Local Coffee Shops to Fuel Your Creativity

by Abby Meyer / Garnet & Black

Online learning has changed our approach to education this semester. Lectures have been broadcasted, tests are being taken online, homework is never turned in on paper. So with the change in all of our coursework, why wouldn’t we change the way we prepare for our courses? It can be daunting to think of studying in your dorm room all day by yourself and Thomas Cooper Library has become a place where masks are mandatory. Coffee shops are a study option where you can enjoy a tasty drink and different atmosphere. The past two weeks, I have been doing my homework at local coffee shops and composed a list of different places to try if you ever need a break from your room. 

Cool Beans 
4 minute walk from the Horseshoe

This cafe is one of the most typical places to get your coffee as a USC student, besides Starbucks of course. The coffee is good and they have a menu available for lunch or breakfast at College Grounds below. It is overall a great stop and you’ll often have a difficult place finding a seat because it is so filled with college students. 

Carolina Cafe 
4 minute walk from the Horseshoe

When I went there, I got a Sun-dried tomato bagel and an iced vanilla latte. It was good and, although the coffee was just okay, it was very convenient to stop in-between classes since it is so close to the Horseshoe. It definitely will fill you up as a nice work break between classes. 

Immaculate Consumption 
5 minute walk from the Horseshoe

The description “Immaculate” perfectly encompasses the vibes at Immaculate Consumption. Their building is decorated beautifully, with both an upstairs and a downstairs that is good for studying or having a lunch date. Their coffee is average, but they have an extensive menu complete with breakfast sandwiches and pizza. When I went to visit, it was earlier in the morning and not very busy. I got Oatmeal topped with Cranberries and Apples that made it a great start to my day and a Lavender Latte. Overall, I was impressed that such a great breakfast or lunch spot was so close to campus and I had never been there until I was tasked with writing this article. 

Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea 
10 minute walk from the Horseshoe

 I had heard that Sweetwaters had great coffee before I visited there. But on an early Tuesday morning, it was so peaceful to sit with my pumpkin spice latte and banana oat bread and get some of my schoolwork done. Although it was a little more expensive than some of the other coffee shops I visited, I felt like I was paying for top-quality coffee and a delicious snack. It was refreshing to see other USC students studying and got me in a very productive mood at this delicious coffee shop. 

Indah Coffee 
13 minute walk from the Horseshoe

Whenever I’m on Main Street in Columbia, it is now going to be difficult to walk past Indah Coffee without stoping in for some delicious treats. I walked in and was initially unimpressed by their lack of pastries, but when I got their lavender latte and blueberry coffee cake, it definitely made it to the top of my list. Their prices were very reasonable and it was nice being able to overlook the bustle of Main Street while I was doing homework. The shop is small enough that you might miss it if you're walking by, but it is definitely a must-stop. 

Zombie Coffee and Donuts 
14 minute walk from the Horseshoe

If you're trying to find a nutritional spot to grab a coffee and sandwich, Zombie Coffee and Donuts is definitely not your stop. Their menu is sugared-up with coffee, donuts, milkshakes, and ice cream. They currently do not have indoor seating so, unless it is a nice day outside, it is not necessarily the place to go to study. They do have printing available if you are in a bind for one of your classes. I got an iced chai latte and their spider donut for Halloween. It definitely cured me of being a zombie all day but I don’t know if I would make it one of my regular stops. 

Drip Coffee
15 minute walk from the Horseshoe

I went to Drip Coffee and was pleasantly surprised by all the options the small cafe had on their menu. They had both indoor and outdoor seating that created an ideal study space. I got a lavender latte and a sun-dried tomato bagel. It was delicious and I could have studied there all afternoon if my schedule allowed it. 

Blum Coffee
33 minute walk from the Horseshoe

Walking into Blum Coffee will immediately make your day better with the upbeat music and busy atmosphere. I went on a Monday afternoon and it was hard to find an open seat because it was packed with so many students. I enjoyed a reasonably priced cream cheese pumpkin spice muffin and lavender latte (my go-to coffee order if you couldn’t tell by now). It was delicious and they had to kick me and my friends out at 4:30 p.m. when they closed. 

Curiosity Coffee Bar 
33 minute walk from the Horseshoe

Curiosity Coffee was a really nice stop. I had never been to their store location, I had only ever had their delicious coffee at the farmer's market on Main Street. Their store was nicely decorated and sold things beyond your regular coffee and pastries. I got a Golden Milk Latte with sweetener and a potato scramble with cheese and bacon. It had good coffee and good food. When my friends and I went there we had to sit outside, but they said their indoor area was opening within the week which would make it an even better place to study.