1. Hungarian Pastry Shop
Where: 1030 Amsterdam Ave.
When: 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Monday through Friday); 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
This neighborhood favorite is open late and has plenty of sweet treats and caffeinated beverages to keep you going. The cafe can get crowded and a little noisy, but prices are reasonable. There are even a few outdoor tables for al fresco studying.
Wendy Binioris, whose family owns the eatery, said that the mid-afternoon hours are usually the quietest time at the café. The pastry shop doesn’t offer free WiFi, but Binioris said that doesn’t seem to be a hindrance for the hordes of students who camp out at the shared tables.
Although the Hungarian Pastry Shop is best known for its sweets, Binioris said the menu was recently expanded to include sandwiches and yogurt, providing more sustenance for long-haul study sessions.
She only asks one thing of those who tend to linger. “Be courteous and respectful,” she said. “And for the most part people are.”
2. Nussbaum & Wu
Where: 2897 Broadway
When: 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Friday); 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
Just three blocks from the Columbia campus, this spacious coffee house is a great study spot with free wireless Internet, affordable cups of coffee and small eats to fuel you up and keep you working. A worker at Nussbaum & Wu said that the mornings are usually peak times for crowds, but tables tend to open up after about 2 or 3 p.m.
3. Max Caffe
Where: 1262 Amsterdam Ave.
When: 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. (Monday to Sunday)
Cushy couches, armchairs and a quiet ambience make this uptown gem the perfect study space for students. The late-night eatery offers wireless Internet and a full menu, so students can munch on salads, wraps, sandwiches and pastries while they work. However, one purchase does not give students carte blanche to camp out all day or night. A worker said as long as customers keep ordering, they are welcome to stay as long as they want.
Where: 2950 Broadway
When: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Monday to Friday); 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
Brad’s is a local meeting spot for students in the journalism building at Columbia University. The open-air eatery is especially nice on sunny days when you’re looking to work outside but still stay connected with the café’s news tickers and televisions. It’s usually teeming with journalism students between classes, with the lunch rush from noon to 3 p.m. the busiest time. Later on in the evenings, however, space opens up, and the eatery can be a quiet place to work.
5. Milstein 24-Hour Reading Rooms
Where: 213 Butler Library, 535 W. 114th St.
Sometimes you need a good, old-fashioned library for those serious cram sessions. The Milstein 24-hour Reading Rooms have computer access and wireless Internet for late-night studying and several have been designated for quiet or group study. A valid Columbia University ID is required for entry into the library.