The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


The Student Newspaper of Lakeside School


Study-Friendly Coffee Shops You’ll Like a Latte

Cafe Aroma Chai

On any given November day in Seattle, after stepping into Red Square only to be pelted by the frigid sheets of rain we’ve all come to expect, there’s nothing I want to do more than, well, nothing. Once I get home, it’s so tempting to curl up in a heap of blankets and watch commentary Youtube until my eyes hurt. Alas, Lakeside requires a level of productivity that’s usually incompatible with this plan. My solution? Don’t go home at all. I’ve become a coffee shop studier this autumn and now consider myself somewhat of a study-friendly café aficionado. Though I’d really prefer to gatekeep my favorite spots, I think these local small businesses deserve our love and support — besides, you’ll be doing yourself and your unfinished assignments a favor.

Richmond Beach Coffee Shop (4.5 stars)

Distance from school: 4.6 mi, 12 min drive

Richmond Beach

An understated coffee shop down the block from Spin Alley, Richmond Beach Coffee has become one of my favorite weekend getaways. I dropped in one Sunday to find the place empty, upbeat music quietly drifting through the cafe and out the open windows. The temperature inside is always perfectly cozy, and on nice days, the storefront will flip up its garage door–style windows and let in what little warmth can be found this time of year. When I asked for the WiFi password, the barista very kindly pointed out that it was right in front of me, directly in my field of vision. Embarrassed, I pressed on. 

My vanilla latte, complete with a matching saucer, was kindly delivered to my barstool seat, which overlooked the neighborhood. I spent five hours at the shop, switching places once to charge my computer. In all that time, from nine to two on a Sunday, I could count the number of patrons on one hand. This cafe is the ideal spot for focused work: like a library, but with coffee. Allegedly, their bubble tea is just as exceptional as the shop’s atmosphere, but you’ll have to try it for yourself.

Honey Bear Bakery (3.5 stars)

Distance from school: 3.8 mi, 11 min drive

If you’re looking for a group work space, somewhere with a little more ambient noise, and/or a reason to browse a bookstore, this is the cafe for you. The dining area next to the Third Place Books at Lake Forest Park where Honey Bear is located has a few individual seating options — plus the chairs inside the bookstore itself — but primarily has larger tables that make the space ideal for collaboration (think the lower floor of the library).

The bakery sells sandwiches with meats roasted in-house, soups, and other lunch/dinner items that are available all day, in addition to the usual cafe beverages. Though it was too late in the day for me to grab my now-trademark vanilla latte, I picked up a small iced tea and sandwich for dinner and settled in to do my ridiculously long AmStud reading. This is one of the few cafes that doesn’t play music, likely since it’s in more of a food court area, but I can assure you that my own study playlist only enhanced the experience. The semi-life-sized wooden bears are welcoming, the sandwiches are sizable, and it’s beloved by drama department favorite Alban Dennis. What’s not to love?

Cafe Aroma

Cafe Aroma (4 stars)

Distance from school: 1.6 mi, 5 min drive

Cafe Aroma is for people who think Moore Hall is more charming than decrepit.

Cafe Aroma is for people who think Moore Hall is more charming than decrepit. It certainly appears a little run-down, the decor is chaotic (featuring multiple gas station pumps), and don’t even get me started on the eclectic music choices. But if you can avoid judging a book by its cover, this coffee shop will serve you well — no pun intended.

The menu features pastries and lunch options in addition to a range of drinks. I noticed three different pretzel dishes, which piqued my interest, but so as not to ruin my appetite, I stuck with a chai latte. The enthusiastic barista kept suggesting things to add to it, and I kept saying yes, so I’m not exactly sure what ended up being in it. Regardless, it was delicious.

The enthusiastic barista kept suggesting things to add to it, and I kept saying yes, so I’m not exactly sure what ended up being in it

Beyond the room that was used as the actual cafe, I soon noticed, there was an entirely separate room in the back that was open to customers. It was quiet, no weird music, high-ceilinged, and well-lit, and even though a few other people were there, the space was so large that I felt quite isolated. It’s ideal for independent studiers; you’ll come for the workspace and stay for the cafe.

You’ll come for the workspace and stay for the cafe.

Coffeeholic House Greenwood (4.5 stars)

Distance from school: 3.9 mi, 14 min drive

Pulling into “downtown” Greenwood and parking next to a grocery store several blocks from my destination, I was a bit put off. How could the aesthetic, highly promising cafe I’d researched be stationed here of all places? But the moment I walked in the door to that cohesive natural color palette, towering plants, and two old friends reuniting at a table near the back, I knew I was in the right place.

The drinks seem a bit more expensive than other cafés in the area, but they’re also more specialized: Coffeeholic House serves traditional and modernized Vietnamese coffees and teas. I selected their bestseller, the Coffeeholic Dream, complete with cheese foam, hazelnut syrup, cocoa powder, and ube drizzle. Though I’m not very adventurous with my coffee, as you may have gathered, I’m so glad I tried one of the several unique concoctions — it was divine.

Though the space seems more suited to pair work, with more ambient noise than its counterparts, I can see it working for anyone who truly embraces the cafe student lifestyle. It’s a bit further from school, but it’s well worth the drive. Out of all the cafes, this was hands-down the one I’d return to.

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About the Contributor
Lorelei S. '25
Lorelei S. '25, Opinion Editor
Loves horses 🐎 Oldest sibling ❤️ Really crafty 🧶 English class 👍 Loves horses pt. 2* Employed by TeenTix 😎 Indie-pop fan 🎵

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