Location, location, location — a meal is only as great as the environment in which it’s eaten. Midterm season can strain your precious free time, but the convenient timing duo of midterm week and Restaurant Week poses the opportunity to find a new study niche while snagging an excellent deal on lunch. The following participants offer prime study locations and free Wi-Fi! Sit back, fuel your brain, exercise your mind and soak up the vibes of these rejuvenating atmospheres.
Brewed Awakenings — 20 Hawley St.
Brewed Awakenings resembles a typical coffee shop setting, only carved out of a rain forest. The green walls are adorned with wood accents and flourishing plants and bask in sunlight. The high ceilings offer space for your mind to catch a fresh breath. Even though it’s sunny, a computer glare can be avoided by strategically sitting on the lone, big comfy chair that faces the windows. In the background, swanky upbeat tunes play at a level just loud enough to permeate your thoughts, but soft enough not to be a distraction. Complemented by a cup of Ithaca Coffee Company’s finest, Brewed Awakenings provides a peaceful atmosphere that fosters productivity.
“It’s a great place to study and watch the world go by,” said Al Aaron, a patron and local attorney.
Taste of Europe — 56 Court St.
Its humble yet worldly decor shapes Taste of Europe into a restaurant with a soothing atmosphere. Deep green curtains drape across the window in the front room, and gold accents add a sense of opulence. Though the restaurant’s traditional setup may deter sprawling out, comfy seats and a quiet setting offer a supreme location for reflective downtime. The air is suffused with the aromas of traditional Ukrainian cuisine, all of which is homemade and fresh. Oleg Lyubas, a Taste of Europe waiter and native Ukrainian, attests that the restaurant has the “style, cuisine and everything Ukrainian.” Taste of Europe has earned itself a reputation in Binghamton comparable to the Veselka in Manhattan. Modest and reputable, Taste of Europe is a gem for providing a comforting lunch experience.
Cyber Cafe West — 176 Main St.
Every corner of Cyber Cafe West is laden with creative outlets in this hodge-podge of local contributions. There are several rooms, ensuring that you’ll find your own cozy niche. The back room has chess, board games and a Ms. Pacman machine. An eclectic assortment of furniture ushers expressive thought. Tabletops double as paintings, and bathrooms are inscribed with plebeian wisdom. The plush, red couch, which is suitable for long stretches of lounging, feels a bit like falling down the rabbit hole. This broad assortment of furnishings is centered around the stage, on which local acts perform nightly. Sometimes a little distraction makes for the most intense studying sessions. The atmosphere speaks truly to the ideal that anything goes.
“People can come in and do whatever they want, as long as it’s legal,” said Ren Plain, a waitress at Cyber Cafe West.
Crepe Heaven — 217 Main St.
The name speaks for itself. Entering Crepe Heaven is like walking into a warm, savory, crepe embrace. This Bosnian restaurant offers a culinary medley of European flavors. Its soul-food approach is meant to foster feelings of rejuvenation. The restaurant breeds a more family-friendly atmosphere, but its aromatic charm is certain to put any busy mind into a state of peace.
“We actually originally wanted to call the restaurant Crepe Theory, because it’s a place where people come for relaxation,” owner Sead Hadziabdic said.
Atmosphere is important, and with these restaurants, your already incredible eating experience is just amplified.