Everyone knows how hard it is to find a place to sit and study in the library once exams come around—sometimes we even have to resort to sitting on the floor during especially busy days. However, what many don't realize is that there are other alternatives to the library which may actually suit your needs better. 

There are many different restaurants and cafés in downtown Guelph, and some of these provide the perfect study environments, and the constant supply of caffeine definitely doesn't hurt! 

Here is a list of the best cafés for studying in downtown Guelph.

5. Atmosphere Café

coffee, tea, espresso, kettle
Hana Baig

The environment of this café is a little more like a restaurant than a café, but regardless, they have an excellent selection of drinks and food to choose from while you study.

This spot isn't too loud if you go during the day like I usually do, but the evening atmosphere may invite more ruckus, so it's best to stick to the daytime if you would like to study here. They do offer very comfortable seating, so no worrying about getting sore after a long study session here. 

Prices here tend to be on the higher end, but this is accompanied by excellent service as the friendly staff bring your order to your table; you don't even have to go to the counter for drink refills, either.

4. Planet Bean Coffee

beer, tea, coffee, pizza
Hana Baig

This place is always full of other students getting in some study time, so if you like some company, this is an excellent place to go.

The noise level isn't too high most of the time so you can study without being distracted, but keep in mind there is still a steady stream of ambient background conversation.

They roast their own certified fair trade coffee (learn more about that here) so you are always guaranteed a quality cup of coffee to accompany you while you study. Along with their selection of coffee, they have an assortment of small pastries and snacks to have along with your coffee while you study.

3. Filtr Co.

coffee, espresso, tea, cappuccino, milk
Hana Baig

If anyone is looking for a very quiet study space, this café may be the one for you. Other than the soft music playing in the background, it's usually decently quiet, making it a good place to study without losing focus if you are the type that is easily distracted.

The space is very minimal and white, without too many distractions, so all the focus stays on your school work. The food selection here is mostly healthy salads or toasts, which provide a good fuel source to keep your mind working while you study.

They also offer good coffee and a selection of different juices to sip on (see the menu here). If you want to study here make sure you come during less busy times such as in the afternoon considering the seating options are limited. Unfortunately, their tables are all two-seaters, so big groups may not be ideal for this spot.

2. Balzac's

beer, wine
Hana Baig

This European style café is definitely the best decorated on the list: the well-lit area has many tables and is a good place to study. It's also a bonus that it's a reasonable distance from campus.

They offer a variety of different beverages from regular drip coffee to a Café Canadian (similar to a maple syrup flavoured latte), as well as a selection of European-inspired pastries such as biscotti or turkish delights.

In the background they have light music playing,  but it isn't distracting enough that you wouldn't be able to focus while studying here. The coffee served at this café is high quality, in my humble opinion, which means that every time you come you are guaranteed a great cup of coffee to give you that necessary caffeine boost.

1. Red Brick Café

tea, soup, cream, matcha, milk, green tea, coffee
Hana Baig

This is the best café for studying in downtown guelph on the list in my opinion. The noise level is a perfect mix of music, background noise, and quiet to allow full focus. They also have more seating space than most of the other cafés.

The food and drink menu has a variety of options and the quality of the menu items is well above average. If I were to only suggest one item off their menu, it would hands down be their matcha latte—yes, the matcha craze exists for a reason. The only downside is that since it is a popular spot, it usually tends to be full, so try to come earlier in the day to guarantee you find a table.

The next time you are stuck trying to find the perfect study spot give one of these options a try to figure out a place that works best for you.