The 10 Best Coffee Shops For Writers…And None Of Them Are Starbucks!

*Previously seen on Fine Lines*

By: Nicole McArdle

I asked a group of writers some of their favorite places to get their best writing done. Although I’m a proud Gold Card member, I’m not talking about the corner Starbucks. I asked for the real coffee shops of the U.S. You know, those cozy shops with their own unique flair, filled with regulars and inspiration. Needless to say I was overwhelmed by the responses…

1- Tattered Cover– Located In: Denver, Colorado 

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This little shop is not only cozy but is also a great place to buy your newest read, all while filling up on local treats and organic coffee. Our favorite part, if you bring your own mug there’s a discount!

Must Try Snack While You Write: TC Muffin
Must Try Drink While You Write: Fresh brewed gourmet tea

2- Rhino Coffee Located In: Shreveport, LA

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If you need the great outdoors to spark your inspiration, Rhino Coffee is for you. A coffee place created to fill the need for an independent coffee shop. With homemade food and a comfortable atmosphere, Rhino hopes its coffee makes the day better for their customers.

Must Try Snack While You Write: Rhino Burrito
Must Try Drink While You Write: Iced Lightning

3- Bard Coffee– Located In: Portland, Maine 

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A quaint shop filled with tattered books and amazing coffee, Bard Coffee is the epitome of a writers coffee shop. Best known for their friendly staff , delicious coffee and tasty treats, you’ll often find other writers and bloggers to chat with.

Must Try Snack While You Write: Danish
Must Try Drink While You Write: Hot Vietnamese Coffee

4- Peekskill Coffee– Located In: Peekskill, NY

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An open air space with plenty of unique seating options. This shop is commonly known as “Peekskill’s Living Room” and has been described as the perfect place to grab a bite and get some work done. With a recommended “coffee of the week” and a wide variety of food options, this is one you’re not going to want to miss.

Must Try Snack While You Write: Italian Stallion Crepe
Must Try Drink While You Write: Try the Coffee Of The Week to indulge in coffee from around the world.

5- Grey Dog – Located In: NYC

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Nestled in various parts of the city, there’s no excuse for local writers and readers not to experience what it means to dine at Grey Dog. With an amazing selection of breakfast dishes and strong brewed coffee, Grey Dog is a perfect place to go for those who get their best writing done in the morning.

Must Try Snack While You Write: Challah French Toast
Must Try Drink While You Write: Mexican Hot Chocolate

6- Simply Coffee- Located In: Burbank, CA

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Described as a “charming little shop” owned by local favorite, Gonzalo, Simply Coffee is simply wonderful. Perfect for those who need to get a full days worth of writing and who need a lot of caffeine to do it, the one dollar refills will keep your writing fueled for hours on end.

Must Try Snack While You Write: Le Fremier Panini
Must Try Drink While You Write: Cinnamon mocha latte

7- Blue Moose Café- Located In: Morgantown, WV 

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The Blue Moose Cafe isn’t just your run of the mill coffee house, it is also a cultural center. The shop hosts readings, art events, live music and other activities to bring the community together. Our favorite part? They’ve just added a room where customers can enjoy quiet and sunshine while sipping on gourmet coffee. Blissful.

Must Try Snack While You Write: World’s Best Cookie
Must Try Drink While You Write: Death Charge

8- Central Cafe – Located In: Brooklyn, NY

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A beautiful garden, breakfast all day long, strong coffee and the option to buy beer or wine, what more could a writer ask for?

Must Try Snack While You Write: Green bagel
Must Try Drink While You Write: Nutella Latte

9- Courier Coffee Roasters- Located In: Portland, OR 

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Sit down with your laptop and prepare yourself with what has been described as “quite literally the freshest cup of coffee you’ll get in PDX” Best part? If you feel like doing your writing from the comforts of home, Courier delivers their brew by bike (take the hint Starbucks!)

Must Try Snack While You Write: Muesli
Must Try Drink While You Write: Felchlin Chocolate Mocha

10- Artifact Coffee Located In: Baltimore, MD 

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Equipped with plenty of outlets, a wide selection of music on vinyl and a cozy cottage feel, Artifact has all the makings of great inspiration for your daily writing. As an added bonus, stop by on Fridays at 10 AM for free coffee cupping.

Must Try Snack While You Write: Doughnuts (They make their own!)
Must Try Drink While You Write: Honey Macchiatto

What are some of your favorite coffee shops to write in? 

