Coffee shops perfect for midterm studying

Photo by Elizabeth Kerin.




By Clare Myers

Staff Writer

Many University of Dallas students are familiar with a strange phenomenon that occurs during midterms and finals weeks. The places to study around campus become filled with people. Those nooks and crannies that seem to be always empty, those quiet corners of the library or prized tables in upstairs Haggar are suddenly occupied. Undergrads seem to come out of the woodwork to take over the most coveted study spots. It is times like these that I like to get off campus to study. But when it is crunch time, venturing beyond the Bubble can seem like a big time commitment. All coffee shops are not created equal, so I have put together a comparison chart to help readers choose the best place to go. 

Note: All of these options have free Wi-Fi.


Ascension Coffee (1621 Oak Lawn Ave. Suite A, Dallas, TX 75207)

Best for: Instagramming your afternoon.

Coffee: ♥♥♥♥

Snacks: ♥♥♥♥

Outlets: ♥♥♥

Ascension offers multiple single origin brews, so this is a good chance to try a delicious pour over if you are in the mood for a leisurely study hour. One of the baristas at this classy little place can give you a full explanation of the process.

There is a decent variety of food options here, from paninis and soups to cheese plates and desserts. They can run a bit pricey, though.

About half of the tables at this location have access to an outlet.

Like The Wild Detectives, Ascension Coffee is also a wine bar. The coffee shop has a definite air of class and sophistication. It is a better place to write a “Mansfield Park” essay than to spread out several Orgo notebooks.


Starbucks (5904 N. MacArthur Blvd. #160, Irving, TX 75039)

Best for: A short drive from campus; knowing exactly what to expect.

Coffee: ♥♥♥

Snacks: ♥♥

Outlets: ♥♥♥

The quality of the coffee is fairly standard, but there is a wide variety of coffee- and tea-based drinks from which to choose.

Starbucks does have a limited selection of munchies, but they are not very appetizing. However, the granola bars or cake pops can do in a pinch.

More than half of the tables at this location have access to an outlet.

While this Starbucks can get busy during peak times, there is more of a steady buzz of noise than a distracting roar.


Café Brazil University Park (6420 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75206)

Best for: A study marathon – it is open 24/7!

Coffee: ♥♥♥♥

Snacks: ♥♥♥♥♥

Outlets: ♥♥•

There is an extensive selection of brews available as part of the self-serve bottomless coffee deal, which is a lifesaver when you need to settle in for several hours. Café Brazil also offers other coffee drinks.

This is a restaurant (as opposed to a coffee shop) and it serves everything from BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burgers to Fruit Pancrepes. The all-night breakfast comes in clutch.

Less than half of the tables at this location have access to an outlet.

Again, Café Brazil is a restaurant, so noise levels fluctuate significantly throughout the day. Most of the time, it is tolerable, but steer clear on weekend nights to avoid the college post-party crowds.


The Wild Detectives (314 West Eighth St., Dallas, TX 75208)

Best for: Lighter studying; jazzing up your study routine.

Coffee: ♥♥♥♥

Snacks: ♥♥♥•

Outlets:  ♥♥•

The coffee at this hipster spot is much more sophisticated than your average cup of joe. Treat yourself to a well-made chai or macchiato.

The Wild Detectives offers pastries and a few sandwiches, along with a small variety of other food options. These are generally tasty, but the selection is limited.

Less than half of the tables at this location have access to an outlet.

This is not a place to do serious studying, since this coffee shop is also a bookshop and a wine bar. However, it is a great place to reward yourself for logging quality study hours or to shake up a humdrum routine. Be warned that as the daylight fades, other patrons are more likely to be taking advantage of the wine options than the coffee ones.


Crooked Tree Coffeehouse (2414 Routh St., Dallas, TX 75201)

Best for: Feeling like a hipster; debating Aristotle.

Coffee: ♥♥♥•

Snacks: ♥♥♥

Outlets: ♥♥•

There is not a huge selection of coffee and tea at Crooked Tree, but the coffee is locally roasted and organic and it is likely that your latte foam will feature an adorable design.

While, again, variety is not the name of the game, this place offers a typical array of bagels, pastries and sandwiches.

Less than half of the tables at this location have access to an outlet.

Crooked Tree is actually in a house, and it feels like it. There are couches on which to lounge and the vibe is cozy and relaxed. Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself losing track of time chatting with your study buddy.


The Cap Bar (1845 E. Northgate Dr., Irving, TX 75062)

Best for: Not leaving campus; borrowing a textbook from your barista friend.

Coffee:  ♥♥♥•

Snacks:  ♥♥•

Outlets: ♥♥♥♥

The Cap Bar has reliably good drinks, and more than a few of the baristas can whip up an excellent specialty. Also, you really cannot beat the prices.

If you are lucky enough to arrive before the pastries run out, you might be able to snag a croissant, but the selection leaves much to be desired.

Over half of the tables at this location have access to an outlet.

If you can manage to avoid eye contact with everyone you know, the Cap Bar can be a surprisingly productive workplace. However, your level of success getting work done is entirely contingent on your level of success staying focused.

Coffee cup image courtesy of


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here