Coffee shops are places where people go to study, relax, or meet with friends. Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, there was really only one coffee shop: Starbucks. Then, I started working as a barista in St. Louis and became invested in coffee and local coffee shops.
St. Louis is a city that encompasses many different neighbourhoods and areas. In each of these areas, it is easy to find a local coffee shop to camp out at. Venture out, try one of these local coffee shops and integrate yourself in the St. Louis community.
South Grand: Gelateria del Leone
3197 S Grand Blvd
This coffee shop offers a great atmosphere, as well as abundant amounts of study spaces. Don’t like the downstairs? Travel upstairs to the study rooms. Don’t want to be inside? There’s a patio adorned with string lights and water fountains. They bake their goods in house, roast their beans in house, and have handcrafted gelato for your study break. Open until 11 p.m., Gelateria del Leone is a great place to refocus!
Fifteen minutes away from Fontbonne, this coffee shop would need your time commitment. If you are used to fancy blended drinks and complicated orders, this might not be the place for you. Their menu consists of classic drinks from lattes to americanos. Also, Gelateria offers unique selections such as cubanos and cortados.
Demun: Kaldi’s Coffee House
700 DeMun Ave
A hop and skip away from campus, this coffee house offers not only a great cup of coffee, but a scenic walk. Your cup of coffee is made with Kaldi’s own roasted beans, and flavored with their own syrups and mixtures. Their kitchen is open late, offering breakfast burritos, lunch sandwiches, and more. When you step into this coffee house, you are stepping into a St. Louis original. The location on Demun was the first Kaldi’s to open in 1994.
Being the first Kaldi’s in existence, they didn’t really prep for massive amounts of students. If you come on a busy day you may find seating is pretty limited. If you can’t find a seat and it is a nice day, you can also sit outside on the patio. Cost wise, Kaldi’s is well worth the 4 to 5 dollars. The atmosphere of Kaldi’s makes this a worthwhile coffee house trip.
The Grove: Rise Coffee
4176 Manchester Ave
Two words: bottomless coffee. For only 7 dollars, you get infinite amount of house brewed cups of coffee. Going to a coffee shop will always be more expensive than staying in, but Rise offers affordable prices on coffee compared to other coffee shops on the list. Located in the heart of the grove, there are record shops, hair salons, and restaurants surrounding it. Going to this coffee shop allows you to immerse yourself in a community.
Rise coffee is not for the night owls. Closing around 6 p.m. on most weekdays and 7 p.m. on weekends, this coffee house is not here for your late night study habits. Also, if you’re hungry, it might set you back 8 dollars.
The Loop: Meshuggah Cafe
6269 Delmar Blvd
Nestled in the middle of the loop, “Meshuggah” is Yiddish for crazy. Following its namesake, Meshuggah has a crazy amount of options for coffee. The menu is large, offering different flavors and ways to get your caffeine fix. Hungry? They have a large menu for that too. Bagels, egg sandwiches, and lunch sandwiches of different varieties are available. Bored? They have a full shelf of books and board games for communal use. If the main area is too loud for you and your studying, you can take your books upstairs to refocus.
You have to go all in if you want a coffee from Meshuggah. They have two sizes: regular and large. At this place, it’s best to go big or go home. Closing at 7 p.m. on weekdays and 6 p.m. on saturdays, this coffee shop is probably best for your middle of the day studying.
The Hill: Shaw’s Coffee
5147 Shaw Ave
Shaw’s coffee roasts their own beans, has unique drinks, and you can sit in a renovated bank vault. This coffee shop is unique, offering a great atmosphere and great coffee. Don’t feel like a cup of coffee? Try an Italian soda or a granita. With enough room to study and explore options for drinks, Shaw’s coffee is just a 9 minute drive away from Fontbonne.
Shaw’s coffee costs about 4 to 5 dollars for a specialty drink. Shaw’s coffee includes bakery items and breakfast wraps, which can be perfect to fuel your studying. This coffee shop only offers street parking, but the coffee and experience are worth the parallel parking job.
Soulard: Sump Coffee
3700 S Jefferson Ave
Sump coffee roasts their beans on site and offer a different coffee experience. When you enter, they usually walk you through their menu to ensure you get what you really want. The coffee shop focuses on the flavor of the espresso, producing a fresh and intense flavored coffee. Are you an extreme coffee lover? You might want to try out their coffee subscription service. Simply go to their website, input how many weeks, and how many shipments you need of their various roasts.
Just a head’s up night owls: Sump is open until 4 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. on weekends. Sump has gained notoriety, even opening up a location in Nashville, as well as being a hit in St. Louis. Sump gives you a full experience, making the 6 dollar cup of coffee well worth it. Sump sees added sugar and flavors as a distraction to the coffee, so come ready to experience the coffee flavor as is!