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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v13n35 (08/28/2014) » Back to School Feature

In Your Cups

Sweet_ness 7 Cafe

A Student Guide to Local Coffee Shops

I’m not sure that this newspaper would exist without the aid of coffee. This article sure wouldn’t. Whether it’s black, tan, mostly sugar, or just a shot of espresso, coffee is the friend of anyone trying to get stuff done. Luckily, Buffalo has its fair share of unique coffee shops. For students returning to Buffalo for school or coming to Buffalo for the first time, here are five coffee shops that provide unique atmospheres and enough caffeine to get you through any research paper or study session.

Sweet_ness 7

220 Grant Street and 301 Parkside Avenue

With two locations—Grant Street not far from Buffalo State, and Parkside Avenue near the Buffalo Zoo — Sweet_ness 7 is your quintessential bohemian neighborhood coffee shop. The old-world vibe makes it a great place to have a conversation or read a book. It can get a little crowded, especially for brunch on the weekends, so food could take a little longer than expected, but it’s worth the wait. If you’re hungry order a Grand Slam and add some cheesy grits. If you’re at the Parkside location, their specialty crepes are a must. Students with proper ID can order a drip coffee for just a dollar, Monday through Friday after 2pm. Refills for students are free all the time.

Cheap Eats & Drinks For Students

Amy's Place

3234 Main Street, Buffalo |

Always cheap. 6-9am early bird specials. vegan lentil w/ broccoli, homefries & toast for $1.99.

Broadway Joes

3051 Main Street, Buffalo | Find them on Facebook

Punk n’ Tots. Thursdays. Weekly punk rock night where you get a free basket of tater tots with the purchase of a drink. $6 pitchers.

Don Tequila

73 Allen Street, Buffalo |

$3 margaritas on Tuesdays. Plus free chips and salsa with purchase of meal.

Food Truck Tuesdays

Larkin Square

A great place to check out all that is offered from area food trucks—till Oct 28

Founding Fathers

75 Edward Street, Buffalo |

Free popcorn & nachos. Trivia night the first Tuesday of every month.

Globe Market

762 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo |

1/2 sandwich and cup of soup or 1/2 sandwich and 1/2 salad for $8.95 (offered during lunch & dinner hours daily)

J.P. Bullfeathers

1010 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo |

$6.00 Express Lunch (item changes daily)

Mister Goodbar

1110 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo |

Free Happy Hour Buffet Fri 6pm. Complementary food and $1 off micro and import Pints. Daily specials.

Mighty Taco

various locations |

Cheap local fast food Mexican style chain


752 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo |

Lunch specials feat. 2 sushi rolls & 1 miso soup foe $6.95 (Monday through Saturday)

The Wellington Pub

1541 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo |

Two for Tuesdays—select bottled beer—buy one get one 5 pm—midnight, plus other daily drink and food specials

Get buzzed!: On a Mexican coffee. This delicious concoction is a mix of coffee, coca, cinnamon, chocolate, brown sugar, heavy cream (substitute almond milk or soy), and whipped cream. It’s basically a meal in itself and the sugar rush alone should help you through any study session.

SPoT Coffee

765 Elmwood Avenue, 227 Delaware Avenue, 1406 Hertel Avenue

Spot Coffee is the most bustling coffee shop on this list, and probably the most well known. Each location typically has a dinning area and a lounge area with couches and soft chairs, making it a great meeting place. There are three locations in the City of Buffalo: Spot on Elmwood, which is usually full of young people, artists and hipsters; spot on Delaware Avenue near Chippewa Street in Downtown Buffalo, which naturally attracts a more business-y lunch crowd; and Spot on Hertel, which has more of a chain coffee shop feel.

Get buzzed!: On a classic Red Eye—coffee with an extra shot of espresso.

Five Points Bakery

426 Rhode Island Street

Five Points Bakery is more than just a bakery and coffee shop. It’s really a philosophy. “We use only the best ingredients as a way of life not a marketing strategy,” so says their Facebook page, and “every one of our employees lives in this neighborhood and walks to work. So many issues evaporate when we live and work in walkable communities.” It’s no wonder this small bakery is expanding: it was built on a solid foundation. Not only is Five Points a great place to grab a tasty cup of coffee and flip through an Artvoice, it’s also a great place to grab some basic, locally produced groceries like eggs, milk, butter, honey, and of course freshly baked bread. Pick up a loaf of the Power Bread, which is high in protein and made with 100% whole grain flour. You’ll receive a 10% discount on all baked goods if you ride your bike there.

Get buzzed!: On a standard cup of Gimmie! Coffee, produced by the company headquartered in Ithica, New York.

Cafe Taza

100 Elmwood Avenue

It may be small but Cafe Taza, in the heart of Allentown, has a lot to offer. The atmosphere is inviting and there is always a great conversation running in the locally owned cafe on the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Allen Street. It’s also an art gallery with exhibits that rotate regularly making it a great place for aspiring artists to gain some exposure. Oh yeah, and the drinks are great too. My personal favorite is an iced Mike Tyson—a chai tea latte with a shot of espresso—but you can’t go wrong with a standard coffee, which is always brewed strong and bold.

Get buzzed!: On The Revolver: six shots of espresso finished with half and half. Perfect if you’re looking for a super-buzz to kick off that all-nighter.

Caffe Aroma

957 Elmwood Avenue

This café in the heart of the Elmwood Village won the award for “Best Coffee” in the 2014 Artvoice Best of Buffalo reader’s poll. Not only is the coffee tasty, but the location is prime. Situated at the corner of Elmwood Avenue and Bidwell Parkway, Caffe Aroma is a great spot to people-watch from their outdoor patio and you could easily turn your brunch or lunch into a picnic on Bidwell Parkway.

Get buzzed!: On, well, beer because this is one of the few shops on the list that actually serves it, but if you’re looking for something caffeinated try Caffe Aroma’s standard latte, which is made with two shots of espresso.

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