New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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Tired of your go-to coffee shop? Try one of these unique cafes instead

Whether you’re looking to play video games or pet cats, there’s an experience for everyone to enjoy with their coffee.

We all have a favorite cafe. But after a while, getting your go-to almond milk latte and studying in the corner of your local coffee shop can get repetitive. Thankfully, at these cafes, you can either upgrade your usual study session or, preferably, not study at all. With midterms coming up, it is important to make time for fun and leisure in between frantic essay writing and test prep. Whether you prefer to spend your study breaks reading books with friends or playing your favorite video games, these cafes got you covered. 

 

Do Not Feed Alligators

337 Bleecker St.

A customer walks into a white storefront with glass windows that say “Do Not Feed Alligators.” Red chairs are placed outside the storefront.
Do Not Feed Alligators on Bleeker Street. (Lianna O’Grady for WSN)

While the name may appear alarming, there will be no alligators in this cafe — just a bunch of books to browse through. Besides doubling as a bookstore, Do Not Feed Alligators is a trendy cafe that has a variety of drinks to try out. Some standouts include the Hojicha tea, which is a roasted black matcha, or their Matcha Sundown, which is a mix of matcha, lemon soda and orange syrup. 

If you’re visiting the cafe to catch up with a friend, the different meat and cheese boards on the menu, which are served with nuts and dried fruit, are an excellent snack to indulge in. Plus, there’s a no-laptop policy, so there will be no temptation to work — just chat and browse. 

With a calm atmosphere and an extensive menu, Do Not Feed Alligators is worth the visit.

 

Koneko Cat Cafe

26 Clinton St.

A woman sits on the floor and pets a tabby cat sitting on top of a play structure. There are more cats and people in the background.
Koneko Cat Cafe on Clinton Street. (Kiran Komanduri for WSN)

This one is for all the cat lovers. As the first Japanese-style cat cafe in the United States, Koneko offers a delectable menu with the choice of reserving a spot to meet some adoptable cats. Prices to visit the cats vary depending on the special you choose. The Catnap, the standard cattery visit, is $25 per person for an hour of play. If you are on a budget, try planning a visit on Wednesdays when Catnaps are discounted for $20, or Thursdays and Fridays after 5 p.m. to get a free drink with your visit for happy hour.

Beyond the cats, the menu is also Japanese-inspired, featuring house-made desserts, snacks, breakfast items and a mouthwatering range of drinks like a Sparkling Apple-Rhubarb Soda or the popular Iced Strawberry Matcha Latte. For days when you’re swamped with work from your classes, these four-legged friends and a flavorful treat may get you the comfort you need. 

 

Waypoint Cafe NYC

65 Ludlow St.

A red storefront with a sign that says “WAYPOINT CAFE N.Y.C.” above its entrance. Numerous posters and toys are showcased in its window.
Waypoint Cafe NYC on Ludlow Street. (Andy Lin for WSN)

If you need a study break or forgot your Nintendo Switch at home, Waypoint Cafe might be your new go-to. At this lively gaming cafe in the Lower East Side, you can pair your matcha latte with an assortment of games from “Among Us” to “Call of Duty.”

With a menu of unique seasonal drinks like a Toffee Crunch or Gingerbread Cookie Latte, you have the opportunity to indulge in a sweet treat with a choice of 48 PC-equipped games. It is perfect for gaming breaks between intense study sessions and to rewind after that long exam.

Waypoint Cafe also presents customers with inexpensive rates for the gaming experience. The standard is $5 for one hour of gaming, but the most popular deal is $20 for four hours plus one bonus hour. Whether you want to take a trip down memory lane with your favorite childhood games or finally play the latest release, this spot is for you.

 

PlantShed

193 Second Ave. 

PlantShed on Second Avenue. (Annie Sowards for WSN)
A counter with ornamental vases, cups and flower pots. In the background are shelves with pots, cups and flowers. (Annie Sowards for WSN)

With New York City’s chilly weather, there’s nothing like a reminder that spring is right around the corner. But until the cold blows over, you can visit PlantShed to surround yourself with bright greenery and blossoming flowers. If your dorm room is feeling gloomy, perhaps it’s time to buy yourself a bouquet.

For plant parents old and new, this shop has everything you need to turn your bedroom into a greenhouse. As you browse the various plant pots and flower arrangements, you can also sip on a warm drink, like the Ginger Mat-Chai, ginger and matcha flavored chai, or the Golden Latte, a turmeric-flavored latte. The calming ambiance of the place also makes it a great spot to relax or read. If you need to literally and physically take a step back from your laptop and smell the flowers between study sessions, this is the place to visit.

Contact Chinara Dorancy at [email protected]

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