Bad news, students. It’s November. That means final exams are fast approaching. If you’re interested in stepping out of the mold and eating more than noodle cups while studying, here are a few budget-friendly and student-friendly options around town. Don’t worry, they all provide a hefty selection of caffeinated beverages to choose from. Not to mention the coveted free WiFi.
Cartel Coffee Lab
A longtime student favorite, Cartel has a growing food menu, plenty of seating, abundant outlets and a selection of beer and wine for when you’re done studying. The music can be loud so headphones are recommended. Keep in mind, the Campbell location is open until 10 p.m. but the Downtown spot is only open until 8. Also, they’re based in Tempe, but try not to hold it against them. Popular menu items include the Digby, Chai Latte, Mocha and the Summer Salad.
Visit Cartel online here.
If you haven’t made it to Mercado San Agustin just west of downtown, now is a great opportunity – especially since it’s on the streetcar route. Stella Java carries a rotating selection of coffee beans from all over the world. Get your caffeine fix at Stella Java, then head to La Estrella Bakery for pumpkin empanadas or Seis Kitchen for Mexican street food. Seating is available in the courtyard. Popular menu items include the Vanilla Bean Latte, Cappuccino, Iced Coffee (on tap) and the Americano.
Visit Stella Java online here.
Crave Coffee Bar
In addition to the coffee and tea options, Crave has a selection of food items to choose from including salads, sandwiches, pastries and desserts. The owners are from Kosovo, the desserts are Greek, and all of their coffee beans are sourced from Italy. A Mediterranean coffee bar, right here in Tucson. Plenty of outlets and indoor and outdoor seating. Popular menu items include Tiramisu, the Toasted Marshmellow Latte, Baklava and anything Espresso.
Visit Crave Coffee Bar online here.
An old favorite on 4th Ave., Cafe Passe has extensive breakfast options and an array of paninis, salads and pastries. Indoor seating is limited but there is a back patio, so you may want to charge up your computer beforehand. Popular menu items include the Number 1 Bagel, Ham & Brie Panini, Chai Tea Latte, Iced Tea blends.
Visit Cafe Passe online here.
If you prefer a more subdued environment, or are an avid tea drinker, Seven Cups is your best bet. Seven Cups sources their tea selection directly from the growers and tea masters who make them in China. The Tea House on 6th Ave. offers a calm, quiet atmosphere and selection of snacks and lunch items. Limited seating. Popular menu items include Moon Cake, Wulong Tea, Seaweed Salad and Pu-erh Tea.
Visit Seven Cups online here.