Indy’s best coffee grounds

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Many girls—and women—have constructed this fantasy of falling in love at a coffee shop. I blame Landon Pigg and every romantic comedy ever—cue girl running into guy and clumsily, but adorably, spilling her latte all over the front of his button up shirt.

Though, here lately, I have been falling in love with coffee shops, rather than with the people in them. And as a feverishly busy college student—always with novels to read and research papers to write and stories to edit—looking for a place to study and remain caffeinated is tough.

I made it my college career mission to find the best and most pleasurable cafés in Indianapolis to study at—because sometimes visiting the campus Starbucks just isn’t enough.

  1. Monon Coffee Company, approximately 10 minutes from campus

If you plan on venturing to Broad Ripple, Monon offers a more authentic—and cheaper—option than the Starbucks right down the street. And because of the Starbucks, this café is often overlooked—providing a relatively quiet environment for studying.

With my experience so far, Monon is one of the few places that offers lavender chai tea lattes—and perhaps the best one I have tasted in my many ventures.

  1. Pearings Café and Frozen Yogurt, approximately 16 minutes from campus

This is the furthest café from campus on this list, but it is definitely worth the drive. Located in downtown Indy near Monument Circle, this location gives off techy vibes. And it has a much different dynamic than most coffee shops.

Rather than the classic, English professor’s office feel, Pearings offers an electric atmosphere—one feels smack dab in the middle of a telecommunications hubbub. Studiers don’t look out of place with their laptops and iPads and isolating headphones.

Perhaps most importantly, this café does not just offer coffee and lattes. Personally, as an avid coffee user, I haven’t even had it there. Rather, the all yogurt-based smoothies draw me in—I recommend the “Gilligan & Skipper.”

Due to its new-age vibes and healthy beverage options, Pearings comes in right in the middle of my list.

  1. Hubbard and Cravens, approximately five minutes from campus  

This café may just be the most convenient when it comes to location, which surely contributes to its position as number two on my list. Located on Pennsylvania Street right across the street from Napolese, Hubbard and Cravens is a seemingly humble establishment. Inside, however, the perfect balance of hustle-and-bustle and serenity resides.

The coffee shop has a very limited window for studying—typically closing at 5 p.m. So, this encourages one to get up and get going in the morning, perfect for Sunday cram sessions. The set-up offers enough space for a friend or two as well—just in case you need a little conversation break.

  1. Thirsty Scholar, approximately 11 minutes from campus

During my ventures so far, the Thirsty Scholar has taken the number one position in my heart. While it is located on 16th Street in the middle of downtown Indianapolis and I typically have to park in what feels like an extremely sketchy CVS parking lot, I don’t even second guess it anymore.

After 5 p.m., someone comes over and takes your order—and serves it to you. If you need a study break and brought a friend, the café has a slew of vintage board games sitting in the corner to try on for size—my roommate and I spent a good two hours playing Trivial Pursuit that I am pretty sure was straight out of the 80s.

The Thirsty Scholar has the best chai tea latte my palette has ever experienced, and because of this café, I am hooked on turmeric tonics—a spicy, citrusy tea infused with ginger and turmeric.

Price at the Thirsty Scholar pouring honey into her turmeric tonic. Photo courtesy of Caysi Johnson

Price at the Thirsty Scholar pouring honey into her turmeric tonic.
Photo courtesy of Caysi Johnson.

Also, it is not just a coffee shop—it has a beer and wine bar. So, for those who are 21-and-over and need a little chardonnay to make that study guide seem a little less daunting, this café has it covered.

One of the biggest perks of this café is that it is the most compatible with college student study habits. It is open until 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and until midnight on Sunday. And at night, the café seems even quainter.

Next time I need a study venue, I plan to try out Perk Up Café, approximately 12 minutes from campus.

Apparently, the café is also pet-friendly—so it may just move a couple others down on my top four list.



One Comment;

  1. Vicki said:

    So interesting and very educational from both the places to hang out for coffee and studies but also for the area and places I didn’t know about, thanks Alexis. I’m so proud of you, Vicki