Coffee shops are about more than just the coffee -- shocker, right? Since I've ventured on this coffee shop expedition, I've gotten the chance to explore every nook and cranny of Gainesville. That experience has been quite rewarding so far. I'm excited to share the second round of coffeehouses in our college town, and maybe spark your interest in one of them.

*All of the following opinions are my own, please feel free to share yours in the comments!*

Opus Coffee

Julia Collins
Julia Collins

Pros: Though Opus is technically on campus, I figured I would cover it anyway since it's such a town favorite. Also, an employee said they are going to be opening an off-campus location in the near future. Opus had great service, live music and a surprisingly big menu. There was plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. The coffee was pretty average, so if you happen to be in the area it's worth stopping by.

Cons: It's the Shands Hospital coffee shop, so it appears to be more for people who are already in the hospital and need a caffeine boost. This is only a con because hospitals aren't for everyone!

Dunkin' Donuts

Darya Molibog
Darya Molibog

Pros: Dunkin' Donuts has to have the fastest service I've ever experienced in my entire life. We all know of this business, the famous (or infamous, if that's how you feel) rival of Starbucks. This specific Dunkin' has decent indoor seating, and they have doughnuts, breakfast meals, pastries and a variety of special drinks. Dunkin' also has pretty cheap prices.

Cons: Their coffee can be a bit watered down, but I think it's just a weaker kind as opposed to Starbucks. 

*The magazine featured in the first picture is Rowdy Magazine! It focuses on beauty, fashion, and music and is a great read at any coffee shop. 

Coffee Culture

Pros: This coffee shop had friendly service and really, really, really good coffee. Coffee Culture had some of the best coffee out of the places I've been so far. There was also a lot of people doing homework, and it seemed like they had a lot of regulars there. The decor was quirky and cute, plus it was not too cold and not too hot. They also have a drive through, which I've heard people rave about.

Cons: It was pretty far out of the way, and I wish it was closer.

Curia on the Drag

Prabal Tiwari
Prabal Tiwari

Pros: Curia on the Drag was a complete escape from Gainesville and Florida. They had fairly decent prices, lots of seating inside and outside, tropical decor with big green plants and calming music. All the pastries were vegan with lots of options. The coffee was decent, too. The vibe was boho chic, and as Prabal (a Spoon photographer) described it, "Very not American." It wasn't too stuffy or chilly inside either. Also, there was an abundance of pastries at 5:40 pm on a Monday. Adjacent to the coffee shop were a food truck, a bar, a boutique and a stage for live music all in one plaza and all owned by the same people.

Cons: This place seemed like one of those where people either love it or hate it. There was dim lighting, and it's very far from campus, but it's not too bad if you live downtown. In Prabal's opinion, the matcha was a bit too dry and he could "feel the powder." Overall, it was a little run down but still charming.

Bay Islands Coffee Company

Pros: Pardon my french, but Bay Island Coffee Company had really fricking good coffee. There's no two ways about it. I was surprised at the number of menu items, with different speciality coffees and pastries (people online were obsessed with their breakfast sandwiches). They also had really good prices. If you're in the area and need a cup of joe or are on your way somewhere, it's worth stopping by.

Cons: I hadn't done any research prior to going to this coffee shop, so when I showed up it was a shock. It's basically a hut the size of a food truck in the middle of a giant shopping complex, which is kind of hard to compare to the other sit-down establishments I've reviewed so far. If you're in the area, it's a fast, decent place to go.

Mi Apa Latin Cafe

Pros: Mi Apa Latin Cafe is the definition of charming. It was bright and lively and a great place to meet friends for food or coffee. This Cuban restaurant had some of the best prices I've seen so far on my coffee escapades, as well as smooth coffee. There is also a drive-through if you want your fix on the go. It's fairly close to campus, and there's a bus stop right outside of it. Finally, there was very fast service, and they even cater!

Cons: It's not the closest to campus.

Patticakes on the Plaza

Julia Collins
Julia Collins

Pros: Patticakes on the Plaza should be on everyone's radar. Besides incredible coffee, they have full meals and exceptional pastries. And also: Cookie. Dough. Cupcakes. With real cookie dough in frosting! Does it get any better than that? They also had indoor and outdoor seating, air conditioning, and good service - there were a decent amount of students doing homework there too. It was one of the best this round, and I'm definitely going to go back. I got an iced latte with vanilla, and it was priced fairly for the market. 

Cons: It was in a decent location, but still far from campus. That's honestly the only con.

Final Thoughts

This second round of coffee shops was interesting! There was definitely more variety in the places I went, and I enjoyed getting to explore more of Gainesville. I would say my top three of this round were Patticakes on the Plaza, Mi Apa Latin Cafe and Dunkin' Donuts. I hope you enjoyed learning more about all the different coffee options in town, and, yes, there will be a part three.