Best coffee spots for a caffeine fix

Coffee shops provide the perfect respite during midterms — stay hydrated, get some energizing drinks or escape campus for a while. (Photo courtesy of Birds Nest Cafe)

It’s reaching the point in the semester where every class feels longer and longer, just like the items on your to-do list. The best way to beat burnout is to change your study scenery, and there’s no better place than coffee shops. 

It’s also possible you’re reaching the point in the semester that the sight of a Dulce latte makes you groan, but a caffeine boost is necessary to get your bones moving as you walk down Trousdale to your next class. If you’re in dire need of some new coffee spots around campus, check out this list:

Nature’s Brew

Although a bit of a trek from campus, Nature’s Brew is a gem located just north on Hoover Street. In this industrial yet cozy spot, you’ll find eccentric art pieces lining the walls and some of the best curated playlists guaranteed to beat boredom while you study. Tables are hard to come by on the weekends, but there is an excellent and extensive variety of iced coffees, smoothies and a kitchen serving up breakfast sandwiches, bagels, pastries and salads in addition to gluten-free and vegan options. If you’re looking for some order inspiration, try its lavender latte, matcha mania smoothie or egg sandwich.

Ministry of Coffee

Located adjacent to USC Village, hidden in the USC Caruso Catholic Center, Ministry of Coffee offers a hip study atmosphere. With plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, this Australian coffee shop is sure to brighten up any essay you have to grind out with its funky decor featuring magazine collages. Whether you need to stop in for a quick pick-me-up or are planning on staying for a while, check out its turmeric latte or fresh juices and smoothies. If you are looking for delicious food, indulge in pastries such as the mouthwatering gluten-free banana bread, one of its decadent toasties or the smashed avocado plate, which allows customers to DIY its avocado toast. 

Bird’s Nest Cafe

A popular spot for breakfast near Ralph’s and La Barca, Bird’s Nest Cafe is a fun, bright spot for those of you looking for a livelier study environment. Arguably featuring some of the best food on this list, Bird’s Nest Cafe has sublime breakfast and lunch options, serving everything from tasty breakfast burritos to flavorful french toast to a great turkey BLT sandwich. To quench your thirst, consider ordering one of its lattes, blended coffee drinks or smoothies. You can also enjoy the vibrant, floral murals featured on the exterior of this community magnet.

DRNK coffee + tea

DRNK coffee + tea features some of the highest quality beans from around the globe to brew fresh coffee for the enjoyment of its customers. Tucked under Element housing, this coffee shop offers a spacious environment, perfectly conducive to fostering productivity. Whatever food or drink item you’re in the mood for, DRNK will not disappoint. Look into its drip coffee or orange ginger latte for an energy bump. If you’re interested in a fun option, order its pink matcha or S’Blendid drinks in flavors such as mocha or chai. Finally, to quell your grumbling stomach, order one of its paninis or, for a vegetarian option, ask for the vegetarian egg wrap.

Philz Coffee

For the more adventurous souls — or ones with cars — check out Philz Coffee downtown. Although located right in the heart of the metropolitan area of Los Angeles, Philz offers a caffeinated safe haven with heart-warming drinks and sweet treats and a mission of fostering a community of coffee lovers. If you need background noise to feel productive, this is the perfect spot to do work and people watch downtown L.A. If it’s your first time, indulge in the cult-classic Mint Mojito or Philharmonic, sweet and creamy, of course, which is Philz’s measurements for ensuring the perfect drink. However, if you don’t want to shake from over caffeination, there are excellent decaf options.