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Donkey Coffee on February 1, 2022, in Athens, Ohio.

A guide to coffee shops in Uptown Athens

As students acclimate to campus life in the colder months, one thing that can warm folks up is quality coffee shop. With the number of vibey, cool coffee shops near Court Street, there are plenty of options to try. Here is a non-comprehensive guide to a few of the best local shops in Athens: 

Best Study Spot: Donkey Coffee 

With a grand atmosphere and incredible music selection, Donkey Coffee is the perfect study environment. Even if you just want a cool place to hang or some kind employees to chat with, Donkey is the place for that as well. Most people love Donkey’s chai tea ($4.75) because it’s a refreshing drink that is the perfect way to warm your hands when walking around Court Street in the winter. However, the drink is good for any season because you can get it iced or hot, and both are suitable for any weather condition. 

Located on West Washington Street, this shop has several couches and comfy corners to sit in and is the perfect spot to finish up that last minute paper. There are always interesting shows and activities that happen in the backroom, so it makes it that much more interesting of an atmosphere for studying or relaxing. As an additive, it’s open until midnight, so if you want coffee while you burn the midnight oil studying for your next exam, it’s a great place to get some work done. 

Best Spot to Grab a Bite: Brenen’s Coffee Cafe

This south Court Street location is an alumni-run coffee shop with wonderful food options and creative drink choices. Brenen’s best items are their specialty drinks, such as the Cinnamon Mocha, MilkyWay, Peppermint Patty and Nutty Irishman.

The special espresso drinks can be paired with their equally delectable deli sandwiches; combined, they make for a very enjoyable lunch. What truly sets Brenen’s apart from the other two coffee shops is not only the quality of their menu, but the quantity. This establishment has a full lunch service, with various salads, sandwiches and soups, as well as a full coffee menu. This coffee shop adds to an already great list of places you should try if you haven’t already. 

Best Menu and Location: Court Street Coffee

This pick may be a small shop, but it’s mighty where it matters. Bonus: it’s a convenient spot no matter where you’re at on campus. Court Street Coffee packs a lot of character and craftsmanship into the drinks -- making this a shop impossible to pass up. In fact, you could get a new flavor every day for the whole semester and still have several left to try. 

A drink that’s sure to impress is the Bobcat Mocha, which is offered frozen, warm or iced. This shop is impressively creative with the flavors it puts out. They even have a flavor of the week, which is always a treat, and is what makes going to the shop a fun experience. Whenever you feel like switching it up and going for something special every now and then, give this place a visit. Plus, their drink sizes are very fair (yes, a large is actually a large). Court Street Coffee sells drinks for the same price as other coffee shops, but offer fair sizes so you're not done with your coffee 10 minutes after you order it. 

What’s the difference between the three? Not much. These coffee shops have relatively similar prices, they all have really good coffee and specialty drinks, and they all offer something that you won’t find at any other coffee shop. These are some of the most unique coffee shops you’ll find, and what’s more, they’re all in the same town, within walking distance of each other. 

These three coffee shops provide something that others don’t; they all have a small shop aesthetic with a large shop’s quality. They provide for the needs of their consumers without being unreasonably expensive. Each shop is right on the walk to class, which makes it hard not to stop in and buy a drink. Any of these coffee shops will suit your caffeine addiction. So, if you’re in dire need, and you have no idea where to go, give any of them a try because they’re sure to amaze you. 


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