The winners and embarrassingly mediocre of UVic’s cuppa joe
As a university student, cram nights before exams fueled by nothing but caffeine and sheer willpower is about as relatable as it can get. Not sure where to start or having trouble finding the best bean juice on campus? We’ve got you covered.
The Martlet is proud to share its Coffee Battle Royale List (MCBRL), ensuring you’ll never go unsatisfied and jitter-less.
The Arts Place
An A-tier option, the Arts Place is almost always chill and quiet. It’s a bit of a gamble if they’re open or not, and you might not be near the building unless you’re covered in paint already, but for those looking for that bougie art student vibe, this place has it down to a T.
Great fresh drip coffee and crafted drinks.
Coffee: 3.5/5, Atmosphere: 5/5, Wait and hours: 4/5.
Coffee: 3/5, Atmosphere: 3/5, Wait and hours: 4/5.
Biblio is a classic choice if you’re shooting for a lengthier study session, but readers beware: if you manage to score a seat, you’ve got some insane luck. Located right under the McPherson Library, Biblio probably sees more comers and goers a day than any other café. Don’t be intimidated by the constant swinging doors and packed seats; lines may be long, but they go fast and their tasty drinks are worth it. We recommend giving their white chocolate macchiato a try.
Coffee: 3.5/5, Atmosphere: 3/5, Wait and hours: 4/5.
Cinecenta Munchie Bar
THE best coffee on campus, hands down. An S-tier contender, housing Canadian coffee co., Kicking Horse espresso, and fresh brewed drip coffee. Easy to find in the SUB, the Munchie Bar serves lovely crafted drinks with a variety of milks and is always happy to see you. If you’re lucky, they may draw some cute art on your latte. With little wait and open into the evenings, the Munchie Bar is unparalleled.
Coffee: 5/5, Atmosphere: 5/5, Wait and hours: 5/5
A favourite lunch spot on campus for good reason, Mac’s also has drip coffee! It’s fine! Get it with a sandwich or by itself! Relax inside and enjoy the dulcet tones of horn players wafting through the courtyard (We love you, music students!). Lunch rush can see this place get busy, though, so if you’re looking for a quick cuppa around noon you might want to look elsewhere.
Coffee: 3/5, Atmosphere: 4/5, Wait and hours: 3/5.
Solid choice for students who frequent the area around Cornett and Clearihue, Boardwalk is basically a smaller Bibliocafé located in Mystic Market (with a lot more seating!) but sometimes that’s just what you need. And hey, we think the mini waterfall is a nice touch. Mystic can be hectic during the day and closes early, but it can be downright cosy if you’re an early riser.
Coffee: 3.5/5, Atmosphere 4/5, Wait and hours: 3/5.
The Cove Cafeteria
Mid. Don’t let the new fancy-schmancy building fool you: the sleek, modern architecture is just masking the convoluted self-serve-only coffee quest inside. And once you finally get your hands on your self-served cuppa, you take that first tantalizing sip, hoping to rejuvenate your tired soul… only to be underwhelmed. No, you didn’t make it wrong, it’s just like that. At least it’s fast, I guess.
Coffee: 2/5, Atmosphere: 3/5, Wait and hours: 4/5.
Nibbles and Bytes
A rather under-the-radar spot, we found out about this one very recently. Now we know what keeps those engineers going! The coffee here is pretty basic but definitely nothing to complain about if you’re slammed for time trying to finish a… proposal? blueprints? robot? We have no idea what you engineers do. We have to give Nibbles and Bytes a bonus point or two for the pun.
Coffee: 3/5, Atmosphere: 3/5, Wait and Hours: 4/5, Pun: 4/5.
Don’t like the Cove self-serve? Fear not, for the Port nestled in the back of the Cove is the perfect place to make harbour. Another of Bibliocafé’s newer, white-walled sisters, if you’re fine paying the price, the chill usually-not-busy vibes are there. Serving local Fernwood Coffee, Port gets a gold star.
Coffee: 4/5, Atmosphere: 4/5, Wait and hours: 4/5.
Picture this: you, in the Bob Wright Centre, desperate for a cuppa, but Biblio seems oh so far away. Luckily for you, there’s SciCafe! Like Mac’s and Nibbles, SciCafe is more geared towards lunch and their coffee is limited to self-serve drip coffee. Despite this, it’s surprisingly pretty decent.
Coffee: 3/5, Atmosphere: 2/5, Wait and hours: 4/5.
Oh, the classic green two-tailed queen. We all know her, and her seasonal drinks make the perfect silly little treat. But since we all know her, and none of us are immune to her, lines are routinely out the door and seats are seldom obtainable, so make sure you’ve got a few minutes to kill in line and are on your way to your next caffeine-induced adventure right after. Maybe not a daily choice, but you deserve that PSL once in a while. It’s not basic — it’s genius.
Coffee: 5/5, Atmosphere: 3/5, Wait and hours: 3/5.