5 places to grab a coffee and study in Iowa City

November 29, 2017 / Iowa

The campus library can be a great place to study, but sometimes a change of scenery is in order to help you focus. These Iowa City hangouts are fabulous places to enjoy a cup of joe while cracking open the books.

  1. Starbucks

This downtown favorite is almost always packed with students writing papers and cramming for tests. Luckily, Starbucks locations around the world have embraced their role as study hotspots, so feel free to make yourself at home while enjoying a coffee and perhaps a pastry. This location is particularly great because it offers high-top tables perfect for laptops and books, and has outdoor seating which can be enjoyed in the warmer months.

Where: 228 S Clinton St

When: Every day, 5am – 9pm 


  1. The Java House

This is a truly local joint, created by a former University of Iowa student who dreamed of bringing California’s coffee shop culture to Iowa City. It’s cozy and welcoming, and the perfect place to settle down for a study session. There are various quirky elements scattered around, including funky art, colorful table lamps, and even a church pew. All of the usual coffee offerings are on the menu, but those with a sweet tooth should try the sugar cookie latte.

Where: 211 E Washington St

When: Every day, 6am – 11:30pm


  1. High Ground Cafe

Java junkies can get their caffeine fix at this popular cafe which proudly serves cups of organic coffee from a roasting company called Kickapoo. There’s a fireplace to keep you warm on those cold Iowa days, and outdoor seating to enjoy when the weather is warmer. If  you’re in need of some food to fuel your studying, the Avocado Slam Sandwich might be just the thingto keep you going. Once you’ve cleaned your plate, reward yourself with a delicious sweet treat. 

Where: 301 E Market St

When: Every day, 7am – 11pm


  1. Cortado Coffee & Cafe

This cool hangout defines itself as a “fast-paced, European style espresso bar” which serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes. If you’re looking to grab a bite while you study, the menuoffers healthy options like hummus plates, soups, salads, and sandwiches. The simple interior ensures there aren’t any distractions to take away from your studying which is what makes it a great spot to stay and study for a while.  This is one of the best places in town to enjoy a guilt-free meal while making sure you ace your next test. Sugar addicts needn’t fear because freshly baked pastries are also on offer. 

Where: 26 S Clinton St

When: Mon – Sat 7am – 6pm, Sun 8am – 4pm


  1. Deluxe Cakes & Pastries

Whether you enjoy flaky croissants, fruity tarts, or creamy cupcakes, you’ll be in heaven when you cast your eyes on everything this bakery has to offer. Making a decision is the hardest part, as everything simply looks too gorgeous to eat. When you’ve finally decided and you’re ready to hit the books, grab a cafe au lait and settle down on a retro diner stool as you settle into your studies. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself enjoying another round once you’re finished. 

Where: 812 S Summit St

When: Tue – Fri 7am – 5:30pm, Sat 7:30am – 3pm


Whether you prefer an old-fashioned cup of joe or something a bit fancier, Iowa City offers plenty of places to enjoy a freshly brewed mug of caffeinated goodness and settle in for a long day of studying.