Do not be mistaken – no two Starbucks are the same. Sure, each may have the same menu and a similar décor, but any true Starbucks frequenter knows that this chain coffee shop phenomena has distinct satellite locales, each with its own unique composition of outlets and seating options. Ann Arbor itself boasts four Starbucks locations on campus alone (we know, absurd.) – but which one is the best spot to settle in for a long night of studying?

For the student who craves atmosphere
(and brought a fully-charged laptop):
State Street


Photo by Alison Weissbrot

Its prime location on the corner of State and East Liberty makes this Starbucks the perfect place to stop after a class in the Diag. Although I’m not the biggest fan of its recent renovation (R.I.P. downstairs area), this Starbucks is the largest of the four and has some serious perks (e.g. fireplace surrounded by comfy chairs). Despite its large space, this Starbucks is always packed, making it difficult to find seating with access to outlets. Also, the service is often pretty slow, relative to the South U location. Plus, it’s notorious for faulty Internet connection.

For the student looking to get away and do some serious web surfing:
Main Street


Photo by Alison Weissbrot

Getting a little sick of the same faces you see around campus all the time? Head downtown to Main Street for a much-needed break from the campus grind and spend the day studying at Starbucks on the corner of Main and Liberty. With less seating and smaller tables, this Starbucks has limited access to outlets. That said, the Internet connection is great, the staff is friendly, and you won’t have to fear the awkward run-in with that certain someone you are desperately trying to avoid. But beware – this prime downtown location is known to be pretty crowded on the weekends.

Insider’s tip: this Starbucks is soon to be renovated with a bigger pastry display case and more seating options. Yes.

For casual group meetings and easy outlet access:
South University


Photo by Alison Weissbrot

This Starbucks is probably the most frequented by U of M students because of its location in the heart of campus on South University. However, enter this Starbucks with caution, because you are bound to run into at least five to ten frat stars you know. The service and seating options are great with plenty of access to outlets, but the Internet is known to be flaky. Unless you are interested in an afternoon of people-watching and saying a thousand hellos, I’d save this Starbucks for a quick grab-and-go coffee.

For the student planning to study all night for that Econ exam tomorrow:
The Union


Photo by Alison Weissbrot

air max 90
The brand new Starbucks at the University of Michigan Student Union is an exciting addition to this beautiful building’s many places to eat and study. If you’ve ever visited what was formerly the third Amer’s location, this space and layout hasn’t changed much. If you have any business to attend to in the Union or are just strolling down State Street, this Starbucks is a great place to stop by. While seating is limited, you can bring your coffee into the beautiful study room across the hall. Connection to U of M’s stellar wifi system is always available.


More good stuff here: