Americans are addicted to coffee, none moreso than college students. If you’re looking to stay awake during an 8 am on very little sleep, a quick stop at the Campion or Einstein Bagels will usually do the trick. Our reliance on caffeine can sometimes make us forget that coffee isn’t just what keeps us awake in the morning; it can also be a way to treat yourself during a long study session. These four cafés are noteworthy not only for their menus, but also for their homey, inviting interior set-ups and prime locations.
Where you’ll find it: South 13th street, right in the Washington Square West neighborhood of Philadelphia.
What makes it special: The café’s bright lighting and minimalist interior color scheme are its trademarks, but the broad menu is what makes this place worth the trip. Square One’s most popular drink, The London Fog (highly recommended by the store’s Yelp clientele), is a delicious latté made with earl gray tea and sweetened with vanilla syrup. If you’re looking for something more familiar, the café’s
mocha is sharply flavored with a more detectable taste of coffee than hot chocolate. The ample seating–including couches, chairs, and tables–makes it a prime study spot for everything from last-minute cramming to group projects, and Square One’s reasonably priced menu is an added bonus for students on a budget.
Where you’ll find it: Washington Square West
What makes it special: Talula’s triples as a restaurant, market, and café, and also has a garden-side patio open for lunch and dinner in warmer weather. It also has a strong focus on seasonal beverages, and in the winter, one of my go-to orders is their delicious hot apple cider, infused with cinnamon and citrus. The design of Talula’s is rustic and inviting, and the restaurant-style seating arrangements, featuring booths and tables arranged for parties of up to four people, make it perfect for a quick lunch or a coffee date with a friend.
Where you’ll find it: Right off of South Street
What makes it special: Great coffee in a clean, no-frills store environment. Their menu offers a standard selection of macchiatos, lattés, and mochas, but Ox is best known for the strong flavor of its coffee. Interior seating space is limited, but the back patio offers more seating. Students looking for a place to study may be deterred by the lack of Wi-Fi and limited indoor seating, but Ox is still a great place to stop for coffee on the go.
Where you’ll find it: All over the place, from Center City to Bryn Mawr. Check their website for a list of locations!
What makes it special: La Colombe is a popular chain of coffee shops in the Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago areas. Their famous draft latté, dispensed out of a keg, is sweet and frothy, and offers an innovative take on the traditional iced latté. La Colombe’s Center City location, adjacent to City Hall, features soft, ambient lighting and a variety of seating options. The Center City store is often too crowded to accommodate those looking for a quiet study environment, but the Bryn Mawr location, featuring wood-paneled booths and lots of individual tables, is a popular study spot for college students.