College students are no strangers to sleep deprivation.

From last-second cramming sessions to late-night roommate chats, rest can be hard to come by. And for many, a mocha-flavored pick-me-up can become a college habit.

The coffee shops within walking distance from campus have some of the coziest places to write a paper, catch up with friends, or simply relax with a locally brewed cup of joe.

Here is a look at some of the staples of Columbia coffee.

Shortwave Coffee

Located at 29 S. Ninth St., Shortwave Coffee serves freshly roasted coffee, as well as smoothies, bakery items, and more.

There are actually two locations within walking distance downtown. Shortwave’s sister shop is at 915 Alley A and offers a smaller, more indie atmosphere in comparison to the newer location.

Lakota Coffee Company

Lakota Coffee Company, 24 S. Ninth St., is a family-owned Columbia business that prides itself on a friendly atmosphere.

Andrew DuCharme, general manager and part owner of Lakota, describes the location as somewhere “kinda like your second house.” As a 2009 MU graduate, DuCharme took over his parents’ business and has kept it running ever since.

One of the main features of the cafe is the wall of fresh coffee beans and the giant roast maker located in the back corner. All of the coffee served is roasted in-house.

Fretboard Coffee

General Manager Maeve Garrighan describes Fretboard Coffee as a “unique little cave hidden in the back of downtown.”

Located on 1013 E. Walnut St., Fretboard is built in what used to be the “catacombs” of Columbia.

Fretboard’s atmosphere certainly fits the “underground” atmosphere it strives for with its 1990s art-scene-inspired decor. Fretboard will often host performances with local bands, and Garrighan said there is a “really strong sense of musical community.”

It’s a good place for those looking for a niche place to relax and watch live music.

Acola Coffee Company

Acola Coffee Company, previously known as Three Story Coffee , is located downtown, though a bit more of a walk.

Located at 300 N. Tenth St. near Columbia College, Acola offers a more open, secluded vibe. The cafe has two levels and a rooftop patio that is open whenever the weather permits. With loads of sunshine and lots of seating options, Acola is a place to go and study with friends.

There’s truly no going wrong when choosing a coffee shop near campus. Each one has something unique to offer.

As DuCharme, general manager of Lakota, said, when you choose to buy your cup of coffee from the shops downtown it’s important to remember, “you’re helping support college students … that’s what locally owned means. You’re supporting local folks.”

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