As November begins and Starbucks has begun making political statements through cup colors, I find myself seeking out cozy local spots to get away from the fervor of it all and sit to do work or catch up with friends. Coffee shops are some of the best places to do this, and Nashville is full of them. That said, not all coffee shops are perfect for all occasions. Sometimes you want the hip aesthetic spots for the perfect 'gram, and other times you just need a quiet place to get into the zone for finals. No matter your needs, I've got you covered.
When you want a cool spot near campus: Three Brothers
Three Brothers will always have a special place in my heart. From their "hieroglitch" mural in the alley by the front door to the wonderful chalk art on display, they've hit the perfect balance of cozy and hipster. Being housed right next to Cumberland Transit doesn't hurt; in the same morning, you can pick up a new pair of Birkenstocks and one of their specialty lattes. It's a pretty solid place to do work, but they get packed around finals. Added bonus? It's on the Commodore Card.
When you want a decadent drink: The Jam
Styled after a '50s and '60s diner, The Jam Coffee House is one of the cutest spots in the Belmont neighborhood. Their drinks are some of the most creative I've ever seen, from the "Caramel Like Whoa" with pastured butter and coconut sugar to their many milky tea infusions. They close early in the day, so this is perfect for a morning sugar and caffeine kick.
When you want a hip breakfast: Crema
Crema is the home of probably the highest quality espresso and coffee beans in all of Nashville. They make everything in-house, and their food and drinks are made with the highest quality. They have avocado toast that'll suit your betchiest desires, and their hot chocolate is one of the best in the country.
When you want food all day, every day: Fido
Fido is well known to any Vandy student, but it's a classic for a reason. Located in the middle of Hillsboro Village, it's the perfect place for dates, lunch with the parents, and camping out all day with quick access to caffeine and some of the best food in Nashville. This is a major step up from the crummy snacks you'd take to the library. Order one of their scrambles for breakfast, the Local Latte for energy, and a veggie burger for lunch, and you'll be fueled for a productive day.
When you need to camp out away from campus: Ugly Mugs
Ugly Mugs is my personal favorite for a camp-out zone for finals. Far from Midtown in the center of East Nashville, Ugly Mugs is bright, airy, and full of locals who provide a stress-free atmosphere in which to work or hang out. The food is excellent (try their hummus and chips if you're looking for a quick snack) and their drinks are simple but creative. Currently on their fall menu is the Lumberjack Latte, a latte with maple and rosemary syrup for a smokey, savory twist.
When you want a study spot that's not a desk: Atmalogy
Atmalogy is the queen when it comes to nontraditional workspaces. From hanging chairs to a room covered in pillows, it's the perfect place for getting your creative juices flowing. It's also a phenomenal cafe for great study snacks, from their jars of overnight oats to their famous avocado toast. Their salads and sandwiches will also hit the spot after a long day writing papers. As a bonus, it's right across from Vanderbilt's campus.
When you want a low-key local morning spot: Zollikoffee
Zollikoffee is my favorite discovery of this school year, and that's saying something. From the ultra-friendly staff to the long wooden tables stamped with fun quotes related to caffeination or beer (Zollikoffee is housed in the same building as Jackalope Brewery), there are few places that can offer a better vibe. Their seasonal syrups are made in-house—I'm a fan of their vanilla, and I'm hoping to try their brown sugar and smoked almond syrup soon—and they have some incredible Krispie Treats that'll knock your socks off.
No matter where your day or week will take you, go forth, and get caffeinated.