If you’re going to survive four years in New York City, you’re going to have to develop a taste for stimulants. Coffee is, of course, the most legal and easily accessible of these. Depending on where you go to school, there are dozens of coffee shops that are competing for your business (and who knows, you little bastards might all have espresso machines in your dorm rooms already). But not all java joints are created the same. We tested a number of college-adjacent shops and can happily report that these three now have our jittery seal of approval.
Society Coffee and Juice
2104 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (at W. 114th St.)
This Columbia-adjacent café has big comfy chairs and tables to spread out your notes. The owners, knowing you can’t concentrate very long, also leave board games lying around so you can procrastinate. With great espresso, free wireless Internet and good lighting, this spot is worth the walk from campus.
248 Mercer St. (betw. W. 3rd & W. 4th Sts.)
This branch of the local mini-chain serves coffee roasted just across the river in Brooklyn. NYU students will often camp out here because of the free wireless and the just-like-home peanut-butter-banana sandwiches on the lunch menu. The name alone inspires heightened brain functioning, and real grown-ups hang out here also, giving it that coveted off-campus feel.
505 Myrtle Ave. (betw. Grand Ave. & Ryerson St.)
Though it caters to Pratt’s frenzied art students, Pillow Café is, surprisingly, a bastion of calm. Like the ideal parents you never had, the wait-staff pays attention to you, but doesn’t smother you. With the endless supply of coffee and copious soft cushions (gotta live up to its name), this is a spot not to be missed.