Coffee Brews and Beyond in Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan's Best Coffee Shops for Students

By Annabelle Marenghi June 13, 2023
Coffee Brews and Beyond in Ann Arbor

Being a student in the city of Ann Arbor is incredible for countless reasons. However, one of my favorite things (from a very long list) is the abundance of excellent coffee shops. Throughout the University of Michigan’s campus and beyond, down each street you’ll find yet another wonderful place to study, socialize, and sip on great coffee. No matter what you're looking for in a coffee shop, with so many great options to choose from, you're sure to find your new favorite study spot in Ann Arbor.

The following is a condensed list of, in my humble opinion, the best coffee shops and cafes in Ann Arbor, both on and off campus. I’ve accounted for location, noise level, menu selection, accessibility (available tables, outlets for charging, etc.) and overall atmosphere. From hours of coffee drinking, classwork, and meeting with friends, I’ve found that these spots provide the best studying and socializing environments, and of course, delicious drinks and food.

Off campus:

Misfit Coffee Company

  • Misfit is one of Ann Arbor’s newest coffee shops and already has become a favorite of mine! Located right off of South University, it’s easily accessible from several residence hall buildings, student apartments, or for a stop by after classes on Central Campus, especially by Ross. The menu hosts a number of unique coffee and tea drinks, and the decor is dark and cozy. It’s a great spot to meet friends or for a study session in between classes.


  • While Literati is somewhat of a walk away from campus, it is worth the trek into downtown Ann Arbor. Literati is both a bookstore AND a coffee shop – truly the best of both worlds. It’s the perfect environment for studying, and their coffee is delicious.

Starbucks on South University

  • The Starbucks on South University holds a special place in my heart. While you may often find it to be louder than some of the other small, local coffee shops throughout Ann Arbor, every time I come to this Starbucks, I am bound to run into friends. Especially given the stunning recent remodel, this is the spot for socializing and a great place for group work. There are plenty of outlets for charging laptops, long tables to fit larger groups, and I can always count on the friend-filled, social atmosphere!

On campus:

East Quad Blue Cafe 

  • This spot was a favorite during my first year. Located on the first floor of East Quad, right next to the dining hall, the Blue Cafe is cozy and inviting, and surprisingly quiet. There’s always plenty of seating, as well as food and drink. And the best part is, if you aren’t looking to spend any money, grab a muffin or a cup of coffee to go from the East Quad dining hall around the corner!

The Panera in the Union 

  • OK, I know this isn’t exactly a coffee shop. However, the Panera in the Union is consistently one of my favorite places to study and grab a bite to eat. The beautiful windows fill the room with sunlight, and the coffee and pastries are great. There is always a free table available, and outlets for charging laptops at nearly every seat. 

The UMMA Art Museum Cafe

  • This is an underrated spot. Only a 30-second walk from my first year living in the West Quad residence hall, the UMMA Cafe was my spot as a first-year and remains a favorite today. It is located on the side of the museum itself, facing towards the Diag. This cafe has beautiful floor to ceiling glass windows to look out at trees, passing students, sculptures, and snowfall. They’re always playing great music, the views are peaceful and stunning, and the blueberry scones are a personal favorite! 

This list shares only a fraction of the diverse and thriving coffee shop choices throughout U-M’s campus and surrounding Ann Arbor. Each establishment offers its own distinct atmosphere, views, and flavors, ensuring that there is a perfect coffee shop for every personality type in the U-M community. I urge you to not only check out the ones I’ve shared, but explore the area for yourself – around every corner in Ann Arbor you are sure to find another new spot!  

Annabelle Marenghi

Annabelle Marenghi is a sophomore in the College of Literature, Arts, and Sciences, pursuing a major in English and a minor in entrepreneurship. She is from San Diego, California. At school, Annabelle is involved in her sorority and several of the outdoors clubs at the University of Michigan. She loves to travel, and is planning to study abroad for the 2023-2024 academic year. In her free time, you can find Annabelle surfing, cooking, or hiking with her dog.