Hot Takes: The Best Café On Campus

Author: Tajae Thompson


The University of Notre Dame has a great variety of cafés to grab a coffee, a breakfast sandwich, or a little snack in between classes. There's Starbucks, the Huddle, ABP in the library, Hagerty Family Café in Duncan Student Center, and even a café in the basement of Mendoza. 

Starbucks is probably the most popular option and if you check your GrubHub app during peak hours, there can be upwards of seventy orders in line. While I do understand the hype around Starbucks, especially with their premium fall drinks coming out, I think the best café on campus is the café in O'Shaughnessy Hall. 

I am strictly an iced coffee drinker. I am not a big fan of hot coffee, I’m not into the special pumpkin spice or peppermint flavored drinks, I just like a simple iced coffee with a little creamer. I understand the appeal of Starbucks if you like those specialty drinks or if you’re a first-year and you aren’t familiar with the other on-campus cafés. I also don’t have an advanced food palate, I can’t tell the difference between premium coffee and gas station coffee, so the deciding factor for me is the price. 

At the café in O’Shag, you can get a good-sized iced coffee for less than two dollars. They give you a cup with ice and cold brew and you add the desired amount of milk, creamer, and sugar. The price is such an important deciding factor because we usually only get 500 flex points (700 this semester) and $4 a day on coffee starts to add up. To better budget my flex points, $1.60 on a cup of coffee four days a week is manageable. 

Another thing I love about the café in O’Shag is that there usually isn't a line. The other cafés on campus can take around 10 to 15 minutes to get your coffee because everyone else is buying a coffee at that time. From my experience, I have never waited more than five minutes, and it’s convenient when I am in between classes. 

Every on-campus restaurant/café has its charms, it depends on what you are looking for and your tastes. If you enjoy pumpkin spice lattes or peppermint-flavored hot chocolate, go to Starbucks. If you prefer a latte with a foam art design, check out Hagerty Family Café in Duncan. I am not going to pretend that I don’t stop for a breakfast sandwich in Starbucks now and then or grab an Americano from Hagerty Family Cafe, but if I have to pick my go-to, it has to be O’Shag.