Aside from the hours of studying and paper writing, one of the hardest parts of academic life at the University of Richmond is trying to find a nice, quiet place to study. Students roam around campus trying to find the perfect work environment, but often find that every spot is crowded or taken. 

Many would agree that campus tends to get overwhelming as students struggle to find a relaxed place to get work done and concentrate. That being said, here is a list of good, college-friendly cafes recommended by students for those looking to get off campus for a change of scenery.

Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream

Located on the edge of Forest Hill Park, Crossroads has a great balance of a studious atmosphere and good food. Many students go there not only for the good coffee but also for the free high-speed Wi-Fi, which is especially important during finals. Crossroads has both indoor and outdoor seating, both of which are relaxing study spaces. 

Amy Bradshaw, one of the owners of Crossroads, said what made the cafe great for work was the people who go there. 

“We’ve always worked towards a community-oriented space,” Bradshaw said. “We always have a huge diversity of people coming in the door beyond just the neighborhood.” 

Bradshaw said Crossroads was a great place for students to come and work because it was comfortable and welcoming. 

“Maybe even more so than the Wi-Fi, the sitting space or the quietness,” Bradshaw added. Bradshaw said the space had a good work environment and “people will want to spend longer amounts of time there.”

The Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe (Scott’s Addition)

Although there are several Urban Farmhouse locations throughout Richmond, the best one for UR students is probably in Scott’s Addition. One of the newer locations, this Urban Farmhouse is spacious and constantly filled with working students. The walls are lined with sliding doors, which occasionally open during the nicer weather. 

Ellie Bush is a senior who has often gone to Urban Farmhouse during exams to get a change of scenery. 

“I like to get off campus to clear my head,” Bush said. “Urban Farmhouse has a really nice, spacious area.” 

Bush agreed that campus during exam time could get overwhelming, and said that going off campus to Urban Farmhouse was therefore less stressful and great for students. 

“The Wi-Fi is good, it's always reliable and they have good coffee,” Bush said.

ShoreDog Cafe

Perhaps the most convenient of the locations is Shoredog Cafe because it is a quick four-minute drive away. Not only is it close to campus, but it has custom bagels as well as Lamplighter Coffee Roast.  

The owner, Sharon Moody, said it was a great, community-based cafe that often attracted UR students. Moody said the cafe was great for students because it provides fast internet, bright lighting and ample plugs. She also mentioned that she loves to see students at ShoreDog. 

“It really does make me happy because I have two college students of my own,” Moody said. She said ShoreDog was convenient because in addition to its proximity to campus, it was also large and quiet and had healthy menu options. 

UR Downtown, Richmond on Broad Cafe

If you want a change in scenery while still having the perks of campus dining, UR Downtown is a great alternative to studying on campus. It has some of UR’s finest dining options and you can use dining dollars. 

“Our cafe has excellent food, which a lot of students don’t know about,” said Matt Lee, one of the cafe’s managers. “[At UR Downtown], we have a lot of rooms that are really private and a great atmosphere.”

Lee said that with the new Uber option to get to UR Downtown, he hoped to see more students come and go at their convenience. He also said that UR’s campus could get quite full during exams and sees UR Downtown as a great alternative to avoid crowding. 

“It’s quiet and it’s a nice change of pace,” Lee said. “When you need to take a break, UR Downtown is also walking distance from other places, like the lawn at the Virginia State Capitol and City Hall.”

Contact contributor Lena Jacobson at lena.jacobson@richmond.edu.