Living on a college campus, coffee is something near and dear to all of our hearts. During the winter months in the Bend, coffee is a staple. But where should the ND student turn to if they're looking to escape their daily Keurig usage? I have scoped out several cafes in order to guide you to the location that'll best satisfy your every coffee craving.

1. Zen Cafe

Zen Cafe

beer, cake, coffee, kettle
Sierra Avery
coffee, milk, espresso, cappuccino, cream, mocha, chocolate, tea
Sierra Avery

Zen Cafe is hands down the best quality espresso I have found in South Bend. Their locally roasted single origin beans are ground and brewed through a top of the line La Marzocco machine. Additionally, they offer a unique variety of in house syrups ranging from sweet, spicy, and fruity flavors.

They are located in a warehouse just 10 minutes off campus, where they share a dimly lit, rustic space with their baker, roaster (they also have high quality beans on retail), and their partner bar. Bring your friends and prepare to lounge because this place has got couches on couches. Zen cafe is great when you've got a long day of studying ahead and know you'll be needing the best coffee to fuel you through the job.

2. The Local Cup

coffee, espresso, chocolate, cappuccino
Sierra Avery
beer, coffee, tea
Sierra Avery

This cozy cafe can be found just a mile off campus and has only been open about a year and a half. It is a little South Bend hole in the wall, but no doubt a hidden gem. They uniquely operate on a pay-what-you-want pricing system (holla, am I right?) meaning that "your drink is payed for" and you can choose to donate as much or as little as you want.

They offer espresso drinks, hot chocolate (made with real chocolate ganache), teas, and make a mean pour over. There aren't many cafes in South Bend that are brewing with a Chemex. It's got that familiar, warm, bustling cafe vibe where minutes easily turn to hours. But if your'e planning on sitting down, go early because there is limited seating.

3. Au Bon Pain

chocolate, cake, sweet, candy, cream, cookie, pastry
Sierra Avery

A classic and a library staple. They've got all your typical espresso drinks, teas, and large batch brews. As far as coffee goes, I'd place ABP above Einstein's, but definitely does not compare to specialty shops. Their most valued attribute is undoubtedly the food selection. If you're ever in need of some fruit (watermelon, pineapple, grapes! Oh my!), soup, sandwich, or pastry, this cafe has got you covered. 

4. Starbucks

beer, cake, coffee, tea
Sierra Avery

If you are looking for consistency, this is the place for you. We all have our go-to drink and are pretty familiar with pretty much every food item Starbucks has to offer.

Located in La Fun and open late, it is a super convenient study spot that will fuel you late into the night. The only thing I struggle with is the line. If you're trying to grab your venti vanilla quad shot latte during a prime passing period, be prepared to wait in the snaking line for a solid ten minutes...minimum.

5. Einstein Bros. Bagels

bread, wheat, bun, pastry, flour, dough, cereal, sweet
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One of many, but still appreciated. Einstein's is solid for espresso drinks, hot chocolates, and teas. But their main attraction is undoubtedly their breakfast options. I'm talking bagels on bagels people. They have a wide variety of sandwiches and shmears that are sure to satisfy any craving. Oh, and the best part? Einsteins will deliver to your door step. That's right, kids. Kick back, relax, and give 'em a call.

6. Home brew

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Seriously underrated. Don't overlook home brew- done right, its preferable to all coffee on campus. I highly recommend investing in a french press, Chemex, or V-60, and a kettle. Then from here, all you need are some fresh, quality beans and you can call yourself a barista.

When you are in a rush for class, or not wanting to leave your room on a lazy Sunday, a freshly brewed cup of coffee can be life changing.