Jerk's Official Guide to Campus Coffee


Coffee1-Main It’s winter. It’s cold. There are 20 mph winds whipping you in the face and your $800 Canada Goose can’t even keep you warm. You struggle through the snow, running on approximately four hours of sleep, trying to remember what you learned this semester in history in order to pass this upcoming test. What do you need? Coffee. ASAP.

There are a bunch of places to get coffee here at Syracuse, scattered across the university’s large campus. Not all coffee is created equal, however. Thus, I give you the 2015 guide for getting coffee at SU, from the bold to the sweet to the downright awful.

People’s Place

Pros: This is literally one of the hidden gems of Syracuse. Located under Hendricks Chapel, People’s Place is perfect for a quick cup on the go. They serve different flavored coffee drinks, pastries, and other cold, bottled drinks. Everything is also ridiculously cheap — $1.50 for a large cup of coffee, as opposed to nearly $3 at Starbucks.

Cons: They have a huge variety of different coffee flavors and drinks, but they are no Starbucks. If you are looking to get a Frappuccino (or any type of iced coffee for that matter), better luck somewhere else. Secondly, People’s Place only takes cash, which is a huge drawback for those who are used to paying with their student ID or phone.

Tip: Not a huge coffee fan? Try the Austin Powers: it’s coffee and hot chocolate combined.

The Starbucks at West Campus

Pros: It’s a Starbucks, so they more or less serve all of Starbucks’ extensive menu. As its location is only convenient for students living by the Dome, this Starbucks is much less crowded than the one on Marshall Street. For those who understand the frustration of waiting in a 30-minute line for your skimmed latte, this could be your new coffee spot.

Cons: It’s in the opposite direction of everything, even if you live in Sadler or BBB. Also, as it is the less popular Starbucks location, as it frequently doesn’t serve or stock up enough of certain ingredients. For example, last fall there was a shortage of pumpkin spice for pumpkin spice lattes (cue white girls’ screams).

The Starbucks on Marshall

Pros: Has literally everything any coffee (or non-coffee) lover will want: a full Starbucks menu, food, and it allows the use of the Starbucks app. For the coffee lover, this is one of the only places where coffee actually tastes like coffee — not artificially sweetened or watered down.

Cons: Because this is one of the more popular locations, drinks can be sloppily made or not measured out correctly. Therefore, don’t expect your triple shot macchiato with two pumps of caramel to be exactly how you want it. Also, it’s Starbucks, meaning it’s ridiculously overpriced. It may or may not be worth it just to show off the label as you walk around.

Café Kubal

Pros: Located right next to the Marshall Street Starbucks, Café Kubal is relatively underappreciated. Arguably better than both Starbucks and People’s Place, Café Kubal is the perfect destination for the lover of strong coffee drinks. More importantly, the cappuccinos are Instagram-worthy.

Cons: It's around the same price as Starbucks, so you aren’t saving any money. If anything you are saving time in avoiding the 30-minute Starbucks line that’s quickly growing out the door down the street.

Dunkin Donuts

Pros: Great iced coffee, cheaper than Starbucks, and carries spin-offs of many of the same drinks. Drinks also can come in humongous cups that you would see a truck driver filling up at a gas station with soda. In smaller sizes, however, Dunkin drinks are the same amount of calories as Starbucks, so don’t worry about being health-conscious. There's one right on campus in Schine, which is a huge plus for people running late to class. For people from the Northeast, this is your crack.

Cons: For many, Dunkin’s coffee tastes artificially sweet and is not strong enough for the regular drinker. In general, it is Starbucks ugly cousin.

Tip: Try the caramel flavoring in the drinks. It’s actually pretty good.

All other campus coffee (Pages, Eggers Café,, iCafe, Junction Café, Life Sciences Café)

Grouping these all together is a little unfair, as some cafes carry more options than others and offer different deals. Nonetheless, the quality of the drinks is more or less all the same. Though they are conveniently located across campus and take your student ID, these places should really be a last resort if you are looking for something drinkable. For the most part, the coffee is watered down and bland.

There is a never-ending amount of coffee on Syracuse’s campus, available at all hours of the day. A good cup of coffee is sure to take the edge off, especially during the miserable eternal winter.

Photos by Adham Elsharkawi