While the U.H. Manoa campus provides many great study locations from the quiet halls of Hamilton library to the breezy social spot of campus center, sometimes it’s nice to get off campus and try some new coffee while you’re at it. If you’re a college student, chances are you are a coffee connoisseur and a sucker for a quiet place to read for hours. But sometimes it is hard to find that perfect spot. From a fellow student who has spent hours at cafes, libraries, and parks and knows what she is talking about, here are some of the best coffee shops in Honolulu for studying.

For me, I consider three factors in my study location for the day. Number 1: available seating. It’s always a pain to pack up all your books and buy a coffee only to turn around and find that there are no free tables. And it’s never fun to get stuck at the barstools when you’re planning on posting up for more than an hour. Here are some of my favorite spots that almost always have guaranteed seating.

Island Brew Coffeehouse

Island Brew has multiple locations. If you’re going on a weekend, you might want to avoid the Ala Moana location as there is hardly ever a free spot. However, the location in Ward across from Whole Foods has both indoor and outdoor seating, all comfortable enough to stay for hours. Not only that, but Island Brew also has great food options so you can really stay forever.

If you are okay with driving a little bit out of town, their third location in Hawaii Kai is right on the water, has plenty of outdoor yet protected seating, and the same great coffee. This one is one of my all time favorite spots especially if I got a lot of work ahead of me.  

My go-to Island Brew order: Iced lavender honey latte.

Honolulu Coffee Company

Honolulu Coffee Company is another place that has quite a bit of seating as well as a good sized parking lot. Located next to the Convention Center, parking can be a rarity, so it is always good to know that there will be some. HCC also has several locations but this specific one is labeled the “Experience Center” as they also host tastings and private roasting tours. Therefore, it is very large and has great coffee.

My go-to Honolulu Coffee Company order: Iced latte with oat milk.

Secondly, I like to look for aesthetics. As cheesy as it is, a cute coffee shop will always get me in the headspace to work. Nowadays, almost every coffee shop is nicely decorated, but these are some of my favorites.


Glazer's Coffee is a very short walk away from campus. Decorated with vintage typewriters, record players, and even Audrey Hepburn, this place has a great vibe for studying. The location is also a huge bonus for Glazers. You don’t need a car or even a bus ride to get here from campus. With convenience and aesthetics on their side, you can’t go wrong here.

My go-to Glazer’s Coffee order: Iced Thai latte.

Coffee Talk

Coffee Talk is a fan favorite amongst fellow Rainbow Warriors. Located in Kaimuki, Coffee Talk is always bumping yet still has a “laid back atmosphere.” Being dog-friendly and having great pastries, what’s not to like? The retro interior design makes for a great aesthetic study spot. 

Lastly and most importantly, I look for great coffee. While all of these locations have amazing coffees, Bean About Town has got to be one of my favorites.

Bean About Town

Though Bean About Town has limited seating, their coffee is worth the to-go cup. They take their brewing seriously and it shows. Originally from London, Bean About Town has thankfully made its way to Hawaii and I’m so glad they did. Seriously delicious coffee and great vibes!

My go-to Bean About Town: Iced Mocha.

If you're having trouble studying on campus and need a change of scenery, check out these places to study and grab a coffee. Be sure to comment your favorite coffee shop below so we can check out more spots! Good luck and happy studying!