Although Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Einstein Bros. Bagels are synonymous for brewing some of the best coffee around, there are some other places on campus that also brew a great cup of Joe.
While the blends and coffee-based drinks might not totally be on par with the products of the campus coffee shops, these venues on campus can be trusted to satisfy your caffeine needs when you’re on a time crunch.
Unlike in the previous Coffee Craze article, I won’t itemize the pros and cons of each place. Suffice it to say, all of these places serve different purposes on campus; brewing coffee is simply an auxiliary service to their primary functions.
1) International Grounds: Espressos, flavored syrups, iced coffees, muffins and pastries. If you’re near Campus Marketplace inside University Quad, International Grounds might be a lifesaver if you’re heading to class in Buildings 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 or 9.
Like Einstein’s, a big plus for International Grounds is that it’s located next to a mini-mart where many options for good food can be found.
2) Denny’s and Vista Market: Located in the same building, these are two of the closest places you can get coffee if you’re coming to campus from the Residential Suites, University Village, and Parking Lots B and K.
The one caveat with Denny’s is that it’s very popular and lines can therefore be long on a busy morning. If that’s not the case, then you’ll surely enjoy the Seattle’s Best coffee it brews. If you aren’t in a crazy rush, try out one of Denny’s lattes or iced coffee specialties with a Denny’s Grand Slam.
Vista Market, the mini-mart adjacent to Denny’s, also serves coffee. You can find it by the slushi machine by the bread goods. The staff brews Don Francisco’s, which is a pretty great brand of coffee too. As a self-serve venue, there’s no specialty drinks or anything other than cream and sugar, but it’s cheap and tastes great.
3) Subway: If you’re coming to campus from its south end but the Denny’s line is too long or Vista Market’s out of coffee, there’s one more place on your way that you can go: Subway.
You might not think about getting coffee from a sandwich venue, but trust me, it’s very good. Subway restaurants also brew Seattle’s Best coffee.
While Subway lines in the Bronco Student Center can be pretty long, they’re usually very short during morning hours.
4) Pony Express @ the CLA: Maybe you didn’t even know there was a mini-mart in the CLA Building. It’s across from the registrar’s office on the second floor, the same floor as the CLA Paseo and just south of the testing center. If you’re coming from the “F” parking lots, the Parking Structure or even the Residential Halls (should Einstein Bros. Bagels not be convenient enough for you), stopping by Pony Express on your way to class is a great alternative. The coffees brewed at Pony Express are Starbucks’ brands, and they’re pretty good too.
5) Los Olivos Dining Commons: If you’re living in the Residential Suites or Halls and have some time to spare in the morning, go to Los Olivos and drink as many cups of coffee as you can. While you’re at it, eat all the food you can, too. You might as well, seeing as how you probably have a meal plan that gets all the food you can eat.
6) ENV Cafe: While the eastern side of campus seems to get all of the coffee love, students on the western side by Building 2, Building 13, Bio Trek and Parking Lots M and J. In addition to brewing Starbucks blends, the ENV Cafe serves dripped coffee, espresso drinks and various teas as well.
6) Various Vending Machines: If you’re really desperate, there’s a few vending machines on campus that dispense coffee and coffee-based drinks. The two I know of can be found in the Building 9 Corridor and the second floor of Building 1. Coffee from a vending machine wouldn’t be my first choice, but it did its job when I had a last-minute craving before class.
For better or worse, coffee isn’t hard to find on campus if you know where to look.
For more information, visit foundation.csupomona.edu/dining.