We all know the struggle: midterms are here, you spent too much time on twitter and didn’t pay attention in class, and you need to pull an all-nighter studying. There’s only one thing to get a student through a night of books and flashcards, and that’s coffee. Now, if there’s anything that I know all about it’s a good cup of joe. I’ve been to almost every coffee shop in Erie, so I know what’s worth it and what’s not.

There’s always the big chains like Dunkin’ and Starbucks, but they aren’t as personal as the shop down the street. As a big advocate for the Shop Local campaign, I frequently find myself looking for new places to explore, especially coffee shops. I’ve compiled a short list of where to go based on what environment you’re looking for.


  • Ember+Forge
    • Ember+Forge is great because it is so close to campus. Located at 4th and State, you have a wonderful space to study and get work done without all the hassle of having to leave campus.
    • I love Ember+Forge because of the atmosphere it engenders. The aged brick walls are lined with art, which creates a feeling of community. At the same time, the numerous windows bring in tons of natural light that spark an urge to be productive. The combination of these two make a perfect space to settle down and do homework.
    • https://www.emberandforge.com/
  • Coffee Culture
    • Coffee Culture is open at 6:30 every morning until 10 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Because of this it is a great study spot, especially if you need to work late at night.
    • Inside there are rows of big square tables so you can group together for projects and learning. These tables also have power outlets, so power is available for long study sessions.
    • https://www.coffeeculturecafe.com/


  • Pressed Café
    • Pressed is fantastic. One part of this store is a coffee shop, and the other a bookstore. Because of the natural quiet mood that bookstores possess, the café is also calm and free from distractions.
    • The café also has a variety of tables, chairs, and couches so you can work in whatever way you feel comfortable.
    • https://www.pressedbooks.com/


  • Out of the Grey
    • Out of the Grey is a great place to go if you want a little taste of campus and are willing to drive about 25 minutes west. If you haven’t noticed the logos on the coffee pots around campus, Gannon serves Out of the Grey coffee at the majority of the cafés around campus.
    • I personally love Out of the Grey for its family-like feel as soon as you step through the doors. This is largely in part to the wonderful family who owns the business. Jack and Sheila Barton own the company, and their three kids all work at the store. This is great because every time I go to Out of the Grey I am greeted by the same smiling faces.
    • https://outofthegreycoffee.com/
  • BrewHaHa
    • If you’re looking for a spot to catch up with the gals and don’t want to worry about being noisy, BrewHaHa is the place for you. The open space welcomes conversation and laughter.
    • This is definitely a place to check out on the weekends; however, they do close at 4 p.m. every day.
    • If you commute, this is a great place to check out if you’re coming from the west side. It is located in the Colony Plaza on 8th Street, so it is just a stop on the way to campus.
    • https://www.brewhahacolony.com/
  • Tipsy Bean
    • If you’re 21 or older this is the place to be. The Tipsy Bean gets its name from its business model. The café is a coffee shop by day and a bar by night. Of course, you can still order coffee and pastries any time of the day, but starting at 4 p.m. beer can be ordered. As the night progresses, different drinks are also offered. For more information on what alcohols are available, check out their online menu.
    • Along with the unique business model, the café also offers a variety of different activities to involve and build community. Every Friday night is Open Mic Night from 8 to 10:30 p.m. They also host other events, which are posted on social media and their website.
    • https://finch-koi-zpmw.squarespace.com/