Auburn Off the Map: Coffee Crawl
Everyone should have a favorite spot. Whether it be a comfy couch at a certain coffee shop, or even a pair of trees at the park that are perfect for hammocking on a pretty day.
If you’re suddenly realizing that you don’t have a favorite spot, keep calm. You have plenty of time to figure it out, and we are here to help. Auburn Off the Map is a new series created to help you find the coolest places in Auburn to spend your free time.
Our first spotlight features a local coffee crawl. We headed out to find the best coffee shops, and we’ve rated them too! Hopefully, you’ll be able to find one that’s the perfect fit for you. Check them out below and read about the unique things that make each one special.
First on our list is Coffee Cat. Located at 124 Tichenor Ave., Coffee Cat is perfectly placed to avoid the hustle and bustle of downtown Auburn. Its small exterior can make it easy to miss this hidden gem, but the inside feels quite spacious.
Once inside, you can usually find empty seats. If you are really there to get work done, they offer several rustic tables. For a more relaxed setting, you can find a set of modern couches and chairs, which are better for chilling and reading.
The high ceiling gives the room a very open and spacious vibe, and the dark colors of the walls and décor enhance the quiet, study friendly atmosphere. They feature art from local artists that you can purchase! Outside seating is also available.
Don’t fret if you forget your headphones, they usually have great music playing over the speakers. Distractions are minimal and the chatter is usually kept to a level that does not prevent conversation or concentration.
Next on our list is Mama Mocha’s, which is located at 414 S. Gay St. The edgy come-as-you-are atmosphere of this coffee shop will immediately get you in the groove to sit back and sip on something new. The inside is decorated with random finds that are guaranteed to catch your eye.
The seating inside is convenient for both studying and relaxing. The one-of-a-kind tables and chairs are positioned towards the center of the room with vintage couches surrounding them. One of the perks is that parking is easily accessible and is located in the front and to the side of the building.
If you are in need of a random piece of art or clothing, they sell both! They also offer complimentary water and outside seating.
This shop is very social, which makes it ideal for catching up with friends. But don’t be fooled by the chatty-Cathys inside, there is a secluded section that’s perfect for blocking out distractions and working. In a rush? Check out their website and order online.
Another coffee shop we absolutely had to include is Prevail Union. You might know them as Wake Up Coffee, as they recently changed their name. Prevail is located downtown at 131 S. College St. This location is perfect for on-campus residents who need a change of scenery from the library (it’s right down the street) or a new place to hang out.
Inside, space is limited, so don’t be afraid to sit at any open seat. You could make some awesome new friends in the process! Parking can be an obstacle considering the downtown location, but don’t give up right away. Usually, if you circle around at least once, you’ll get lucky and find a spot.
Prevail stays open late, which is ideal for those last-minute cram sessions. They also offer free Wi-Fi. With a lovely view of Samford Lawn, Prevail is perfect for a laid-back afternoon. There are a few tables and chairs outside, so if you are trying to enjoy the day while still being productive, this is your spot.
Side Track Coffee
Next on our list is a newer shop located at 817 S. Railroad Ave. in downtown Opelika. At Side Track Coffee, customers name their own price!! Yes, we mean, you can pay whatever you’d like for any drink of choice (we recommend being reasonable).
This coffee shop has a few tables, a couch and a small bar for seating. The restrooms are located in the café next door, which is connected to the shop. The odds are in your favor when it comes to parking. This coffee shop might not be in the hub of Auburn, but it is definitely worth the drive.
It is roughly 20 minutes from campus — which can be a trek for some — but once you get there, you’ll quickly see what you’ve been missing. Downtown Opelika is filled with many hidden treasures. If you have time, we recommend exploring — with Side Track’s Summer Soda in hand, of course.
Transformed from a vintage consignment shop, The Bean definitely has character. Still owned by the same people, the retro vibe takes you back in time the minute you step through the door.
Despite its outwardly modest appearance, this coffee shop is actually one of the largest and most spacious we visited. With two rooms full of fun-colored couches, numerous tables and chairs plus a small bar area, you should have no problem finding somewhere to sit and enjoy a delicious snack. You’ll have plenty of options ranging from gelato to cinnamon rolls.
Interested in a game night with friends? The Bean offers many board games to choose from, and it is also well-suited for studying so keep that in mind when school starts. They are located on 169 S. Gay St. with parking on the side.
Toomer’s Coffee Shops
With two locations on South College Street and Moore’s Mill Road, Toomer’s Coffee Shops are known not only for their nutrient-rich coffee but also for their pastries and delicious lunch! They’ve been around since 2004 and plan to establish more shops around the Auburn area in the future.
Each location is equipped with plenty of seating, including short and tall tables, couches and chairs. Toomer’s Coffee Shop on South College Street is ideal for studying. It features seating in the front or back room — allowing plenty of space for you to get comfy and hit the books.
If the weather is nice, head to Toomer’s Coffee Shop on Moore’s Mill where they offer shaded outdoor seating. The classic coffee shop vibes are perfect for any gathering, and if you’re in the mood for something sweet, both locations offer a variety of desserts, fruit-flavored smoothies and teas.
Be well, Auburn.
Photography: Henry G and Hannah C.