Five Awesome University of Minnesota Coffee Shops
coffee cup

Enjoy a hot cup of coffee to get you through the cold Minnesota weather | Flickr

After exploring the University of Minnesota area, we discovered that coffee shops have become an integral part of UMN student life. These local coffee shops offer much more than just gratifying caffeine fixes. They are a place to gather with friends and simply unwind from the stresses of collegiate life.

We decided to look beyond the convenience of familiar on-campus coffee shops and find the top 5 places located in the off-campus area. With winter quickly approaching, you will be pleased to find that all of the places on this list are within walking distance of the UMN campus.

Bordertown Coffee

315 16th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Walking distance from campus: 2 minutes (0.1 miles)

Looking for a place to study? Bordertown is a great alternative to the library and is less than 2 minutes of walking distance from campus. Offering Free Wi-Fi, affordable coffee prices, and a unique atmosphere.

Our Favorite Yelp Review:

This place is great! The staff is always friendly and seem genuine. The coffee shop is in a very cool old mansion and has a decently sized seating area with free wi-fi to sit and chill or to do some homework. The drinks I’ve ordered have always been very tasty and have typical coffee shop prices. Nothing is too expensive. Bordertown also has a great selection of coffee shop treats and lunch specials. It’s my favorite place around the U to go to a quick coffee fix!

Espresso Royale Café

411 14th Ave. Southeast
Minneapolis, MN


Walking distance from campus: 4 minutes (0.2 miles)

Espresso Royale Café has a few locations in the UMN area, but this location is rated the highest for a reason. Located right in the Heart of Dinkytown, it is only 4 short minutes of walking distance away from campus. They offer Free Wi-Fi, organic coffee at a very reasonable price and a homelike and comfortable atmosphere.

Our Favorite Yelp Review:

I’ve been going to espresso Royale since my freshman year at the U. If you’re looking for good not overly sweet coffee this is the place to be. Be sure to check their “Dinkytown Regulars” menu it has by far the best drink options. It also has a great calm atmosphere to study in right in the heart of Dinkytown.

Overflow Espresso

2929 University Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Walking distance from campus: 11 minutes (0.5 miles)

Overflow is located right off of University Avenue. Although it is a bit further from campus than the others on this list, it’s worth the trip. Offering high-quality coffee, amazing food, and baked goods, all at a reasonable price, this is the perfect place to study with free Wi-Fi access in a comfortable and invigorating atmosphere.

Our Favorite Yelp Review:

My favorite coffee shop in Minneapolis. Their coffee is simply superb. However they also have an awesome breakfast collection that I cannot recommend enough. They have ample parking and the baristas are just very nice. It feels good to tip them well!!  As they say “it is not Starbucks but it is full of people who used to go to Starbucks”.

The Purple Onion Café

1301 University Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55467

Walking Distance from Campus: 4 Minutes (0.2 Miles)

Looking to enjoy a fresh cup of locally roasted, organic, gourmet coffee? The Purple Onion opens bright and early at 6:00AM and Closes at Midnight, making this the perfect place for a late night caffeine fix.

Our Favorite Yelp Review:

I stopped into Purple Onion to do a few hours of homework a couple weeks after Valentine’s Day. I had a matcha green tea latte with soy and an Italian BLT with a side salad. I was chomping away when I realized I needed their new wi-fi password. Turns out it was “iloveyou.” That password pretty much sums up my feelings about this place. The staff is friendly. You can snag a table for hours without feeling pressed to leave. The drinks and the food are yummy.


615 Washington Ave SEMinneapolis, MN 55414

Walking distance from campus: 5 minutes (0.2 miles)

It’s no surprise that Starbucks made the list, but it’s a great choice if you are new to the UMN area and looking for something familiar. Offering a large menu, free Wi-Fi, late night hours, and only a short walk from campus. This Starbucks is huge and has plenty of seating for groups, making this a great place for catching up with friends and meeting new people.

Our Favorite Yelp Review:

Probably one of my favorite Starbucks coffee shops! The lines are long but they move much faster than the lines at the Starbucks inside Coffman. They accept mobile payment and are open from 5am – 12 midnight. This is also one of the largest Starbucks I’ve ever been to. I enjoy their Holiday drinks and their usual classics like the Caramel Macchiato and the delightful Cinnamon Dolce latte.

And being next to The Commons Hotel – Added bonus! It’s gorgeous inside the Commons, and nice to walk through the hotel into the “tunnel” and back to the office so you can get your coffee fix without even stepping foot outside in the freezing cold tundra. Minnesota winters, I’m not afraid of you! Thank you Starbucks for deliciously caffeinating my mornings!




Callie Kollenbroich has been the Operations Coordinator and Content Writer/Editor at Rent College Pads since 2015. When she's not working, you can find her at home, eating peanut butter out of the jar and bingeing an unhealthy amount of Forensic Files. She's not as lame as she sounds.

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