Coffee is arguably the most important thing in the entire universe. It is to me, at least. As a devout lover of the ground up beans of utter perfection, I tend to commonly turn to Starbucks to get my fix. They’re located all over the place, so it’s always a convenience. However, after going there at least once a day for months on end (I literally just went there and am drinking Starbucks as I type this) even my favorite drinks start to get old (Seriously though, this pumpkin spice latte is boring). Eventually, I started going to locally owned coffee shops and discovered many drinks that (shockingly) are even better than Starbucks.

Coffee Culture

Granted, Coffee Culture isn’t necessarily locally owned, but it’s still a cute little coffee shop with amazing drinks and a great environment for reading, studying, or just catching up with friends. As an actress, Coffee Culture has become one of my go-to places to read plays and memorize lines. It’s a very peaceful place complete with a fireplace and cozy armchairs. I would recommend a nice, hot hazelnut chai tea latte complete with a blueberry scone.

Brick House

Brick House coffee bar has all the feelings of a classy bistro but in a smaller town setting. I imagine that Brick House would fit right into the world of Stars Hollow in Gilmore girls and would be frequented by Lorelai and Rory. This charming coffee bar also has beverages for those of you that are over the age of 21, making it the perfect weekend spot for those who may not enjoy bars or large gatherings of people. I’m a big fan of their frappes and smoothies.

Brew Ha Ha

Do you love dogs? So do the people who own this little gem of a coffee shop! Tons of dog-themed artwork line the walls of this Colony Plaza establishment. The staff at Brew Ha Ha is more than happy to make you any drink you desire, whether it be on the menu or not. My favorite concoction they’ve devised so far is the Purple Haze. Try it iced or hot—it tastes shockingly different either way. They also have a variety of healthy food options for breakfast and light lunches.

Out of the Grey

I wish every coffee shop in the world was Out of the Grey. Though they’re rarely open, I go whenever I can. Not only does the nicest family in the entire world own the place, they also make the most delicious, unique drinks I’ve ever had. The shop is located on the first floor of what I’d imagine is their home. Three nights a week, the family opens their home to the community and serves delicious food, desserts and drinks. The space is (appropriately so) homey, warm and inviting. They also have a back yard that is decked out in furniture and candles. Out of the Grey is perfect for any occasion, whether it be date night or studying. I would recommend literally everything on the menu.