By Erica Patton
As colder weather is slowly approaching and finals creep right around the corner, there is no better time than now to discover a local coffee shop to study at with friends or by yourself. While I have been to many coffee shops in St. Louis and am still trying to try out more new ones, I wanted to introduce some of my favorite places to study and get a comforting beverage.
1) Coma Coffee Roasters
Coma Coffee Roasters
Credit: Daily Coffee News
The first shop on my list is Coma Coffee Roasters, a huge cafe with a modern touch located in Brentwood, MO. The clean, modern, business casual Coma was established in 2016 and has been one of my favorites since I first visited it in 2019. With a wide variety of caffeinated beverages, amazing food, and vegan-friendly pastries, Coma has it all when tending to the needs of busy students. I personally love their matcha drinks, and my go-to has been an iced matcha with oat milk and vanilla. My favorite part of this cafe is the incredibly practical study spots and upstairs seating area. When you need a comfy couch or natural light, migrating upstairs is always the move. The best part about Coma is its amenities. While many coffee shops seem to lack food options, and a large seating area, Coma provides everything needed to the table so you don’t have to venture out during your study session. Being only 15 minutes from UMSL’s campus, Coma has the best spot for students.
2) Pipers Tea & Coffee
Matcha latte, Latte and Pastries
Credit: Feast Magazine
Fun fact, I used to be a barista here for a few months and absolutely loved it. Located on the edge of Tower Grove, about 25 minutes from UMSL, Pipers STL was established in 2021 and offers a variety of tea and coffee options for its unique customers. With house-made syrups, Ethiopian single-origin espresso, and matcha straight from Kyoto, Japan, Pipers offers the highest quality cup. One of the greatest things about Pipers is its elaborate tea selection. As a part-time non-coffee drinker who is sensitive to caffeine, having a wide variety of drinks is always always nice to have. Pipers has a huge selection of teas made from their lab in Paducah, Kentucky, where you can get free re-steeps if you choose to relax and study with tea. They don’t hesitate to support locals as they supply great pasty options from Missouri Baking Co. and Whisk, and some amazing art pieces for sale, done by local artists as well. Whenever I go to Pipers to work on homework, I’m amazed at how motivated I actually become. The natural lighting, single bar seating, and aesthetic vibe of the shop create the perfect combination for productivity. If you’re looking for a clean aesthetic vibe and motivation from others around you, head to Pipers.
3) Webster Grove Garden Cafe
Credit: Restaurant Guru
Located in the heart of Webster Groves, this coffee shop provides an eclectic, quirky, and cozy setup, making it the perfect place to study. Webster Groves Garden Cafe provides a wide variety of flavors for drinks, cheap food, and delicious pastries when you need a sweet treat. This cafe also offers outdoor seating in its cute garden or out front where you’ll find beautiful plants and a great view of the area. I love mixing their pistachio and honey syrup with an iced matcha, a sweet, yet amazing flavor combination. Even if you are not in the mood to study, Webster Groves Garden Cafe is one of the best places to enjoy an evening of music by local artists. On the weekends, they have live music which can be a great ambiance when catching up with friends. For those looking for a welcoming study environment, or a fun weekend night, Webster Groves Garden Cafe has just the right ambiance.
4) Protagonist Cafe
Credit: Sauce Magazine
Located right next to Soulard Market, Protagonist Cafe provides a cozy and quirky vibe to its customers. Being only a little over 15 minutes from campus, Protagonist is in reach for you to discover. For starters, this coffee shop is pretty big, so there are lots of places to set up camp and get working on those assignments you’ve been procrastinating all week. They use second-hand furniture as seating, serving its quirky vibe and every seat has its own comfy personality. Protagonist provides caffeinated beverages, teas, lemonades, teas, and pastries. Unlike many cafes, Protagonist also provides a huge library within the shop, so if you need a break from studying, grabbing a good book with your coffee is another great activity. This cafe is pet-friendly as well, so if you want to study with your furry friends, they are always welcome. If you need a cozy environment to get in the mood to study, Protagonist offers the most practical space.
5) Kaldi’s Coffee
Credit: Kaldi’s Coffee
Last but certainly not least, Kaldi’s Coffee makes my list of the best places to study, grab a bite, and get a great drink. While Kaldi’s has multiple locations throughout St. Louis, I find myself at the Kirkwood location most often. The Skinker location is only about 15 minutes from UMSL, however, if you are looking for a closer location. Kaldi’s has a productive energy within its shop because everyone around you is probably also working, which is great when you need motivation to push through your assignments. I love Kaldi’s avocado toast with their homemade hot sauce vinaigrette. I often switch between many of their seasonal beverages, but their popular, vanilla latte with homemade syrup may be one of my favorites. The large space allows many different seating arrangements in high or low-top seating, and even a table full of built-in charging stations. Don’t skip on their pastries either, their wedding cake cookie is absolutely divine.