Convenient Coffee Shops Provide Unique Experiences

Visits to, reviews of three local coffee shops

Bordertown Coffee

With end-of-semester exams and projects rapidly approaching, Bordertown Coffee is the perfect place for students to study. It’s located in an old fraternity house on the University of Minnesota campus, giving it a unique sense of character and a cozy atmosphere. The bakery menu offers a variety of fresh goods made with ethically sourced ingredients. Despite being packed with college students, the volume was impressively low, making it the perfect spot to study for upcoming exams. With the help of my latte and a really comfy couch, I was able to get three assignments done.

Address: 315 16th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Productivity Scale: 9/10

WiFi Connection: 10/10 

Quality of Food: 8/10


Fairgrounds Coffee and Tea

Less than a ten-minute drive from the Upper School, Fairgrounds is very conveniently located. The menu includes breakfast, lunch, and of course, coffee and tea. The list of latte flavors is extensive, with unique names like “Rainforest Remedy” and “Grandpa Irv’s Espresso Old Fashioned.” I ordered the “sticky chai latte.” Topped with foam and cinnamon, the warm beverage did not disappoint. The pop music playing and customers on work calls made the volume slightly inadequate for intense concentration. As such, I think Fairgrounds is a great place to catch up with friends or complete a smaller assignment, but maybe not ideal for significant studying.

Address: 120 3rd Ave N,  Minneapolis, MN 55401

Productivity Scale: 6/10

WiFi Connection: 1/10* Quality of Food: 9/10

*others seemed to be able to connect

Tao Organic Cafe + Herbery

This cafe is a quick three-minute drive from the Upper School. The menu offers soups, sandwiches, bowls, as well as smoothies, tea, coffee, juice blends, and “potions.” I ordered the avocado and egg toast and the “strength” smoothie. The toast came with a delicious arugula salad and a perfectly cooked poached egg. The menu offers all kinds of delicious options for those with dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten-free, etc.). The quiet acoustic music mixed with the warm aroma of freshly brewed chai tea provided the perfect environment to get my APUSH notes done. I found the volume of the cafe perfect: the whirring of the coffee machine and the occasional ring of the bell on the door when a customer walked in was the ideal background noise for maximal focus.


Address: 2200 Hennepin Ave,  Minneapolis, MN 55405

Productivity Scale: 8/10

WiFi Connection: 10/10

Quality of Food: 10/10