Summer is coming to a close all too soon and, with classes rushing in quickly, you may find yourself stocking up on a few basic college essentials: books, notepads and — above all — caffeine. Every college student has a moment in their career that relies solely on coffee (if you’re a lucky gem who hasn’t, please share your secret). Whether you’re up late finishing that 10-page paper due tomorrow or waking up at 6 a.m. to squeeze in a little more study time before your 8 a.m. exam, let this compilation of campus cafés guide you to your perfect cup of liquid sanity.
There are of course a few spots to catch your trusty Starbucks favorite, such as the main floor of the Campus Store, or the 105 Café in the Annex building. But if Starbucks isn’t your thing or if you’re looking to branch out, don’t fret; the U offers a wide array of coffee options, each with its own perks.
The Coffee Lab
This tiny coffee spot is arguably the best place on campus to get your coffee fix. The name and atmosphere of the café give the impression the barista, Simon Zivny (who also owns the cafe) knows what he’s doing – and he does. The coffee, supplied by La Barba Coffee roasters, among others, is delicious and the staff clearly appreciates the skill of making exceptional coffee. The hole-in-the-wall café in the College of Pharmacy building feels a bit like a secret; now that you’re in on it, you definitely shouldn’t miss out on this charming little café. Rating: 5/5
The Bistro England Hub
Made-from-scratch meals and friendly customer service make The England Hub, located in the Health Sciences Education Building, a great place for grabbing a bite to eat. You won’t get bored of the Hub; it offers a vast array of food options — everything from wings and burgers to pastries and grab-n-go items. The café is also one of a few scarce places on campus to find Caffe Ibis coffee. Students looking for environmentally-friendly options can rest easy knowing this coffee meets high standards. The brews are not only delicious, but the roasting company, from Logan, Utah, prides itself on certifications accounting for “human health, human dignity and environmental benefits.” Rating: 5/5
The Counsel Café
This new café appeared with the recent completion of the long-awaited S.J. Quinney College of Law building and keeps theme with the structure’s modern atmosphere, complete with large windows and plenty of space to sit and work. The Counsel Café supports many local businesses and provides coffee from Douglas Coffee Roasters, a company located right here in Salt Lake. At the Counsel Café, you can find breakfast sandwiches and cereal bars alongside an excellent selection of coffee beverages. Rating: 4.5/5
Two Creek Coffee House
This extremely popular café, located in the Browning building, offers a more classic coffee shop atmosphere. It offers a menu of breakfast sandwiches and pastries, but the primary focus here is on drinks. In addition to a full range of coffee beverages, you can also enjoy teas, hot chocolate and plenty of cold beverages. With its outdoor seating and frozen drink selection, Two Creek is also a desirable destination during warmer months, providing a nice escape from the heat and stress of summer classes. Rating: 4/5
The first thought that comes to mind when visiting this café is, “Who is Mom?” The café is affectionately named after Myrtle Lee Markwell Fulton, who, in the early 1900s, opened a very simple food stand in her front yard to support herself and her children. She was known for her hospitality and this charming café follows suit with customer service that makes you feel right at home. You could reasonably expect it to be a quiet study spot, as it is located on the first floor of the Marriot Library, but in reality, the café’s noisy reputation makes it less-than-ideal. The café also draws a lot of students during fall and spring semesters; as long as you’re lucky enough to find a seat, you’ll find yourself wanting to come back for more. Rating: 4/5
This very modern café in the Spencer Fox Eccles Business building makes an immediate impression as the scent of coffee and sound of light conversation draw you in. The café’s large windows and both indoor and outdoor seating make for an excellent place to sit and study for a while. The coffee is provided by La Barba coffee roasters; a company started by four people, including U alums Levi Rogers and current CEO Josh Rosenthal. Café Madsen offers a variety of La Barba’s great blended roasts, but be a bit wary of the espresso. Rating: 3.5/5
You know the saying: “Would you like the good news first or the bad?” So far we’ve covered the good, the best and the alright, but we’ve now reached the not-so-great. 105 Café is good for quick gas station-esque nachos and self-serve snacks. It’s made for convenience and, if you can endure the strong odor of the old Annex building and its poor service, feel free to brave this café. 105 Café is simply bad news. Rating: 2/5
The next time you’re having a “too much Monday and not enough coffee” kind of day, do not lament, for no matter if you’re sleepwalking between classes or in need of that extra push to get you through an exam, there are enough caffeine options on campus to keep you awake and sharp all day. Take a seat and let the coffee jump-start your motivation.