Coffee Shop Edition
By: Cara

Welcome back everyone! How was your Holiday break? Mine was relaxing, but I’m so happy classes have started up again. I’m back with another “Best of Madison” post. This time, we’re tackling coffee shops. Keep in mind, these are just one gals opinions. If you have any suggestions for coffee shops Edgewood students must hit up, leave them in the comments!

Victor Allen’s.

2623 Monroe Street
Madison, WI

There are a few key reasons why Victor Allen’s made my Best Coffee Shop list. The first, being location. Victor Allen’s is only a few steps away from Edgewood, a quick walk down Monroe Street. This makes it ideal for students. Sometimes you just get sick of the library, or Nona McGreal, or Wingra, or wherever you prefer to study. Sometimes, it’s best to just get off campus to get your study session in. Victor Allen’s is close enough that you won’t just feel exhausted by the time you get there, but far enough off campus that you’re no longer distracted by all things Edgewood.  Victor Allen’s also has excellent seasonal drinks, as well as a great bakery case. Their plain ol’ cup of Joe is pretty good as well, it packs a punch. Victor Allen’s also captures Monroe Street culture, and the atmosphere is quite inviting. It’s fairly quiet there, so it’s the kind of place where you can really knuckle down and study. It’s probably better to take the group of friends you want to catch up with elsewhere, though—everyone will be able to hear your conversation!

Fair Trade Coffee.

418 State Street
Madison, WI 53774

Fair Trade Coffee, located on State Street, fairly close to the capitol is a nice departure from the Starbucks, and Starbucks-esque coffee shops that are scattered around the State street area.  As you can hopefully tell by the title, they only serve fair trade coffee, which is wonderful because it’s pretty delicious. When I used to live on campus, I would make the trip down to State Street to meet friends at Fair Trade, because it perfectly balances a study, collegiate atmosphere with a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere which makes it ideal for meeting up with a friend, chatting and catching up, then getting some school work done. They have good sandwiches, and an excellent chai latte.

Barriques Wine Cave.

1831 Monroe St
Madison, WI 53711

Barriques serves Alterra coffee. That can be reason enough to have Barriques in my top three coffee shops. Alterra coffee (roasted in my hometown, Milwaukee) is simply the best coffee. In my humble opinion, of course. Another great study place, but come evening, it transitions into a popular wine hop, for academics, professionals, and Madisonians alike!  Awesome, inviting, cavernous atmosphere. Wonderful wine selection, once you’re of age!