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Is Everyone Getting Married Without Me? Good!

*Originally seen on Elite Daily*

It seems that an epidemic of engagements is upon us. Relationship status updates and engagement photos have begun to plague my news feed at an alarmingly rapid rate.

Engagement

Never before have I seen so many people under the age of 25 saying yes to the dress, forcing me to do what social media subliminally begs us all to do: compare and evaluate my own life decisions.

Should I be wanting this? Is there something wrong with me because, not only am I completely content with my current relationship status, but also wholeheartedly believe I’m too young for marriage?

I’m the first to admit it: When I think of eternal love, I associate it with my dedication to Netflix, loyalty to Starbucks and love affair with pizza, so surely this means I’m not mature enough to handle seating charts and house hunting yet.

Though the idea of marriage right now leaves me hyperventilating, I can relate to these engaged people in some ways.

I have the Pinterest wedding board, bursting at the seams with hypothetical wedding day scenarios. I enjoy virtually browsing through wedding dresses and I have a pretty good idea of who would be in my bridal party.

However, the difference here, is that unlike those who can’t wait for their wedding days, I can.

Despite what society seems to want, I’m not ashamed of not wanting to be engaged yet. In fact, I’m proud — here’s why you should be, too.

Growing Pains

It seems I’ve only recently joined the “I can get into any bar I want” club. The ink is still wet on the college degree I haven’t quite figured out how to hang — or use, for that matter — and I’m just discovering the joys of wine not from a box.

There’s still so much learning and growing up to do. I think it’s safe to assume that the people we are now will be very different from the ones we will become in a few years.

Think about the person you “loved” in high school; would you still love him or her the same, if at all, now? Mostly likely not. A crazy thing called maturing happened, and even crazier, it’s still happening (for some of us at least).

How can you confidently say that you’ll want to be with the same person 50 years from now when you’re still becoming the person you’ve yet to be?


Help Me, I’m Poor

How anyone can afford a wedding at this stage in life blows my mind. If I had to plan a wedding now, the only dress I’d be able to afford would be from Forever 21.

I can barely afford to feed myself, let alone 200 other people. And, if Pandora’s $4.99 monthly fee is a stretch, I can’t even fathom what a DJ would do to my savings (I use that term loosely) account.

But, isn’t this the 20-something mantra? Poor, buried in student debt, but loving our independent, creative lives? What debt-free Millennial is trying to ruin that for us?

When it comes time for a wedding, it should be all those Pinterest boards promised it would be. From the looks of it, those people are well-fed, have disposable incomes for wedding crafts and have a well-dressed bridal party — all placed in a perfectly lit barn.

Why settle for less? Save for the wedding of your dreams. Your wedding is just one night of the rest of your lives, and that one night shouldn’t put you into a lifetime of debt.


Experience Needed

If getting an entry-level job requires three to five years of experience, how can I be considered qualified for the responsibilities of marriage after only a few years of dating?

Logistically speaking, I’m just not qualified. Just as I plan on enjoying all the experiences marriage has to offer, I also want to enjoy all I can in my pre-marital years.

These are good times, my friends, filled with simplistic joys that disappear all too soon once you cross over to the married side. Travel alone, relish in having complete control over the TV at all times and be selfish for as long as you can.

You have the rest of your life to be a “we.” Experience the “me” time and live in the moment.


I’m Still Leaning In

Unless you’ve jumped from assistant to CEO within the limited number of years you’ve been working, I’m going to assume you’re still in the process of advancing your career, starting your career or still figuring it all out.

We’ve worked hard for our degrees; grad students, you’ve worked even harder! Take some time to enjoy the pay off of this hard work.

Focus on building your career, and once you’ve gained enough life experience, you’re making enough money and have the stability and security that those still early in their careers do not, then worry about wedding planning.

When the timing is right for you to get engaged, you’ll know. For starters, you’ll no longer relate to articles listing all the reasons why you shouldn’t get married because you won’t be able to think of a single reason as to why you shouldn’t.

Not being engaged doesn’t mean you’re failing at life, it simply means you’re choosing a different approach to enjoying it. Take the time to look around and appreciate what you have and what you’ve accomplished.

This is your time to thrive, and when the day comes for you to say, “I do,” you’ll be able to do so with a sense of confidence and fulfillment you can carry with you into the next chapter of your life.