Hyde Park cafés warm winter with coffee

Priyanka Shrijay and Katerina Lopez

High school students, fatigued by their schoolwork and busy lives, often rely on coffee to get through the day. Luckily for them, the U. of C. campus vicinity is packed with cafés.

Walk into Plein Air Cafe, and you are greeted with the buzz of conversation, the sight of fingers flying across keyboards, and a scent of coffee and eggs wafting from the kitchen. The café is warm with plenty of natural lighting. The decorations vary in style, from modern paintings to a vintage speaker hoisted on the café’s wall. Seated throughout the venue are students and professionals of all ages, many hard at work. Heading toward the quaint, white counter, customers are greeted by smiling, energetic employees. A 12-ounce drip coffee is $2.50. It is strong, on the bitter side and thicker than Starbucks’ medium roast coffee.

Sam Fleming
CREAMY EXCELLENCE. Plein Air Cafe, 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave., offers a variety of excellent coffee.

Starbucks located in Judd Hall offers a drip coffee that is weaker and sweeter than that of Plein Air but appetizing nonetheless. The shop bustles with eager students craving a caffeine fix. Employees are friendly and familiar with students. Seeing and conversing with one another frequently creates an evident bond between students and baristas. A 12-ounce coffee is $1.40.

Also with an inviting atmosphere, Dollop Coffee Co. has more modern decor. Busy college students fill the café, typing on computers and concentrating on heavy books. There is mid-toned conversation throughout the café between students. Employees greet you and take your order in a friendly way. It has a more quiet environment than other coffee shops without a stressful feeling.A small drip coffee is $2.10. It is not too strong but the taste of the coffee bean still comes through.    Dubbed “where God drinks coffee,” the U. of C. Divinity School coffee shop, Grounds of Being, offers a variety of coffees. The standard drip coffees are strong and diverse in roast. Given the excellent and renowned coffee shop is often full of chattering.