by Lakshmi Sadhu

Let’s face it, the novelty of studying at a library wears off pretty quickly. No matter how beautiful a library is, eventually you’ll get sick of being trapped in a silent film surrounded by over-caffeinated panda-eyed students. Studying in your room isn’t a better alternative either. Going without human contact for extended periods of time in your box of a room, drowning in books and papers, is not doing your mental health any favours.

weird creature emerging from cave

When you spend all your time in your room studying.
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Cafes, on the other hand, are that “better alternative” you’re looking for. Deciding to study at a cafe, gives me a reason to get out of my baggy comfy PJ’s and dress up. Dressing up and getting out of the house makes me feel more confident and productive, which in turn gets more work done. Plus, I don’t feel suffocated at a cafe. I feel awake. The steady hustle and bustle of customers and conversations, combined with the scent of tea leaves and coffee beans perfuming the air, is, I’ve found, the perfect recipe for concentration. Turns out, Heidegger really is more interesting when you’re armed with matcha.  

Trial and error have led me to compile the following list of cafes that make good study spots!


1. Moonbean Cafe

interior of Moonbeam Cafe, Toronto

Moonbeam Cafe
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You’re missing out on life if you haven’t been here yet. Located at 30 St Andrew Street, Moonbean Cafe is a rustic little coffee shop that prides itself on roasting and brewing its own coffee. Their mocha is probably the best I’ve ever had.


2. Stay Cafe

interior Stay Cafe, Toronto

Stay Cafe
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Located at an unassuming spot in Chinatown, it’s easy to just walk past Stay and completely miss this gem of a place at 388 Spadina Avenue. Their warm decor, ample seating space, and Asian-inspired teas make Stay one of my favourite cafes to study at.


3. Dark Horse Espresso Bar

interior of Dark Horse Espresso Bar, Toronto

Dark Horse Espresso Bar
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Communal tables, vegan/vegetarian snack options, and a bright, airy ambience make this espresso specialist another one of my go-to study spots. Located at 215 Spadina Avenue.


4. Light Cafe

interior of Light Cafe, Toronto

Light Cafe
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This cute, artsy little Taiwanese-inspired cafe is located at 23 Baldwin Street. Their menu is chock-full of loose leaf teas, slow drip hand-brewed coffees, and delicious sandwiches.


5. Infuse Cafe

interior of Infuse Cafe, Toronto

Infuse Cafe
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Don’t let the sketchy location dissuade you from going to Infuse Cafe. Located at 354 Yonge Street, Infuse Cafe prides itself on organic, fair trade ingredients, in addition to unique tea brewing technology. There are always open table spots, and free wifi.

What are your favourite cafes to study at? 🙂