Douglas Graebner ‘19
Do you ever wish you had a nice place to sit down in Charlottesville? A break from the anguished sighs of those trying to wrap their heads around the Rule Against Perpetuities? A place to meet a friend who is not slightly depressing? Somewhere to get work done that is not full of fellow students? If so, visit one of the fine coffeeshops of Charlottesville listed below.
Grit (The Corner)
Grit is in a cozy, old building, a former house by my estimation, and serves excellent coffee, and is within walking distance of the Law School. I strongly suggest the upstairs for a comfy chair and the downstairs if you want to try and be productive. The garden had ginormous okra at some point. I don’t mean like “big,” I mean like “you could take this to the state fair, it’s the size of my left arm” big. Unfortunately, it is also walking distance from the Undergrad Hordes and perhaps a bit too cozy. Do you want to hear loud conversations about drama? Too late, you already do.
Verdict: For a treat, or when you want to study far enough away from the rest of grounds, but not ages away.
Pros: Okay coffee, reasonable proximity, lots of wood trim.
Cons: Short hours (what does it take to get an all-night coffeeshop in this town closer than Millie’s, dammit), awkward run-ins with professors exponentially more likely. Unfortunately crowded. Not as many food options in terms of food, and I cannot speak to their pastries but they are not the most exciting.
Verdict: Eh. If you like that it’s fine, you can be a bit closer. I personally have not had luck being productive here and it’s a bit crowded.
A bit far away. Apparently, they have a brie waffle I have yet to try. It is probably the latest-open place regularly, at least until some enterprising and very-lazy 3L starts an all-night diner in Barracks Row. Also good for overpriced coffee, but what coffee isn’t overpriced? Fortunately or unfortunately, it is overridden with “normal” people and that tribe of even more unfortunate souls than us 1Ls—grad students.
Verdict: For those who live further out and need to be night owls out of the house. Dammit I need to try that brie waffle.
A very nice little tea and coffee place in Barracks. They do good food and excellent pastries but it’s not perhaps the best atmosphere to get work done in. Very old lady-ish, so naturally well suited to me. But it is not great for working. I do strongly recommend their cakes
Verdict: For when you want to feel like a little old lady. Good place to meet someone for late lunch. Not a good place to try to work.
This place is big. Pastry selection appears to be good. Has good variety of coffee. Comfy. Unfortunately, it’s too far away and I am not sure what the marginal utility of going that far for, well, a coffeeshop. Even if you realllly want to be away from it all. Even a really good one. Maybe on a weekend.
Verdict: A good weekend or daylength trip, not so much for afternoon studying.
This is a remarkable place, if less of a coffee shop than a bakery. It is honestly the most retro place I have been in a while, but with warm beignets. Warm beignets! What else can you ask for! And discount refills.
Verdict: For post-bar review hangover and an outing.
A fine little diner-like coffeeshop. I distinctly recall a cinnamon roll half the size of my head, excellent coffee refills, and more Christmas sweaters than a section party. Very haymish. Also a place where it is entirely possible to randomly start chatting with an astrophysics grad student(!). What a pity it is so distant!
Verdict: If you live out in Fry’s Spring for some reason I strongly recommend.
Snowing in Space
Very good coffee, cold brew on tap, excellent pastries, fairly cozy and near a very nice little deli place. Plus, next to the very excellent Korean place Dolma and the also-excellent generic high-end place Maya. Bit twee, and one is unlikely to run into another student here. Bit far to go for just a cup of coffee, but nice if you’re in the area.
Verdict: Good to visit if you don’t mind a bit of a 2000s hipster vibe.