Grab a cup of coffee and motivation during finals week from local coffee shops

Third Street Stuff and Coffee was voted the best coffee shop in Kentucky by Business Insider in 2014. 

Lauryn Haas

The last few weeks of the spring semester weigh heavily on the shoulders of students longing for summer. After a school year full of group projects, research papers, presentations and work shifts, the prospect of studying for final exams can be overwhelming. Those study guides are not going to write themselves, but studying in a productive environment with a cup of liquid motivation, or coffee, can make the process much more bearable.

When you need a place to review lecture notes that’s far enough away from your noisy roommate but still close enough to home, try one of these Lexington coffee shops.

If you love downtown:

Daily Offerings Coffee Roastery

Located downtown near The Square and across from the Lexington Convention Center, Daily Offerings serves up traditional coffee favorites in a rustic environment. The tables are raw wood – the perfect background for an Instagram photo of your latte – and the brick walls and aluminum ceiling make you feel like you’re studying in a downtown loft. The music is calming and makes for the perfect study environment. The store even sells local craft beer – for those over 21, of course.

Panera Bread on East Main Street

While it’s not an actual coffee shop, Panera Bread does offer a variety of coffee drinks and smoothies for those who prefer something fruity. The downtown location is actually a Panera To You, but there is plenty of seating for those looking for a less-crowded study location. The lunch rush brings in busy people from downtown offices picking up to-go orders, but the seating area is mostly secluded and offers a nice view of downtown Lexington. If you’re signed up for Panera rewards you can get discounted drinks or even a free bagel to keep you focused while studying. 

If you have some leftover Flex dollars to use up:

Starbucks in Willy T.

Although it’s one of the busiest studying spots on campus, Starbucks in William T. Young Library is the perfect location to cram for finals with friends or meet with group members to work on a project.

“It’s super convenient having a coffee shop in the library,” said Shelbi Broeking, a junior biology and English double major and a Starbucks employee since her freshman year. “Though the line can get a bit long, it is a nice study break while you wait.”

Tapingo is an easy way to avoid having to stand in those long lines. Since Flex dollars don’t roll over into the next school year, Starbucks is a great place to spend your remaining balance on fuel to propel you through long nights in the library.

Common Grounds on North Campus

Common Grounds is located beneath Jewell Hall and directly next to The Study, making it the perfect location for North Campus residents to grab some espresso while getting some study help from the tutors next door. It also serves everything from breakfast burritos to milkshakes to satisfy any study craving, and everything can be purchased with Flex dollars.

If studying makes you hungry, and you want to try something local:

Third Street Stuff & Coffee

Voted Best Coffee Shop in Kentucky by Business Insider in 2014, Third Street Stuff offers a colorful space full of cozy couches and board games for study breaks. It serves sandwiches, salads, hummus plates, “locally baked bagels and breads from Bluegrass Baking Co. and locally made sweets by Martine’s,” according to its website.

If you like fancy drinks, Third Street Stuff has creative coffee concoctions you can’t find anywhere else. The “American Pharaoh,” a hazelnut and toffee nut latte, and the “Secretariat,” a cinnamon maple spice and splash of vanilla latte, make great study buddies. 

Third Street Stuff is sophomore WRD major Aylissa Ritterhoff’s favorite place to study.

“It’s colorful, there is a great vibe for studying, and their unique coffee flavors can’t be found anywhere else,” she said. 

Great Bagel

Located a short walk away from central campus and Greek Row, Great Bagel is the perfect place for early morning study sessions before finals. It brews Intelligentsia coffees and teas alongside handcrafted bagels, cream cheese and freshly-squeezed orange juice. Junior WRD and political science double major Mal Helgadottir chooses to study at Great Bagel for the environment and the honey wheat bagels.

“The staff is friendly, and they know my order by heart,” Helgadottir said.

If you have a sweet tooth: 

North Lime Coffee & Donuts

There is no better reward for finishing a chapter review than a fresh donut. North Lime has two locations in Lexington and serves Nate’s Coffee with its donuts made from scratch by Donut Engineers. The glazed and chocolate iced donuts come square-shaped, and the funnel cake donut will take you right back to summertime festivals. Its most creative donuts – the fluffer nutter, coconut cream pie and chicken waffle donut to name a few – are only available on certain days, so keep checking back to find your new favorite.

Sophomore political science and journalism double major Emily Laytham has been working at North Lime for almost a year now, but she started hanging out there before she became an employee.

“It’s such an open and friendly place; not just as a work environment but a casual one, too,” Laytham said.

Chocolate Holler

Chocolate Holler is a coffee and chocolate bar affiliate of A Cup of Commonwealth located north of campus. It serves sipping chocolate and a variety of chocolate treats and baked goods as well as coffee, or a delicious combination of both. For those who need double the caffeine to power through a study session, this is the place for you.