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Oct 15 / Natalie Frakes

Detroit’s Best Coffeehouses

One of the things that’s obviously germane to succeeding in college is studying. But another important thing is where you’re going to study. And another important thing is my favorite thing on this earth – coffee! If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to get out of the apartment, away from all distractions, and in a place where everyone is doing the same exact type of thing. That pretty much leaves two kinds of places – the library or a coffee shop.

I prefer the latter, but if necessary, I’ll head over to Purdy-Kresge, or the UGL. However, for those who enjoy semi-quiet settings, interesting characters, and of course, coffee, this list is for you!

  • Great Lakes Coffee (on Woodward) – This place has amazing pour-over coffee and their space is study-friendly and aesthetically appealing. Their food selection is awesome, too. I’m at GLC quite often. They’re also open later than other local shops if you need to do some late-night studying. Secret: I’m using their wi-fi to write this post.
  • Avalon International Breads (on Willis) – You might think from the title this place only sells bread, but you’d be wrong! They have way more than that – coffee/tea/smoothies, vegan sandwiches, and tons and tons of yummy pastries. Sometimes they get a little crowded, but since their recent move to down the street, there is so much more space than before. Avalon is unselfish and hospitable, and when the weather’s nice, this is my go-to place because of their cute patio.
  • Bottom Line Coffee House (on Third Street) – TBL is a great coffee shop right off campus! All you have to do is walk towards downtown on Third and you’ll see it! It’s nestled in the basement of the Beethoven Apartments, but don’t think they are too small! They definitely have enough space, and awesome coffee/tea drinks to accompany it.
  • Cafe con Leche (in Southwest Detroit, on Vernor) – This one is a little bit of a drive, but totally worth the trip. It’s a cozy little coffee shop on the corner of Vernor and Scotten, across from the beautiful Clark Park. The concept of this shop is heavily community-based, seeing as they feature local artists on their walls and get their pastries from the down-the-street Mexicantown Bakery. Of course, they have amazing cortado (a latte) and feature Mexican favorites like Mexican hot chocolate and my favorite, champurrado (corn dough and chocolate drink). So good!
  • Astro Coffee (Corktown, on Michigan Avenue) – Astro is an awesome lil’ spot. They have amazing organic and fair-trade coffees, and organic food offerings. Making a trip to this place is a must – it gives you a perfect glimpse of an historical and thriving area in Detroit – Corktown! Seriously, go here to study and then walk around the surrounding neighborhoods – so beautiful and fun!
  • 14 East Cafe (Park Shelton, on Woodward) – I haven’t been to Fourteen as often to study than to just grab a cup of coffee. They are a bit more on the expensive side, but the atmosphere is accommodating to studying and reading – they even have conference rooms for study groups!
  • 1515 Broadway (Downtown, name = address) – 1515 is right across the street from the Opera House downtown. If you’re in that area, I highly suggest stopping by, whether it’s to study, eat, or energize with a cup of joe. Last I was there, I had one of their bagel sandwiches with an iced soy latte. They’re kind of a coffee shop slash performance space and they always have something cool going on.

This list isn’t in any particular order – I enjoy all of these places! If you have any other shops to add to the list, please don’t hesitate to let me know!



  1. Natalie Frakes / Oct 16 2013

    Yes! I’ll make sure to include them 🙂

  2. Alisha Davidson / Oct 16 2013

    Don’t forget Astro!

  3. Kelly Driscoll / Oct 16 2013

    Great list, Natalie!

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