Cafe Crawl 2018
It’s time for UVM BORED’s annual Cafe Crawl, 2018 edition! This year, the team spread across campus and across town to bring you a review of Burlington’s cafe scene – from old-and-golds like Henderson’s to new-kids-on-the-block like Knead Bakery. With things like coffee alternatives and study-ability in mind, we came, we sipped, we rated, we left (we’ll probably go back soon). Here’s our list, and don’t forget to recommend your favorite spots so we can hit them next time!
“The only fake fireplace I ever loved”
General Atmosphere (8/10): It’s cozy! It’s convenient! There’s a fireplace and lots of natural light! Henderson’s has lots of different espresso drinks, and many different kinds of seats. These are important for a good cafe. There are soft armchairs to settle into to read a book, and then there are tall chairs at the window bar for grinding down without worrying about catching eye contact with people you know (‘cus you’re facing the window), and there are also little chairs at little tables perfect for a cute n’ quick date between classes.
Priciness (6/10): If you’re just looking for a refill of black coffee, Hendy’s is a couple dimes more expensive than other places on campus. If you’re looking to treat yourself to a maple madness or turtle mocha, it adds up quickly. (If I’m ever splurging at Hendy’s you know I’m splurging on the Maple Madness – totally worth it once in a while.) They’ve got tasty snacks but they’re a bit pricey, too.
Best Coffee Alternative (8/10): Henderson’s sells this lemon ginger tea that I always get at the first hint of a sore throat, and it usually makes me feel better right away. I recommend that for sniffly season coming up! I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve heard good things about the Matcha Latte. Other coffee alternatives include kombucha, hot cocoa, and also snacks 🙂
Studyability (9/10): Henderson’s is my favorite place on campus to study. I think a lot of people agree, and that’s the only reason I didn’t give it a 10… sometimes it’s just too crowded. But if you’re lucky enough to grab yourself a seat, you’ve got all you need: coffee and snacks, a fireplace, great natural light, etc. The library isn’t too far away if you need to check out a book… and if you need to print, don’t forget that you can print in right the Davis Center, on the bottom floor, near Living Well!
OVERALL SCORE: 8/10
The Campus Perk (Jimmy)
“A new and convenient option for CEMS and Grossman students”
General Atmosphere (4/10): The Campus Perk is new to UVM’s ever-developing campus. Located in Ifshin Hall, the newest addition to The Grossman School of Business now boasts a new place for CEMS and Grossman Students to refuel between classes without having to walk back to central campus. However, The Campus Perk is very small and doesn’t allow for in cafe seating which is the main reason why I’ve given the atmosphere such a low score.
Priciness (8/10): Comparable to Henderson’s Cafe in the Davis Center and other on-campus coffee options. Definitely won’t break the bank!
Studyability (10/10): As I mentioned, The Campus Perk is extremely small, leaving no room for studying in the cafe itself. However, you might have noticed that I gave a score of 10 for studiability… although there is no seating in the cafe, the new lobby just outside of the Campus Perk in Ifshin hall is an excellent spot to sit and do homework or read. In addition to the lobby, there are many new study rooms on the second and third floors of Ifshin; some are open on a first come first serve basis and others you have to reserve ahead of time similar to in the Bailey Howe Library.
Best Coffee Alternative: The Campus perk is quite small but does have a few other intriguing options other than coffee. They have a refrigerated section next to the register with salads and other wraps which are great if you are in a rush to class and don’t have time to stop somewhere for lunch.
OVERALL SCORE: 7.3/10
The Campus Perk is an excellent addition to UVM’s on campus dining options especially for students who find themselves on that side of campus for a lot of the day. It makes for a great pit stop between classes and is always bustling every time I walk by it. Again, I wish there was seating inside the cafe itself so that it had more of an atmosphere like what Henderson’s Cafe offers in the Davis Center but all in all The Campus Perk is definitely worth checking out.
Knead Bakery (Amanda)
“An Old North End joint that you *knead* to try”
General Atmosphere (8/10): Knead Bakery operates in the Old North End just along North Winooski Avenue. It is the perfect small addition that fits right into the ‘Burlington Vibe’. It’s not even being a year old yet, but you walk straight into it’s beauty and the smell of fresh bread. There is a general atmosphere of an 8 because you can be comfortable, have light conversation, enjoy good treats for cheap, and enjoy the aroma of coffee and bread. They even have free stickers!
Priciness (8/10):I ordered three things: a hot chocolate for me, a delicious chocolate chip cookie, and a coffee for my parent in town, and it all came out to a total of $5.45. Not bad. Walking out, I was glad that if I wanted a treat, it would be an affordable one. I guarantee you that your wallet will not have dust bunnies after your visit to Knead Bakery.
Study Ability (7/10):If you are writing an essay, and just need a calming place to do it this might be the place for you, but when it comes to studying for exams it might not be. The music is fairly loud, you can hear what happens in the kitchen and there is always a bit of background conversation. If you do not mind all of this and you just put headphones in then come right down, it’s private and not a lot of movement to distract you! Personally, I like background noise when I am working and have found that this is the perfect place for me to do some homework… and even to write this blog!
