Admissions Blog

Top Places to Study Outside of Morningside Heights

By Ciara Comerford '23
Posted Apr 25 2023

Columbia’s campus and surrounding area has a plethora of wonderful places to hunker down and get your work done. However, sometimes the rest of New York City just comes calling. So, for those students who won’t be living in Morningside Heights during their time at school or those who just want to escape the Columbia bubble for a little bit, I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favourite places to study around the rest of the city. Enjoy exploring! 

  1. Think Coffee, 73 8th Ave 

For those days where you just can’t stay uptown anymore, consider this sneakily large coffee shop in Chelsea. Order a drink and then walk toward the back for some comfy booths and big tables with a gorgeous sky light. They tend to have outlets at some of the tables, but not all, so make sure to grab a spot near one if you can. This is a great place to spend all day getting work done, either with friends at a big table, or by yourself at a smaller one. 

  1. ad hoc coffee + shoppe, 13 Christopher St 

Go down the stairs off of Christopher Street to find this gorgeous little coffee shop. You can’t use laptops here, but the gorgeous little sweet treats and comfy armchairs will more than likely make up for it. Bring your readings (printed out or on an iPad) and hunker down in both the summer and winter alike before going for a lovely walk around the West Village. 

  1. Rose Main Reading Room, New York Public Library, 476 5th Ave

This is a place to go when you really need to get things done, but with a beautiful ceiling to look up at when you can’t stare at your laptops anymore. Like many libraries, it’s completely silent in here so don’t come for group project meetings, but during finals it can be a welcome respite from the frenetic energy around Columbia’s campus. You could even step outside into Bryant Park for a lovely lunch break before heading back in to finish up that final paper. 

  1. Daily Provisions, various locations

These are all over New York City and they’re also a wonderful place to get work done. Personal favourites of mine include the one by the Natural History Museum and the one in Hudson Yards. They tend to have big windows, pretty good food, and no one bats an eye when you hunker down for a few hours on your laptop - most likely quite a few others will be doing the same. 

There are a myriad of other great spots all through New York, but I hope that these gave you a good idea of some places to try out first. Happy studying!