sandwiches, meals, and many more in their cozy space. If you need access to the internet, they also have free Wi-Fi so you can browse the web all day long. If you want a break from the academic buzz, you can attend the live events in the café or play board games available for check out at their counter with friends.
It is located on the second floor of a building just a few blocks from Colorado State University. It has been a study haven for students and a hangout place for Fort Collins residents and visitors. If you want to pull an all-nighter, meet a term paper deadline, or meet with a friend for lunch, have a coffee after a long night out, then Alley Cat Café will gladly open their doors for you, any time of the day. The friendly staff and baristas will always welcome you with a smile. Pets are also welcome in the roofed patio!
The Alley Cat Café does not only open their doors to customers but also to artists who can display their artworks on the walls, ceilings, and tables of the café for free. You can support a local artist by buying their work, and you can be 100% sure that all of the sales will go to the artist.
Drop by Alley Cat Café’s official Facebook page once in a while to be up-to-date with today’s promo, events, and up for grabs artwork. They randomly offer special promos like buy-one-take-one and discounted prices on specific beverages for a day, so you have to watch out for those.