Best Coffee Shop for Studying in Missoula

…because it’s way easier to goof off and write a blog post than to actually be studying right now. Anyway, I’ve found that a good place to write/study makes all a big difference with my homework. In my cramped apartment, the cat and my roommates are forever pestering me for attention, and I’m forever distracted by the chocolate in the cupboard. Someday, I wish somebody would open up a bar specifically for studying, because how awesome would it be to sip a nice brew whilst working? (Yeah, yeah, I know it would never work, but a gal can dream.)

So, after much experience, here’s my review of Missoula downtown Higgins coffee shops.

Butterfly Herbs: Best for good coffee, a nice pot of tea and conversation. While they have free wireless, it’s still a pretty old-school joint. The shop’s been running since the pre-laptop 1970s, so there’s no outlets by the booths, and the only-plug in is behind the bar, so you have to ask a barista to plug in your cord for you. There’s also way too many cool people and interesting characters milling about on any given day, so your best off casually reading a magazine or newspaper and chatting. (People do that still, right?) Also, they’re closed by 7 on weekdays and 5 on weekends, and I usually study in the evenings.

Liquid Planet: Spacious, with ample places to plug in a laptop and spread out your books, but way too distracting. The overhead music’s a tad too loud for me to wear headphones, and sometimes they play really obnoxious crap like “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” They also have a selection of fancy beer and wine, but you can’t drink it here, so I end up wanting to take something home and drink it. And then I get jack shit done.

Catalyst Cafe: I haven’t been in here in ages, because while they have tasty food and good espresso, they’re always closed by 3 p.m. Boo.

City Brew: (Off Higgins on W. Broadway.) I’ve been to the City Brew in Billings plenty of times, but never the Missoula branch. Someone wanna review it for me?

So where do I actually study?…well, cue up the drum roll, here ’tis:

Break Espresso. Best place for studying, ever. Seeing as it’s always packed around midterms and finals, I’d say that’s not much of a secret. I like it because: it’s spacious, has plenty of plug ins and generous tables, and a cup of hot or iced coffee is $1.25. (Places that charge extra for iced coffee drive me crazy. I am getting LESS coffee, for goodness sake.) They serve in real mugs and glasses, too, which pleases my hippie side. And they regularly set out sample plates of cookies and muffins, so I can get the occasional tasty snack. The music isn’t too loud, so I can listen to my headphones.

(If you’re considering starting up a coffee shop, keep this in mind, folks.)

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