Whether you’re a student in need of a better place to study than the library, or a stressed, hungover laptop-tapper looking to feel at home, near a university campus is the place to be. Virginia Rossi reports on the best coffee stops near Qing Da.

 

SPROFESSIONAL coffee (Opposite Qingdao Daxue bus stop, Gaoxiong Lu)

Sat proudly just in front of the “Qingdao University” bus stop, this newly opened spot has more than coffee and cake to offer. Saying that Sprofessional Coffee is a café is reductive: it’s in fact a four-storey warehouse with a gobsmacking number of tables and great variety of food and drinks to offer. From the regular coffees, beers and pizza to bottles of European wine, exotic dishes of sashimi, and even escargots. It can be pricey, but if you go here often, seriously consider the member card. You have to pre-load a few hundred yuan, but it gets you practically half price on everything instantly. Staff speak English and the tables are big and well lit for a great workspace. They’re even developing a basement which might host pool parties in future.

初见咖啡 First Sight Cafe (10 Qingda Lu)

With its exposed brick walls and bookshelves, First Sight Café offers the perfect atmosphere if you’re looking for a quiet place to study. This place looks as though it was specifically designed for students: good wifi, filled with books, good coffee and, most of all, on every table you will find signs that invite costumers to keep quiet. First Sight’s menu offers coffee to teas and milkshakes, from waffles to cheesecake and tiramisu, with individual prices floating around 30 yuan. It’s smaller than SProfessional so you might not find a table at peak times, but if you do, remember to take a good book with you to really enjoy the snug atmosphere.

小院咖啡 Xiao Yuan Coffee (Intersection of Ningxia and Gaoxiang Lu, 8595-3536)

This place sits just by the West gate, and is painted a cheerful blue. It looks tiny from the outside but inside has three spacious rooms, all nicely furnished. If you’re in good company, play the cool board games; if you’re not, at least the stuffed animals will make you feel less lonely! The prices are average, but Xiao Yuan Café offers something that is missing from its competitors: the chance to sit outside and enjoy the weather. Xiao Yuan’s outside tables will surely come in handy now that the warm season is approaching. Be sure to check it out.

雕刻时光咖啡馆 Sculpting in Time Café (18 Xianggang East Lu, 6778-3678)

Despite its weird-sounding name, this café (located near Qingdao University’s east gate on Xianggang East Road) has qualified as the best coffee in the neighbourhood. It’s brightened by large windows during the day, and made cozy by perfectly chosen music, many books, and relaxed wooden tables and chairs. The waffles with maple syrup, whipped cream and fruit also played a big part in the win-my-heart-game!
Besides waffles, there are many things you can enjoy here: they have sandwiches (38 yuan), pasta (35 – 38 yuan) and pizza (around 52 yuan for the small size and 58 for the big size). Drinks wise, you can choose from different coffee and tea blends whose prices vary between 28 and 35 yuan. This café has an English menu, but not English speaking staff (as friendly as they are), but that means an additional chance to practice your Chinese, right? Furthermore, Sculpting in Time’s quiet atmosphere and its relaxing vintage music are sure to relax you and help you focus. Top that with a great cup of coffee et voilà, your day is off to a perfect start.