Perk up: Your guide to FM study spots


by Hunter Simonson

If you’re not already addicted to caffeine, you will be by the end of the semester. To help you out, here are some spots in Fargo-Moorhead where you can sit down, have some coffee and get to work.

Red Raven Espresso Parlor

916 Main Ave., Fargo


Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Sat. 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Sun. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

One of downtown Fargo’s most unique locations, the Red Raven is a worker-owned and operated coffee shop with a large selection of drinks and food, all vegetarian or vegan. The shop is open later than many other area cafés, making it ideal for late night studying. There’s a quiet, secluded courtyard brimming with plants and murals, perfect for getting some fresh air while catching up on work. The parlor also functions as a safe space, welcoming a diverse community.

“It’s important for students and young adults to have a space where they can feel safe and be themselves without prejudice,” co-owner Joe Curry said.

For large group study sessions or meetings, the Red Raven has a community room, which can be reserved for a free-will donation. But be aware: the Red Raven is also a venue for music and comedy, so some nights may not be ideal for quiet studying.

Twenty Below Coffee Co.

14 Roberts St., Fargo


Mon. – Fri. 6 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sat. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Closed Sunday

Recently-opened Twenty Below Coffee is hoping to bring a new, more urban type of coffee shop to the FM area. They have a solid, but pricy menu featuring trendy methods of making coffee. Twenty Below’s main assets for studying are its well-lit, minimalist environment and couches for long-term study sessions. The shop does hold restrictive hours, however if you need to crack out an assignment before a morning class, it will suit you well. Coffee is made to order and roasted fresh every day. “Pay what you please” pricing is offered for drip coffee.

“We try to promote community interaction,” employee Ty Ford said.


210 Broadway N., Fargo


Mon. – Thu. 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Fri. 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sat. 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sun. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

This little coffee shop, next door to the Boiler Room in downtown Fargo, might be hard to find at first, but this hidden gem is worth the trouble. Although the shop is small and short on tables, its location is great for tri-college collaborators who need to meet up with a friend from the other side of town.

“We’re centrally located,” owner Greg Stumbo said. “Meet up with your NDSU friends here, then grab a beer next door when you’re done.”

The dimly-lit environment makes Stumbeano’s better for computer work than reading or writing, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find somewhere else serving higher-quality coffee in as convenient a location.

Moxie Java

115 4th St. , Moorhead


Mon. – Sat. 6:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Sun. 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Moxie Java has a monopoly on the Moorhead coffee shop scene. It benefits from its proximity to MSUM’s campus and its tasty, often underrated drinks. Since it’s one of the only places for Moorhead denizens to hang out, it’s often busy, but if you can handle a little noise, it’s a great place to study or read.

“We’re MSUM and Concordia centered,” employee Leah Ecklund said. “Before I worked here, this is where I came to study.”

Check it out from 5 – 7 p.m. for half off all espresso drinks.

Josie’s Corner Café and Bake Shop

524 Broadway N., Fargo


Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sat. 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Closed Sunday

If you ever find yourself missing small town charm and need a reminder that simplicity is not dead, head to Josie’s Corner. Follow Broadway to the end of the commercial district and you’ll find this ultra-Midwestern café. Friendly counter service and great lunch deals, as well as their crowd of charming regulars, will have you coming back to work and study. They have plenty of tables, though they fill quickly, and if you need to sit down and study, avoid doing so during the lunch rush.

“Josie’s is quaint and quiet, especially in the morning and late afternoon,” manager Jaeda Engberg said. “Also, it’s in downtown Fargo, so there are a lot of cool shops to check out nearby.”

Sandy’s Donuts and Coffee Shop

300 N. Broadway


Mon. – Sat. 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Closed Sunday

Moderation is key. Keep that in mind while you sit down at Sandy’s with a bag of donuts and your required reading. They serve lunch (panini, soup and salad, etc.) from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., so stay out during this time if you need a quiet environment.

“Although we’re busy for lunch, it’s a great afternoon and evening study spot,” assistant manager Nancy Aikens said.

Sandy’s serves Stumbeano’s coffee and lattes to keep you going, and if you can wait until 8 p.m., the donuts left are 50 percent off.

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