Classes are back in session, and there’s only one surefire way to combat stress and fuel your studies. We’re talking, of course, about coffee. Check out the area’s best coffee shops and get your fix for the first full week of classes.
Located just a three-minute walk from the Horseshoe on College Street, this shop ranks high on the convenience scale. In addition to its prime location, Cool Beans stays open until midnight to accommodate any late-night studying. Get a caffeine boost from its playful menu full of tea, coffee and smoothies. For those who are slightly more put together and caught up on their work, stop by for board games or a bite off the full menu. Pro-tip: try the portabella wrap.
Drip in Five Points
Drip has an eclectic vibe that mirrors its surroundings in Five Points. The warm and cozy environment can make anyone feel prepared to work, study or sit down with a good book. The baristas there are quick to socialize with the patrons, making the coffee shop experience a much more personal one. If coffee and tea isn't your thing, Drip also sells craft beer and a variety of sodas, juices and milkshakes. They sell food there, but if you're not craving coffee shop food, you can stop by the conjoined ice cream and hot dog store for a quick study break.
Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea
The latest addition to the city's coffee scene, Sweetwaters is located at the base of Empire apartments in the Vista, making for a "Friends"-type situation for its tenants who may want to grab a regular drink together. The shop also has a community table that can be reserved for meetings, complete with outlets to charge portable electronics. The location also offers customers the ability to customize their drinks in all aspects from ice to syrups.
Curiosity Coffee Bar
A markedly hipster atmosphere, Curiosity on Main Street feels almost like an unfinished brick basement perfect for house shows. Nestled in the corner is a stage for live music, frequented by local bands. Against the wall lie arcade games. If it has been an especially long day, grab a drink off the beer and wine menu.
For those looking for the perfect place to take an Instagram photo, Indah on Sumter Street is the perfect location. Its locally and freshly roasted beans make your coffee experience unlike many in Columbia, and the shared space with Circa Barber Shop makes for an interesting if not convenient combination. Stop by Soda City on Saturday morning for a grab-n-go brew.