Best Hot Chocolate Alternative: “I mean, we do not have it, but it is possible for us to make it.” It was love at first sight when I walked into Knead Bakery but then the barista went out her way to make me something off the menu and I was like, “wait is this place even real?” I am not a coffee person, so hot chocolate is my go-to! They give you witty mugs to fill your coffee in and a variety of milks to make your drink just right. They also have a variety of sodas, drinks you need to be 21+ for, and juices!
OVERALL SCORE: 8/10
Yes Knead Bakery has great seating, food, atmosphere, etc. but they also do a great job in respecting the food-styles of our Burlington friends. They have vegan options, gluten free options and are really open to telling you what is in the food. They have a warm welcoming. Knead Bakery has great music, sweet treats, and a variety of feels.
Barrio Cafe & Bakery (Marty)
“North End chill spot with a sister in Richmond”
General Atmosphere (8/10): On a crisp, sunny Saturday morning I visited Barrio Cafe & Bakery and it’s sister restaurant One Radish in Richmond. Barrio Cafe & Bakery occupies the corner of North Winooski Ave. and Crombie St. Tall windows strewn with incandescent lights welcome visitors into this cozy little bakery. Situated next to a soccer field One Radish is set in a rustic red building with a very unique door. Throughout the day the cafe is full of people conversing, working on their laptops or reading. There are adirondack chairs in front of the cafe if you wish to sit outside. Overall Barrio is a relaxed space with a quiet hum of conversation and activity in the background. Additionally if you are passing through Richmond and Sweet Simone’s runs out of breakfast sandwiches give One Radish a try.
Priciness (4/10): The downfall of all great cafes in Burlington is the price. I understand there are costs associated with good ingredients and expensive espresso machines, however I can refill my mug at Henderson’s for $1.29 and I had to pay $3.50 for a small latte at Barrio. However the pastries are well worth the price, I had a delicious chocolate swirl pastry that also costed $3.50.
Studyability (6/10): Barrio is a relatively small space with enough seating for about 20 guests. I have never seen the bakery full; however there is consistent background noise of the espresso machine and quiet conversation. I personally enjoy some noise when I study but if you prefer a quiet space Barrio is not for you.
Best Coffee Alternative: Barrio serves tea from the Vermont Artisan Coffee and Tea Company. Their teas are pretty standard for coffee shops that do not have a dedicated tea menu. This tea can also be found at Henderson’s on Campus. If you plan on skipping coffee there are plenty of delicious pastries to enjoy.
OVERALL SCORE: 6/10
Barrio and its sister cafe One Radish offer decent coffee with a wide array of pastry and sandwich options. If price is a factor in your cafe selection both of these cafes tend to be on the expensive side for Burlington. However, One Radish was a refreshing change from Sweet Simone’s and wowed me with their goat cheese breakfast sandwich. Despite my critiques, among the North End coffee shops Barrio is a great space to meet up and share a cup.
New Moon Cafe (Ellie)
“The only spot on Church St with enough seating”
General Atmosphere (9/10): I might just be a sucker for hardwood floors and dim lighting, but this coffee shop gave me the fall aesthetic I needed and honestly, the aesthetic I deserved. I came here on an early Sunday morning. The air was crisp, the sky was grey, and the trees were vibrant… I’m sure you can imagine. Tucked in, a stone’s throw away from Ben & Jerry’s, this cafe almost goes unnoticed. Even with the constant flow of customers, this spot has a very relaxed vibe. Taking your place at the couches, tables, or high tops gives you the option to socialize with those around you or put your headphones in and turn everything else off. This space almost acts as a time vortex; I accidentally spent over 4 hours sitting, sipping, and studying.
Priciness (7/10): I’m gonna be honest, this place leans on the pricier side. Use this as a chance to “treat yo’self.” For one of the best breakfast burritos and an insta worthy latte, I spent around $14. The breakfast options range from about $6-$10, but it is beyond worth it. The coffee is extraordinary and well worth $2-$5 expense. I am all for pinching pennies and saving as a college student, but this cafe puts you under a trance making you want to spend more…and more.
Studyability (8/10): The size and aesthetic allows this shop to serve as my new favorite study spot. Couches are available, but I spent my Sunday posted at a corner table right by the printer. (Yes, you heard me, there is a public printer.)
Best Coffee Alternative: Although I am a complete coffee snob, I bit the bullet and ordered a non-java product. The chai latte was my favorite. The perfect amount of sweetness without being too overbearing, this drink can be tinkered to match your needs. They have every milk and sweetener imaginable.
OVERALL SCORE: 8/10
I thoroughly enjoyed my time at New Moon. Although it can be a bit pricey, I see this as a must visit for all of y’all! You WILL be seeing me here every weekend. There are still so many things to try on that beautiful menu of theirs.