By Johannah Carmona

There is one thing all college students need: coffee. Whether you need a pre-rehearsal caffeine fix or a place to write your musicology paper, there are so many wonderful places on and around Northwestern’s campus to find great coffee! Here is your comprehensive guide to my favorite coffee shops for Bienen students!

Starbucks: the beloved coffee empire

Bienen students are within walking distance from two Starbucks locations: one on Sherman Avenue (a 12-minute walk from the Ryan Center for the Musical Arts, also known as RCMA) lovingly nicknamed “Sherbucks” and the other in the Norris University Center (one-minute walk from RCMA) known as “Norbucks.” If you want something fast, good, and consistent, Starbucks is your place. Because Norbucks is so close to the Bienen buildings, it is a popular choice for students with morning classes or for those needing a quick afternoon pick-me-up between rehearsals. That iced shaken espresso is sure to wake you up for your 9:00 am music theory class! $

Dunkin: the other beloved coffee empire

There is one more coffee franchise within the Norris University Center: Dunkin (one-minute walk). Many students tend to pick Dunkin for their caffeine fix simply because they need a lot of coffee and they need it fast. Plus, who can turn down a glazed donut? $

Brewbike: a Northwestern creation

The last of my three favorite on-campus coffee shops is Brewbike. Founded and operated by Northwestern students, Brewbike has a location in Willard Hall in the South Area dorms (12-minute walk) as well as a location in the University Library (4-minute walk). When it is warm outside, you might even find pop-up cold-brew stations around campus. The lattes are solid and the baristas are Northwestern students, too! $+

Peet’s Coffee: a franchise, but make it handcrafted

Peet’s Coffee is roughly a 17-minute walk from RCMA, but it’s a lot closer if you live in the south-area dorms (five-minute walk) or off campus. Peet’s is another great option if you like handcrafted drinks similar to those on the Starbucks menu. The demographic of coffee drinkers here is a little bit older, which makes Peet’s a chill environment for studying. I personally love coming here for creative seasonal drinks! $$

Philz Coffee: a long walk, but so worth it

A San Francisco-based drip coffee franchise, Philz is my personal favorite coffee shop in all of Evanston, even though it’s a 25-minute walk from RCMA. In addition to all of the different quality coffee blends it offers, Philz provides an environment that is so inclusive and friendly. Many people come here to meet friends, study, or to just grab-and-go. Show your Wildcard ID to the cashier to learn about special discounts! $$

Newport Coffee: immaculate vibes

If you want an Instagrammable moment and a solid cappuccino, Newport (15-minute walk) is your coffee shop. The white minimalist decor is picture-perfect and many students study here on the weekends as a little getaway. The seats here are often filled with students typing away on their laptops next to their double-shot Americano. $$+

Colectivo Coffee: chill bohemian vibes

A 14-minute walk from RCMA, Colectivo is a great hangout and study stop that offers so many delicious options. Its large fold-open windows and outdoor seating options make it a popular place for larger gatherings when the weather is good. There are some great crafted non-coffee drinks offered here, too. Also of note: Colectivo, Newport, and Philz sell their own beans if you are looking for something fancy for your home cafe. $$+ 

Pâtisserie Coralie: café français

Did you know France is a 20-minute walk from Bienen? When you step into Patisserie Coralie, it feels as if you have been transported to the middle of Paris, France! It is a cute cafe with comfortable seating where you can enjoy coffee and all kinds of French desserts and baked pastries. $$

Cupitol: everyone’s favorite brunch spot

Cupitol (25-minute walk) is not only a place to drink good coffee . . . you can impress your brunch date there! The food is high quality and there are so many healthy options. Cupitol also offers freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, pastries, and aesthetically pleasing desserts. There is something for everyone! $$+

There are many more coffee places in Evanston not listed here, but these are my recommendations for Bienen students based on location, budget, and of course, taste! I hope that there are a few listed that pique your interest!

Happy exploring! From one coffee lover to another: may your coffee be strong and your Monday short.

Johannah Carmona is a senior undergraduate student studying viola performance and arts administration.

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