It is no secret to any student that caffeine and college go hand in hand. As classes get harder, workloads get higher, and responsibilities increase, so does one's tiredness. Some students drink coffee because they need it; some because they like it. Others simply enjoy the feel of kicking it back at a coffee shop and having something to sip on while they study. Whether it's because you enjoy the taste, need the energy, or just like the vibe, there is a plethora of coffee shops in Gainesville to choose from. But among the 60 registered shops in the city, University of Florida students seem to enjoy four in particular: Pascal's, Maude's, Volta, and Curia on the Drag. These are some of the best rated and most visited coffee shops in town due to their high quality coffee, relaxing music, appealing ambiance and friendly baristas.

Pascal's Coffeehouse

Just a four-minute walk from Buckman Drive, Pascal's is one of the closest coffee shops to the University of Florida (other than the overabundance of Starbucks stores you can find throughout campus). Known for its appealing string lights and great music selection, it is one of the most visited cafes in town. Its proximity to the Gator Nation, however, is not the only reason why the place is loaded with customers day and night. Pascal's is known for having an extremely friendly and hospitable staff. Many of its online reviews mention the baristas' attentiveness and their speed in service. Other positive comments include its comfortable couches and overall cozy environment. Additionally, the shelves of its second floor contain a surfeit of books to accompany your coffee-drinking experience. Named after Blaise Pascal, a seventeenth century theologian, philosopher, inventor, and public servant, it is obvious why Pascal's sets high expectations from their staff's service and promotes intellectual growth through reading.

Maude's Cafe

If you're a fan of natural daylight and quiet study environments, Maude's is the place for you. Located in a prime downtown location, the shop tends to attract crowds of various ages (not only students), so diversity is usually visible in its customers. While also recognized for its cute string lights, the main difference between Maude's and Pascal's is that people are particularly attracted to its outdoor seating area. If you're the type of person that has trouble reading with music, Maude's volume levels are a bit lower. Its terrace is ideal for socialization, while its inside area is great for doing work that requires greater concentration. If you don't enjoy sitting near smokers, however, the inside is a better choice. The inside offers a selection of board games to choose from if you want to have a casual afternoon hangout with friends. It also has plenty of outlets to allow for studying. Another thing the shop has gained great recognition for is the quality of its food, especially its vegan and organic selection.

Volta Coffee, Tea & Chocolate

Among the four previously mentioned coffeehouses, Volta Coffee, Tea & Chocolate is the most modern. It has easily become one of Gainesville's most popular study spots. What makes Volta stand out is that it offers a wide variety of teas and chocolate bars aside from having quality coffee. It has received extremely high reviews for its extensive chocolate bar and drink selection. The place also sells freshly ground coffee from world famous coffee producers like Honduras and Ecuador. It is very spacious and clean, and if louder ambiances are ideal for you, its atmosphere is more on the social side. It has both an inner and outer area and offers different types of seating, from high tops to bar stools to patio chairs on the terrace. For you Snapchat story lovers, the baristas at Volta also take the time to make creative foam designs on your coffee! Overall, this place is ideal for coffee fans, tea lovers, and chocoholics!

Curia on the Drag

Last but not least, Curia on the Drag, or "The Drag" for short, is an absolute must for both coffee lovers and vegans (if you're both, you've hit the jackpot!). While it is the furthest from campus, the aesthetics of this coffeehouse are stunning. It has an outside area with comfortable patio seating, an inside study area with couches and tables, and a bar area for the older crowds that visit it for its wine and beer selection. The walls are painted with creative drawings and even the inside of the roof has been beautifully constructed. Right across the street, there is a vegan restaurant with a very expansive menu (and is owned by the same person). The restaurant even has a cool backyard with benches, a playground, and an old abandoned bus that has been creatively painted on the inside and out. Its visual appeal has played a vital role in turning it into a Gainesville hot spot. Another great thing about The Drag is that it opens as early as 7 am and does not close until midnight (as opposed to the other coffee shops which don't go later than 11 pm).

Overall, the only thing more intimidating than the idea of starting college is starting college in a new city. While it can be scary to embrace the changes of a new town, it is also very exciting to discover all it has to offer. If there is one thing all students have in common, it is the desire to discover new study spots; finding just the right place to read a book, write an essay, or just relax and ponder. If you are the type of person who enjoys sipping a cup of coffee while doing any of these things, Gainesville is the place for you. Whether you wanna read a book from Pascal's library, play a board game at Maude's, satiate your chocolate craving at Volta, or have vegan food at The Drag, your options are endless in coffee galore!

For more information on the previously mentioned coffee shops, feel free to visit their websites below!

  • Pascal's Coffeehouse:
  • Maude's Cafe:
  • Volta Coffee, Tea & Chocolate:
  • Curia on the Drag:

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