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A Student’s Survival Guide: A student’s guide to Halifax study spots

The best cafés to study in

“Hey Anna, which Halifax cafés do you recommend as study spots?”

There are so many local Halifax cafés great for studying, yet time and again students find themselves stuck in the Killam Library or their dorm rooms. Studying can get exhausting, and a change of scenery is one of the best ways to get back into the groove of it. 

As a journalism student with ADHD, I feel the need to constantly be on the go. Trying a new coffee shop is the perfect way to feel like I’m actually doing something with my day and not stuck in a horrible loop of sleeping and studying. 

When I was in first year, in 2019, I was completely new to Halifax. Finding a study spot with a great chai latte, a cosy atmosphere and proximity to campus was very important to me.

The first place I found was Coburg Social, which was a popular spot for a long time, but new management took over, ruined it with a terrifying mural of a life-size Dal tiger and SMU husky and recently shut it down. 

With most coffee shops in Halifax located downtown, students must walk east to find a study spot that works for them. Many students know about Cabin Coffee, the Glitter Bean and Uncommon Grounds, but there are some hidden gems that are worth looking into.

There are lots of spots perfect for working or unwinding, whether you’ve been in Halifax for a few years or are just getting to know the city. 

Tart and Soul Café

Tart and Soul Café is a small-batch bakery that makes the softest croissants and best sandwiches near campus. Located on the corner of Coburg Road and Oxford Street, Tart and Soul is the next best thing to my core memory of grabbing a Thai chicken wrap from Coburg Social.

The only downside is they don’t have the best hours and are only open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday to Friday. However, their soups and sandwiches are the perfect mid-week pick-me-up. 

Trident Booksellers & Café

Trident Booksellers & Café is an avid reader’s heaven on earth; a two-in-one café and used bookstore. This tiny study spot, perfect for cosying up with a new book or forcing yourself to work, hides near the bottom of Lower Water Street.

Their chai latte is one of the best in the city; it’s perfectly spiced and tastes like autumn in a mug. They also have high-quality coffee and espresso if you are someone who needs a little extra caffeine. 

First Sight Coffee & Bar

First Sight Coffee & Bar has a solid latte and some comfy seating. It’s not too far from campus, just a short walk down Spring Garden Road. They have a great menu for any taste, but I’d recommend the pork belly wrap.

They have a big window for people watching and it’s frighteningly easy to spend a long time there. My favourite part about First Sight is that once you finish an assignment, you can reward yourself with a beer or fun cocktail from their bar.

Apartment 3 Espresso Bar

For my hot chocolate people, Apartment 3 Espresso Bar has one of the best hot chocolates in the city. They share a space with Queensbury Rules Boxing Studio on South Park Street, which means you can take a study break by signing up for a beginner boxing class and then grabbing a hot cocoa to go.

I have not tried their coffee, but I imagine it’s just as good as their cocoa. There is nothing quite like studying with a cosy cup of hot chocolate, especially as the weather gets colder. 

Espresso 46

Espresso 46 is a little bit of Italy in the North End. If you are willing to make the trek up to Isleville Street, you can find this tiny café next to the Warehouse Market, a local farm fresh market.

Espresso 46 has an espresso with a smooth and thick crema on top and a chocolate zucchini muffin that is worth the walk there. While in the area, I’d recommend doing some shopping at the market. I like to buy myself some flowers or even a pint of fresh berries. 

Explore your own study spots

Halifax is full of cafés to try and there are almost always new ones opening downtown. These are just some of my recommendations, but there are so many more to find for yourself. Just searching “coffee near me” on Google Maps could lead you to your new favourite study spot.

Being stuck inside your residence room or apartment as the weather gets colder can really get you down, but I find trying something new with a hot cup of coffee makes the winter months more bearable. 

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