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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Five close-to-campus coffee spots for studious UA students

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Amelia McAnear

Cafe Maggie is a local Fourth Avenue coffee shop open daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The menu features many vegan options and offers a comfortable place to study.  

Supporting local businesses has never been easier with the variety of shops available to University of Arizona students a short distance off campus.

With finals coming up, here are a few shops to keep in mind when looking for places to study.

1.) Cafe Maggie

Cafe Maggie is located on the corner of Fourth Avenue and University Boulevard, open daily 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“I love how inclusive we are. The majority of our coworkers are trans or nonbinary,” said Emily Erickson, who has been working at the shop for eight months.

The coffee shop is also accommodating to families, offering an area for children to play while their parents enjoy their drinks.

When it comes to studying, Cafe Maggie also has students covered.

“The majority of our regulars just post up for hours, and they’re either working or studying. Then they just come and get their cappuccinos and like four hours later get a muffin,” Erickson stated.

Equipped with couches, tables and booths, there are countless options for where to sit for hours on end. When hunger inevitably strikes, Cafe Maggie has both food and pastries to help put you at ease, including many vegan options. Erickson recommended the potato bowl and veggie scramble.

Becoming a Cafe Maggie regular also has its perks. After five drinks, your next one is free. Erickson suggested trying their peanut butter mocha, emphasizing how they make their own peanut sauce.

Aside from coffee and food, the shop is delving into other creative options for its customers with plans of starting a chess night.

“We have an art show at night every other month. It’s a second Saturday sort of thing where local artists come in and have their art up on the walls,” Erickson said.

2.) Snakes & Lattes

Snakes & Lattes is located in  Main Gate Square on University Boulevard. The business is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Friday and Saturday, when it’s open until 12 a.m., and Sunday when it’s open until 9 p.m.

“I really like working here because it’s not just one thing. In the mornings, I get to work in a cafe, and that’s really great, but sometimes I want to work at more of a fast-paced bar, and if I do that, I work Friday and Saturday nights,” said Xander Mason, a recent UA grad who has worked at the shop for a year.

The back wall of Snakes & Lattes has three walls dedicated to any board game you can think of. Open until 10 p.m. during the week and midnight on Friday and Saturday, grab your friends to game the night away! 
The back wall of Snakes & Lattes has three walls dedicated to any board game you can think of. Open until 10 p.m. during the week and midnight on Friday and Saturday, grab your friends to game the night away!

What sets Snakes & Lattes apart from the other shops on this list is the size of its board game collection.

“It’s definitely a really fun atmosphere. The board game atmosphere is really cool even if you’re not playing games, just being around people playing games, having fun, is just a different energy than people focused solely on eating or studying,” Mason said.

While board games are the biggest selling point, Mason mentioned Snakes & Lattes can also be a good place to grab coffee or tea before you study. He recommended the hot or iced chai drinks or any of the lattes.

“We have a full kitchen. We do breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food here is really good. We are actually a majority scratch kitchen. We have a really good chef back there,” Mason added.

Snakes & Lattes regulars also use a rewards system that offers discounts for free coffee or meals.

3.) Caffe Luce

Caffe Luce is located in Main Gate Square on University Boulevard. It is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Caffe Luce is located right in Main Gate Square. Stop in to study and enjoy the industrial décor. 
Caffe Luce is located right in Main Gate Square. Stop in to study and enjoy the industrial décor.

“I’ve been coming more lately because it’s so good, and it’s pretty affordable, especially for students,” said Madyson Edwards, who is a UA student studying film and journalism and a regular at Caffe Luce.

Her go-to drink is the hot chai tea latte.

Linden Solgonick, a double major in jazz and engineering at the UA, stops at Caffe Luce up to twice a week.

“I first came here this summer with my dad. I remember the hot chocolate was really good, and I also really like the vibes in here. It is also very close to the music school, which is where I spend a lot of my time, so I can just bike over here. The coffee and muffins are very good,” Solgonick said.

Solgonick usually orders a mocha or caramel macchiato if she is craving coffee. When she is in the mood for something else, jasmine tea or earl grey are her drinks of choice.

“I’ve studied here before. The people here are really polite, so they don’t really disrupt you,” Solgonick said.

4.) Espresso Art Cafe

Espresso Art Cafe is located at the heart of Main Gate Square on University Boulevard.

Open Sunday through Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Owen Culbert is a fairly recent hire at Espresso Art Cafe, having worked at the shop for around three weeks.

“It’s a little quieter, older crowd, less Californicated crowd. We are going to have a lot of live events starting soon. Music every Friday, karaoke on Wednesdays, trivia on Thursdays,” Culbert said.

As soon as you walk into Espresso Art Cafe, you are struck by the vibrant hot pink velvet chairs and multiple paintings decorating the wall. Be sure to try one of Espresso's unique live events happening every week! 
As soon as you walk into Espresso Art Cafe, you are struck by the vibrant hot pink velvet chairs and multiple paintings decorating the wall. Be sure to try one of Espresso’s unique live events happening every week!

There are a number of drinks on the menu ranging from coffee to alcohol. There are also snacks to keep you full as you study the day away, including muffins, bagels and croissants.

“I make a lot of mochas with whip cream; that’s very important. What I would recommend is the brown sugar latte because we have really nice brown sugar. And the Mexican mocha, that one is really great,” Culbert said.

Espresso Art Cafe offers customers perks that keep them coming back, including punch cards and parking validation. The hookah and bar are also huge parts of the appeal behind Espresso Art Cafe.

Culbert recommended trying the “Maui Wowie” and “Fruit Bag” hookah flavors, adding Lucky Charms is their most popular flavor.

5.) Scented Leaf Tea House

Scented Leaf is also located in Main Gate Square, open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Taylor Bader, the general manager, has been working at the tea house for around five years.

“I love working here. It’s part of why I’ve been [in Tucson] so long,” Bader said. “The atmosphere is certainly part of its appeal. Scented Leaf has a very special energy to it that is unique to it versus a lot of other places. It’s a lot friendlier. It’s a lot more energetic. One way people have described it is it’s just a very nice place to be.”

Scented Leaf offers a variety of different teas, including both caffeinated and decaffeinated options. Visit Scented Leaf in Main Gate Square to experience the energy and atmosphere for yourself!  
Scented Leaf offers a variety of different teas, including both caffeinated and decaffeinated options. Visit Scented Leaf in Main Gate Square to experience the energy and atmosphere for yourself!

When it comes to studying, Scented Leaf is not lacking in accommodations.

“Scented Leaf is an excellent place to study. We are right next to campus. So it offers students a really good place to come and hang out with friends. During [COVID-19], we actually expanded our location. It used to be just one space, and now we took over both spaces to allow for more seating,” Bader said.

Scented Leaf offers refills all throughout the day: a bonus for college students looking to save some money.

“The fruit gusher is by far the most popular drink that we have. My favorite drink is something called the kiddie pool, that has mango, pomegranate and lemonade. That’s a great summer drink,” Bader said. “If you’re looking for a caffeine-free option, we have some amazing things like our honey vanilla or chamomile. Our Evening in Missoula [tea] is amazing. Those are all excellent caffeine-free options as well.”


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