After living in Grand Rapids for 5 years and making it through undergrad and (almost all of) grad, I can pretty confidently say I have found my favorite places to study at. Grand Rapids has no shortage of coffee shops, however a lot of them are known for their good coffee and have a lack of seating options that are good for studying. Since there are so many options, I wanted to narrow it down a bit to ones that work well for me and say why I like them too!
Rise Authentic Baking Co- 1220 Fulton St W, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Rise is located on the West side, so I don’t get there that often. But they have a few tables that you can snag if you’re lucky, and they are known for their vegan and gluten free baked goods if you or a friend has a special diet. I really like their version of poptarts, and honestly wouldn’t even know they were gluten free if I didn’t know! I also love all the natural light you get while studying in here.
Lyon Street Cafe- 617 Lyon St NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
This was one I went to more often a few years ago, and while I still love it, the past few times I have tried to go it is always too crowded with no place to sit. It still is one at the top of my list because their drinks are good and my one friend and I would always split a chameleon bar (I think that was what it was called at least!) while we worked.
Nonna’s Pantry- 591 Ada Dr SE, Ada, MI 49301
Nonna’s Pantry is in Ada, so a 10-15 minute drive away from Grand Rapids. But let me reassure you, it is well worth the drive. They have great drinks and treats, and again, I love the natural light! It is the CUTEST around Christmastime too, as you can see from the above picture! Another thing I love is while it always has people in it, there still is always at least one empty table when I have been there.
Baker Book House- 2768 E Paris Ave S E, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Baker Book House is another favorite as I love their vanilla chai tea. It is always pretty quiet in there and there are plenty of seating options in their cafe. I also love that it is a book store, so you can get up and browse the books if you need a 10 minute study break! They also have a bigger table or two, which is great if you have a larger study group or are working on a group project since many coffee shops don’t have tables that seat more than 2.
East Grand Rapids Library – 746 Lakeside Dr SE, East Grand Rapids, MI 49506
While the inside of the library offers plenty of options, I am including this in the list because of the back patio. When it is nice outside, there are tables out back that overlook the lake that you can sit at and work. I love going here in the spring when I have to study but I want to enjoy the fact that it finally isn’t snowing out too! I also love this because there is a Starbucks and one of my favorite ice cream places (Jersey Junction) within walking distance if you want a treat after you study.
Schuler Books- 2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
I lived really close to Schuler last year, so I went there all the time. They have some really good and unique baked goods (apple cider donuts, mint brownie bars, etc.), so that is always fun, but they also have a ton of tables. They have a fireplace in the winter as well, which adds to the cozy atmosphere. I have noticed that they do not have many outlets here, so make sure your computer is charged before you go! Also, there is almost always groups (book clubs, knitting groups, etc.) there, which makes for some fun people watching!
If you need to get some work done, sometimes just going to a new environment helps. I challenge you this week to try out a new place near you, and if you are in or near Grand Rapids, checkout one of these!