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OPINION: Top 5 coffee shops near campus

With a fresh batch of incoming freshmen making their way through Albuquerque for the first time, I’m certain one burning question remains on their mind: what is the best coffee place in town? In no particular order, here are five fairly walkable coffee spots near campus worth the visit.

Michael Thomas Coffee Roasters

Located just off Central at 202 Bryn Mawr Drive SE, Michael Thomas is a fan-favorite in Albuquerque, and for good reason. With a wide selection of hand-roasted coffee, knowledgeable staff and a genuine love for coffee, Michael Thomas is perfect for both the coffee snob and those who are merely looking for a quick fix of caffeine alike.

The storefront has a pleasant ambiance with a lovely outdoor patio area well-suited for study sessions or meeting up with that film major in your elective course that you’re desperately trying to impress. Grab a cup of coffee here then walk over to Buffalo Exchange to indulge in an overpriced Forever 21 crop top; treat yourself.

Ihatov Bread and Coffee

Conveniently parked in the Nob Hill area, Ihatov Bread and Coffee is a hop, skip and a jump away from campus and a never-miss place to indulge in a pastry and coffee when you have downtime between classes. Their coffee is very consistent, but the real star of the show is their selection of baked goods; the almond croissant is my favorite, if it’s still available by the time you make it there. Soak up the sounds of coffee machines whirring indoors, or have a seat on the patio and people-watch on Central Avenue (practically an official pastime in the city of Albuquerque).

Humble Coffee Company

Humble Coffee Company is a little bit further of a trek, but if you can hitch a ride to either the Lomas Boulevard or Central Avenue locations, you are surely in for a treat. Specializing in single-origin coffee, Humble Coffee has perhaps my single favorite roast of the different cups of joe I’ve tried in Albuquerque.

Also on the menu is a variety of food items from other small businesses in the Albuquerque area. My go-to is a classic latte-and-bagel combo, but with a variety of straightforward and delectable options available, you are sure to find something you love there. Take a classmate here to study for exams and gossip about your professor over the best damn cup of coffee you’ve ever had.

Zendo Coffee

Another popular joint in town, Zendo on 2nd Street Southwest is the perfect place to get in touch with the community with the greatest social lubricant known to man: a perfect cup of joe. Zendo is a woman-owned business that takes specific interest in embracing diversity and fostering community involvement. Come for the coffee and stay for one of their open mics, pop-ups or simply the welcoming atmosphere and many friendly faces at their bright and cheery storefront.

The Chocolate Dude

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Another conveniently placed Nob Hill selection, The Chocolate Dude (and Coffee Too!) is a groovy little shop open until 10 p.m. (a relative feat for a storefront in the Albuquerque area) where you can find your late night caffeine fix before a long evening of cramming an entire textbook’s worth of material, or treat yourself after a long week with coffee and chocolate. Hang out in the vibrant store outfitted with retro decor and enjoy one of the many delicious triumphs of chocolatiering they have to offer.

Whether you sport a $7 oat milk latte from a fine couture-coffee establishment around town or cry into a cup of whatever has been brewing at La Posada, I hope that this list has given you the courage to get out and explore one of the many small businesses Albuquerque has to offer and maybe even make a few lasting memories in the process.

Zara Roy is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @zarazzledazzle

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