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Best study cafes to live your mysterious student fantasy

By Valery Perez, October 3 2022

What is the point of becoming an academic? Is it to kickstart our future careers and begin on the path towards a good life? Perhaps it’s to make our families proud or because we see the value in higher education beyond just income? Sorry, but no. While these are all great reasons, they’re not truly what we’re all here for. We all know the real reason we enroll in university is to live out our best aesthetic dark academia, mysterious and intelligent student dreams. Here is a list of the best study cafes to indulge in this fantasy. 

Euphoria Cafe off Dalhousie Train Station

A hidden gem that has gained a bit of popularity recently. A chill study spot with lots of plug-ins, a couch, and great bathrooms. Their coffee is a bit pricey but worth every penny to attain peak academic vibes and full focus on your work. Local artists showcase their art on the walls, which you can purchase at the front till. If only you weren’t a student on a tight budget that only allows $7 lattes every day.

Their avocado toast is to die for, albeit quite pricey for the portion you’re getting. The place is also pretty small and can feel a bit stuffy at times, especially when busy. Lucky for you, that rarely happens. This iconic little spot can be found just off the Dalhousie train station. 

Espresso Cafe in Kensington 

A large, spacious spot with tons of plug-ins, large tables, and plenty of space to spread out. The place is empty, always. It’s a little creepy actually but I don’t question it. This means you get your pick of the best spot, and have plenty of space between you and the next person. If you’re tired of coffee, their golden latte is to die for. It’s a creamy turmeric latte that’s great for making you feel cozy and focused, a great alternative to your usual. 

One of the downsides is that their food is expensive and nothing amazing. Maybe bring your own snacks if you decide to hang there. There have also been a handful of times when their bathrooms weren’t the nicest, so as long as you can hold it you’re probably good. 

Higher Ground in Kensington 

The basic choice but a classic nonetheless. A spacious cafe with a variety of comfortable seating, a long list of coffee and tea options, some solid food options, and decent bathrooms. Found in the heart of Kensington, all you need to do to get there is get on the train at the university and get off at the Sunnyside station. From there, it’s just a five-minute walk to this little spot of aesthetic university student-core heaven. 

It’s open later than most cafes, which makes it the perfect place to pump out that 40 per cent research paper you procrastinated until the day before its due. If you’re lucky, you might be able to snag some of the comfy couch seats right next to the fireplaces this winter. The only downside is that everyone and their momma (and their momma’s momma) knows about this place, meaning it can get pretty busy pretty quick. That can make the place pretty loud and can make finding a good seat with a plug-in kind of difficult. 

Canela Vegan Bakery & Cafe in Inglewood 

A local shop that focuses on promoting a plant-based lifestyle in the community. The place has a bright and homey feeling with white walls and forest green accents. They have one of the most beautiful display cases I’ve ever seen, with plenty of sweet and salty pastry choices to keep you full while you work your brain cells to the max. The tables are big and round, providing you with ample space to explode and spread your laptop and/or iPad, notebooks, textbooks, pens… you get the idea. Plus, you will not be paying an extra 80 cents for almond or oat milk, they’re an automatic choice given to you with the initial purchase. 

The place closes early, so this one is definitely for the early rises or for those days that you don’t have insufferable 8 a.m. classes to make it to. Parking in Inglewood can also be a colossal pain, and accessibility through transit isn’t the best. However, once you get there it is well worth the hassle. After you spent hours working hard (or hardly working), you can walk yourself down the street to Plant to purchase a new plant pal or to either of the bookstores and treat yourself to a nice, cheap used book. 

Black Sheep Patisseries on 17th 
This one’s for all the dark academia lovers that wish they were living in France instead of Cowtown. This small little hole in the wall can be found right across from Tomkins Park, the weirdest little green area on 17th ave. Here you will find the most amazing, authentically french pastries. The owner comes straight from France, and focuses on bringing the French tradition to life in his little corner of the world. This is definitely a solo study session destination, as the place only has a handful of small tables. Who needs friends anyways? We’re trying to seem intelligent and mysterious here.

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