With finals around the corner, your grades aren’t the only thing you’ll be worrying about. More importantly, perhaps, snagging your favorite spot at 18th Avenue Library could prove to be the biggest hurdle. Instead of waking up at 5 a.m. to mark your territory at Thompson, I find it more enjoyable to find a cozy corner at one of Columbus’ many coffee shops.
Here’s a list of some of my favorite spots to hit the books and grab coffee that isn’t Crimson Cup. It’s a win-win situation.
Stauf’s Coffee Roasters, 1277 Grandview Ave.
Though Stauf’s will now have three other locations across Columbus — German Village, the North Market and its newest in Franklinton — the original Grandview Avenue shop is by far my favorite. With over 60 coffees to choose from, you’ll want to come back and try something new every time. The cafe also has a number of speciality flavors that you can add to your coffee including pecan, raspberry, bourbon, chocolate and pumpkin. If you’re a tea-lover, Stauf’s also boasts the largest tea selection in central Ohio, according to Experience Columbus, and even lets customers bag their own tea and create their own flavors. If you develop an appetite from studying, Stauf’s also offers breakfast, brunch and lunch options every day until 3 p.m.
The coffee shop chain has everything and more for finals-week preparation, whether it be strong espresso for those late nights or a meal to keep you sane. The best part is with four locations, you’re bound to find a spot at Stauf’s.
My pick: Iced Chai: though it’s not coffee, it’s the best chai I’ve had in Columbus. Simply milk, ice and chai tea concentrate –– refreshing and energizing.
The Roosevelt Coffeehouse, 300 E. Long St.
My personal favorite of the bunch, Roosevelt Coffeehouse is a modern coffee-lover’s heaven. Located on the eastern edge of downtown Columbus, the cafe’s urban feel encapsulates what the Columbus coffee community is all about –– bringing people together. Roosevelt is especially notable for its nonprofit aspect. The cafe uses coffee as a means to help people, so all profits beyond overhead expenses and the cost of goods, along with half the tips that baristas collect, are donated to charities that work on three main causes: water, human trafficking and hunger. Roosevelt has donated more than $50,000 since its opening more than two years ago.
Lined with windows on most of the walls, the coffee shop offers some of the best Snapchat lighting I’ve seen in the city, but it’s also home to a genuine staff and the smoothest coffee I’ve ever had. The baristas play a variety of records from every genre throughout the day, making the atmosphere cozy and social. Roosevelt does tend to get busy during the week, so I do recommend getting their early to grab a spot for an all-day study session.
My pick: Vietnamese Iced Coffee: dark roast, Vietnamese-grown coffee beans slowly steeped in a drip-filter and added to a glass filled with ice and sweetened condensed milk. (It takes a while to make, but it’s totally worth it).
Fox in the Snow, 1031 N. 4th St.
PSA: There is no Wi-Fi.
Another coffee spot that’s dear to my heart, Fox in the Snow is home to some of the best breakfast and pastries I’ve ever tasted. The always-busy coffee spot boasts a huge menu of homemade items, so the long lines are no surprise. With that, the coffee is always fast and quality, so it’s a great spot to hit when you’re on the go and not feeling your fifth Starbucks coffee this week. Fox in the Snow will also be expanding with a new location in German Village late this summer.
The atmosphere at Fox in the Snow is a little different from the rest. With industrial architecture and plants decorating every corner, it’s a hipster’s paradise. With no Wi-Fi available, the coffee shop is a great place to disconnect if you need to review study guides or scribble-filled notebooks.
My pick: New Orleans Iced Coffee: a fancy cold brew coffee filled to the brim with ice cold milk.
Kafe Kerouac, 2250 N. High St.
Both a coffeehouse and a bar, Kafe Kerouac delivers solid coffee and espresso choices just steps away from North Campus. Interestingly enough, the house specials are all coffee drinks named after famous authors. The living room-esque atmosphere also doubles as a small bar offering a few craft beers and a full-service liquor bar serving liquor-coffee fusions like old fashioned Irish coffees.
The relaxing interior is filled with couches and comfy chairs, along with standard metal chairs and tables for when it’s time for that finals-week grind.The wall of the main room is accompanied by a little selection of records and artwork that lend to the vintage feel of the cafe. There is even a small stage in the secondary room that hosts poets, comedians and musicians throughout the week if you’re looking for something to do besides study.
My pick: The Ernest Hemingway, a not-too-sweet espresso drink made with a fusion of chocolate and almond flavoring.
One Line Coffee, 745 N. High St.
With a tiny sign out front, it’s difficult to notice the small coffee joint when you’re rushing down High Street to beat Short North traffic. Once you step inside, however, the modern set-up welcomes hipsters and newcomers alike. With so many flavors and beans from across the world, One Line can make a fine coffee to fit any taste, be it the simplest or most exotic. I don’t know how many times I’ve walked in not knowing what I’ve wanted and been surprised by something so rich and caffeinated –– the baristas are magicians in that way. The cafe’s atmosphere is also one of the most laid back of the lot. With soft music playing in the background and the cozy brick feel of the room, it makes a great study spot, too. Unfortunately, One Line doesn’t offer much table space, so if you do find a spot to study, you’re lucky.
My pick: Honey Latte. One Line’s coffee is smooth and the espresso is strong. With some milk and a little sweetness, it makes for a perfect pick-me-up.