The British have tea, Columbians have coffee, and Americans have … er, coffee also. And some of the nation’s most faithful worshipers at the Church of Joe are college students. Nothing gets you up and ready for a day of learning like a cup of java, except maybe a Red Bull, but do you really want your blood to be sticky? To us, these 25 coffee hangouts from around the country are the best part of wakin’ up.
- Metropolis Coffee Co., Loyola University
This many people packing a coffee shop can’t all be wrong. Students come for the lively, eclectic atmosphere and sip fantastic coffee made from locally-grown beans and roasted in-house. Best of all, Metropolis baristas are super friendly and helpful.
- Recess Coffee, Syracuse University
They don’t open ’til 10 a.m., so swing by after your 8 o’ clock class for the great organic coffee at Recess. Or if you’ve got a sweet tooth, grab a Crazy Shawn hot chocolate and a snickerdoodle and fire up a board game.
- Caffé Medici, University of Texas
For the best espresso this side of Italy, sluggish Longhorns go to Caffé Medici. The serious attention to detail here makes their espressos top-notch, coffee delicious, and chai outstanding. And for grub, snag a couple sausage rolls; you won’t be sorry.
- Ozo Coffee, University of Colorado
Discerning Buffaloes looking for a way to warm up choose Ozo. This coffee house features exotic espressos and perfectly roasted coffees served by award-winning baristas (apparently they do give awards for that). Pick up a Hannah Bee Mocha Latte and get cozy.
- Mighty Good Coffee Café, University of Michigan
Good college coffee places don’t have to be hipster hives. This quiet coffee spot in Ann Arbor has some of the best roasted java in town. Don’t miss the spiced hot cocoa.
- Luck Bros’ Coffee House, Ohio State University
Have a seat at the brew bar and let owner Andy Luck tell you about beans while he brews you a unique blend of delicious imported coffee. Order up a slice of the famous Breakfast Bake that’s fit for champions.
- Trabant Coffee & Chai, University of Washington
The food offerings here rotate, so depending on the day you might find a vegan apple cinnamon muffin or a vegan lemon pecan scone. But awesome coffee and wonderful creamy chai can be had every day of the week.
- Bordertown Coffee, University of Minnesota
Located inside an old fraternity house, Bordertown is a quiet spot with dynamite food. Maple scones, banana bread, vegan chocolate chip cookies … Bordertown’s baked goods are superb. Get there early though, because this hole-in-the-wall’s secret is out.
- Tazza D’Oro, Carnegie Mellon University
Italian for “cup of gold,” Tazza delivers with amazing cappuccinos and espressos like the “bicycle love” blend. It also has some solid loose-leaf teas and excellent panini later in the day. Lucky for students, it’s on the Carnegie Mellon dining plan.
- Art of Espresso, University of California-San Diego
Roundly considered the best joe on campus, AoE complements the great coffee with tasty espressos, chais, and teas. Scrumptious food offerings like zucchini-carrot muffins and strawberry scones put this place over the top.
- The Cheese Shoppe, Penn State University
Thirsty Lions swing by for expertly roasted coffee and a huge selection of cheeses and teas, or buy the fair-priced packaged beans to make at home. In the morning, the smell alone is enough to pull in passers-by.
- Cultiva Coffee, University of Nebraska
Micro-roastery Cultiva brings Sumatra and Guatemala to you at this spot in Lincoln. With incredibly fresh, exotic brews made right in front of you, drinking coffee here is a personalized experience you won’t soon forget.
- Karma Cream, University of Florida
Although it’s technically an ice cream place, Gators love the coffee as much or more than the organic ice cream and delicious baked goods. Bonus points for vegan fare, environmentally friendly practices and being open 24 hours.
- Muldoon’s Coffee House, Texas A&M University
In just a few years of existence, Muldoon’s has secured its place as the best coffee house in College Station with a relaxed atmosphere, terrific lattes, and of course, great coffee. Try the Orleans latte with cinnamon and caramel.
- Stumptown Coffee, Portland State University
Stumptown is a chain, but not in the Starbucks mold. What you get here at the Portland location next to the Ace Hotel is world-class coffee and the finest cappuccinos in Oregon. Come back at happy hour for the foreign beers.
- Qualia Coffee, Howard University
Coffee is a philosophical endeavor at Qualia, which apparently means an “indescribable experience of the senses.” Pick your own recently sourced beans for your delicious iced or drip coffee and grab a seat outside and watch people talk bike repair.
- Henry’s, University of Kansas
Like two establishments in one, by day Henry’s is a coffee bar serving Americanos, Dirty Chais, and spectacular cinnamon rolls. After 5 p.m., alcohol is served upstairs. For a lively time, hang out on the patio downstairs, but head upstairs for a quiet retreat.
- Octane Coffee, Georgia Tech
With friendly baristas and a cool, spacious setting, all Octane needs to be great is great coffee. And the coffee is great. Also great are the quiches, parfaits, and the crowd-favorite King of Pops they keep on hand.
- The Golden Roast, University of Tennessee
Some of the best java in Knoxville just happens to be right here on UT’s campus. Take your pick of the day’s hand-roasted selections like Sumatra Mandheling and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, or come hungry and chow down on fresh pastries made at a local bakery.
- Brothers K Coffeehouse, Northwestern University
John and Brian Kim are the brothers behind this house, and students and everyone else in town trust them with their caffeine needs. Customers are split on which latte is the best, “The Dick Cheney” or the “Rush Limbaugh.” Try a spinach and feta pie while you’re there.
- Caffe Strada, UC Berkeley
Located just a few Birkenstock-footed steps from campus, Caffe Strada is a beautiful locale for strong coffee and farther-out stuff like Italian soda and hot cider. Grab an iced latte and chill on the patio in the California sun.
- Kafe Leopold, Georgetown University
Coffee is just one of the stars at the chic Kafe. A short jog from campus, students come for scrumptious brunch items like Belgian waffles and goat cheese quiche. And since breakfast is served until 4 p.m., you can wake up at noon and still catch the most important meal of the day.
- The Morning Times, Shaw University/North Carolina State University
A big ceramic mug filled with steaming Counter Culture coffee and a chill environment? You must be at the Times. Head Barista Casey Porn oversees the expert espressos and lattes like the tasty pumpkin latte.
- Spro Coffee, Johns Hopkins University
For excellent coffee served by knowledgeable baristas, students head to Spro for some of the best ‘spro in Baltimore. Employees take their time crafting the honey macchiato and black oolong tea. It’s a straightforward local joint that simply serves great coffee.
- Café Brioso, Franklin University/Columbus College of Art & Design
You won’t find anything you don’t like here, from coffee to soups and sandwiches. Roastmaster and owner Jeff Davis runs a friendly staff and serves some of the best lattes in the Midwest.