At USC, we’re blessed with a beautiful, urban-paradise campus that makes for a great backdrop for all your #coffee Instagrams. Here are 15 beautiful places to have a cup of joe before you graduate.


1. Shop Café

Sharing the building space with Nektar Juice Bar (near the School of Architecture), Shop Café is a hidden gem. The cafe uses Jones Coffee, which comes right from Pasadena, “supporting an equitable, sustainable coffee industry.” Shop Café also serves “sweet empanadas” and delicious paninis.

Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7:30 am-8 pm, Friday: 7:30 am-6 pm.

2. The Café

In the new high-tech Wallis Annenberg Hall (right next to the bookstore), The Cafe is serving up famous Illy coffee from Italy. So if you want your dose of European espresso, venture to the new Annenberg building. Since it is brand new on campus, the lines haven’t gotten too long yet.

Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7:30 am-9:30 pm, Friday: 7:30 am-5 pm


3. LiteraTea

A picturesque sanctuary situated behind Doheny (across from Pardee Tower/Marks Hall), Literatea is definitely a quieter and cozier alternative to other coffee places. With plentiful seating outside in the cute pavillion and inside, it’s a great place to study or take a break between classes. Tapingo accepted here.

Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7:30 am-6 pm, Friday: 7:30 am-5 pm.


4. Popovich Café

Located on the first floor of Popovich Hall and filled with mostly MBA students, it’s a great place to grab both coffee and a panini. There’s even a mini-Jamba Juice there if you would prefer to skip over the caffeine. Definitely not crowded and plentiful of outdoor seating.

Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7 am-8:30 pm, Friday: 7 am-3 pm, Saturday: 8 am-3 pm.

5. Ground Zero

Known mostly for its milkshakes, Ground Zero does also serve caffeinated beverages (“The All-Nighter” containing two shots of espresso). With later hours, this would be your best alternative to TroGro. Ground Zero is a great place hangout during the day on those large comfy black couches, or watch a show featuring students’ talent at night. GZ does not take dining dollars.

Hours: Monday to Friday: 8:30 am-12 am, Saturday to Sunday: 1 pm-12 am.

6. Law School Café

Located in the USC Gould School of Law building (right across from Hoffman Hall), this cafe is on the ground floor of the law school. Similar to Popovich cafe, it’s a place to also grab food during a lunch break. Generally filled with law school students, it probably will not get too busy. Be careful not to spill coffee on anyone — they might sue.

Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7 am-8:30 pm, Friday: 7 am-3 pm.

7. TroGro

This unofficial Starbucks is right by Leavey Library, and is the only place on campus open 24/7. Fondly known as “TroGro,” there will usually be a long line, so don’t count on it if you’re in a rush to class. The menu is the same as any Starbucks (meaning seasonal drinks) and has a variety of snacks, pastries, sushi, sandwiches, and salad. Tapingo to skip the line, though you still might be held up if it’s during peak hours. Personally, I would avoid it at all costs unless it’s the only place open.

8. Tutor Hall Café

Located in Tutor Hall in Viterbi land near parking structure A, Tutor Hall Café parallels both the Law School Café and Popovich Café, but serves more international cuisine, with Indian food and Vietnamese bahn mi sandwiches. Not very crowded with plentiful  indoor and outdoor seating.

Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7:30 am-7 pm, Friday: 7:30 am-5 pm

9. Cinema School (Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf)

The School of Cinematic Arts students’ main source of caffeine is another on-campus Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Outdoor seating in that beautiful courtyard and a “dual fireplace” inside the coffee shop creating a warm and inviting environment. Be warned that music and dentistry students also frequent this location so the lines can get long.

Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7 am-8 pm, Friday: 7 am-5 pm, Saturday to Sunday: 9 am-3 pm

10. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Located in the Campus Center, this place can also get busy during the day, especially around lunchtime. You have the option of ordering at the outside window as well as indoors. Tapingo also works here.

Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7 am-8 pm, Friday: 7 am-5 pm, Saturday to Sunday: 9 am-3 pm.


11. Starbucks at Icon Plaza

3584 S Figueroa St Los Angeles, CA 90007

If you’re a diehard Starbucks fan, the only one is underneath Icon Plaza on Figueroa street. With a lot faster service than the TroGro and much more spacious, it is a popular place for students to study at on the weekends.

Hours: Monday to Friday: 5 am-11pm, Saturday to Sunday: 5:30 am – 11 pm

12. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at Tuscany Apartments

3726 S Figueroa St Los Angeles, CA 90007

Right next to the Starbucks on Figueroa is a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Located underneath Tuscany Apartments, this is a place to quickly grab a drink and chill outside in its patio area. It does not seem to get as crowded as the Starbucks down the street, but there is always a decent amount of people sitting outside, catching up with a friend or doing some reading.

Hours: Monday to Friday: 6 am to 10 pm, Saturday to Sunday: 7 am to 10 pm

Photo by Ashley Seruya.

13. Cups

3335 S Figueroa St Los Angeles, CA 90007

If you’re closer to Gateway Apartments, then Cups would be the best place to grab your coffee. Founded by USC students, Cups has that cute neighborhood-feel of a coffee shop. Adding to the indie feel, Cups host live music on Thursday nights. Understanding the demand of students, opening hours are extended during midterms/finals season. Also ask about their loyalty rewards program if you think you’ll end up being a regular.

Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7 am-10 pm, Friday: 7 am-8 pm, Saturday: 9 am-8 pm, Sunday: 9am-10pm

Photo by Irene Hu.

14. Ignatius Cafe

1451 Dana St, Los Angeles, CA 90007

A hidden cafe run by a Korean church near the Ralphs on Adams, this is the place to go if you want to study in silence and not run into anyone you know. The place is quite hard to find, since it’s not really a coffee shop, but more like someone’s home. The menu consists of four drinks and the “suggested price” is 3 dollars, but it’s on the honor system. A hidden gem that should be checked out by every student.

Hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 9 pm.

15. Nature’s Brew

2316 S Union Ave Los Angeles, CA 90007

Opened by the owners of Bacaro LA, Nature’s Brew is a bakery/juicery/coffee shop straight out of Pinterest — complete with mason jar filament lights. It has a large selection of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and serves coffee, smoothies and juices. It can get quite busy on the weekends and is less-crowded in the mornings and after 3 pm. There are plenty chairs and outlets, however the wi-fi is pretty slow if you’re going to be wired up on coffee or juice.

Hours: Monday to Thursday: 7 am – 10 pm, Friday: 7 am – 8 pm, Saturday: 8 am – 8 pm, Sunday: 8 am – 10 pm.