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Cramming and coffees: Study cafés near you

Words by Honor Mant

With a mounting pile of deadlines and chronic procrastination, it was the perfect time to explore Manchester’s study cafés. As somebody who has a lot of online lectures, this was a refreshing break from the trudge to the library every day. The student-friendly prices are a small price to pay for a change of scenery and productive work. That being said, here are the cafés I recommend.

Milk and Honey, Oxford Rd, 9:00-15:30

Eco-friendly and chilled, Milk and Honey has cracked the study café vibe. With student-friendly prices (£1.50-£3.50 coffees) and clusters of different seating arrangements, it is the perfect balance between café and library. Staff have a monopoly on sound, and with the gentle bustle and background music, it is easy to get on with work without being distracted. The staff were friendly too, with there being no pressure to leave (I stayed 3 hours and only ordered one drink). Overall Milk and Honey is a relaxing place to work or meet friends. 

WIFI Password: MilkandHoney01

Charging ports: Yes

Fuel, Wilmslow Rd,  Mon-Thurs 11:00-23:00

If you’re worried about being distracted by noise, then Fuel is for you. The two-story café means it is easy to separate yourself from the hubbub of socialisers, without being completely out of the loop. Sash windows allow for a cool breeze and let in the perfect amount of natural light, keeping you switched on to the impending deadlines. Coffees are well-priced, ranging from £2 to £2.60, with the option of vegan milk costing 20p extra. Much like their WIFI password, I can confidently say that Fuel is cool. 

WIFI Password: Fueliscool448

Charging ports: Yes

Blah, Wilmslow Rd,  Wed-Sat 11:00-20:00

Cosy and quiet, Blah is a quirky hybrid of café/vintage shop along Wilmslow Road. The rabbit-warren layout allows you to go alone and not feel the odd one out, with the choice of booths or large tables. Blah is exclusively veggie, offering a range of snacks and drinks (perfect if you’re working over lunchtime). Coffees here range from £1.70 to £2.50. Blah’s staff were super friendly, again with no pressure to leave during the two hours I was there. 

WIFI password: BLAH-123 (weak, had to use hotspot)

Charging ports: Limited

Fig and Sparrow, Northern Quarter,  Mon-Fri  9:00-17:00

With its earthy tones and warm lighting, Fig and Sparrow is the perfect place for grabbing a coffee and getting down to work. The range of seating options (smaller booths and long tables) allows for a relaxed atmosphere. Fig and Sparrow have also made being eco-conscious affordable, with their coffees ranging from £1.50-£2.40. These are served in sustainable mugs made from recycled coffee husks. Being a little louder than some of the other cafes, Fig and Sparrow is ideal if you’re looking to lose yourself amongst the crowd. 

WIFI Password: HelloSparrow

Charging Ports: Yes 

Sugar Junction,  Northern Quarter,  Mon-Tues, Fri-Sun  9:00-18:00

Located in NQ’s business district, Sugar Junction serves workers and socialisers, catering for all. The café provides single tables at the back for study, as well as communal ones at the front for meetings or socials. Don’t be deterred by the mix of bar and café, as it creates a positive atmosphere that will be sure to motivate reluctant workers. With coffee ranging from £2-£3, it is a small price to pay for the friendly staff and hours of work. 

WIFI Password: allyouneediscake

Charging ports: Limited

Tags: affordable, Cafes, cheap, coffees, cramming, Northern Quarter, studyspots

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