Student Drinking Coffee in AJ's Cafe

Caffeine for Days

Written by Kate Vanderstelt

College students know coffee all too well. It is a common joke that coffee is the only thing to get students through those late nights of studying that are simply unfathomable at any other time of life. As much as we like to fend off the jests, we really feed into it. Hillsdale has given us the ammo, too. With these six locations to grab your fuel, late nights hyped up on caffeine can be a regular. Check out a description of these top shops in Hillsdale to decide where your next coffee purchase will take you.



Need caffeine to get through that 2:00 p.m. class? A.J.’s has you covered. Located in the student union, A.J.’s is the place to be when you want a more social setting to do your homework. With plenty of booths and tables, the café is typically bustling with friends between classes and those trying to escape the monotony of days in the library. A.J.’s is completely stocked with a variety of snacks, meals, and drinks. Better yet: it takes Charger Change—something typically included in your meal plan. Stick some headphones in and get to work while enjoying the bustle of the union.



Another on-campus option, Penny’s brings the aesthetic that A.J.’s can’t give students in the union. Penny’s is a recent addition to campus, but its environment is already thriving. With long tables and twinkly lights, Penny’s has all your inspirational needs and is ready to help you attack that next paper. It is located in New Dorm, a perfect location for your pre- or post-workout coffee kick. Good news: Penny’s accepts Charger Change as well.



Though not many students sit down and do homework at Biggby Coffee, the fact that we have a recently added chain coffee shop just a few blocks west on Fayette is incentive enough to hit the drive-through every once in a while. Grab a hot, iced, or frozen drink on your drive up the hill. Be sure to check out their drink-of-the-day for a half-priced deal!



From late night studiers to Thursday morning Bible groups, Rough Draft is a space to accommodate a plethora of activities. And as one of the newer additions in town, it draws a crowd. The building has been known to host live music groups and has even featured a blackout poetry night. Grab a hot chocolate on a cold night and stop in the cozy space to hear one of their music acts, or come in midday to sit with a coffee and pound out some much-needed studying. Though the environment is more bustling than the library, and requires a walk down the hill, its aesthetic fosters a creative and productive setting.



Having recently opened a second location five miles up the road in Jonesville, Jilly Beans will always be one of Hillsdale’s hidden favorites. On the downtown corner of N Howell Street and E Bacon Street, the hidden gem of Jilly Beans is easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention. Stop into this secret garden-esque location to fall into enchantment as you settle into a good book. Better yet—pop out back when the weather is nice for an immersed garden experience.



This is the one-stop shop for coffee addicts and music-lovers alike. If your vibe is record players, Checker Records has you covered. Its walls are lined with records and CDs for purchase, which you can easily peruse as you wait for your perfect coffee order. Very accustomed to college students and located just downtown, Checker Records offers affordable coffee and great service. This is the kind of shop where you will walk in and be able to say “the usual,” and they’ll know exactly what you want. With the music and coffee-shop noise, Chec-Rec is not the most ideal place for studying, but it’s perfect for a catch-up with friends or a grab-and-go when you need a little break before you hit the books again. And, if you are more apt to brew at home, grab your favorite coffee beans in a perfectly crafted to-go bag.

Kate VandersteltKate Vanderstelt, ‘20, studies English and chemistry. She is an athlete on the Cross Country and Track and Field teams and a member of Chi Omega Fraternity.

Published in April 2019