Academic coffee on Emek Refaim.

I just came back from a successful study session with myself. Those only happen when I’ve waited until the last minute.

Looking back over the last two years of school, I realize something: I’ve taken to studying in cawffee shops. Throughout American university, I had many places to study and work, depending on the nature of the work. I only started the Starbucks thing in my senior year, when thesis-mode was my life.

I attribute my full-blown coffee shop study sessions to the following factors:

1. Israel has a much larger coffee culture in general.

2. I live far from any university so the library isn’t convenient.

3. I’ve been drinking more coffee since I got here (refer back to #1).


Here are my ratings of the Emek Refaim cafes according to my study experience:

Cafe Hillel: My go-to cafe. This one is reliable, since even when it’s packed, it’s still somewhat quiet. The tables are the perfect size for spreading out, and they never bother you about buying one drink to sit for two hours. This is where I go to start and finish a study term.

Aroma: I love Aroma, I really do. Best coffee, best look and feel. But it doesn’t work for studying. It’s great for socializing, and so I keep it at that. The layout is all wrong for keeping to yourself.

Coffee Shop: Not a fan for socializing or studying. Everyone is sitting on top of each other so it’s hard to get in your own headspace. Not the atmosphere for a space cadet like me.

Rivaleh: New cafe on the block, and I didn’t actually try to study there, but as soon as I walked in I realized it was all wrong. A bit too fancy for a student hangout. I turned my heels and went to…

The Coffee Mill: This is an excellent study cafe and a great alternative to Cafe Hillel overload… assuming you get a good seat. I qualify good seat as next to a back wall or the window. It’s a small place, so it’s not always guaranteed, which is why I reserve this for special occasions.






  1. Ittay Avatar

    I agree. these cafes are all lovely. I am curious if you have treid any outdoor places in jerusalem. The views are so amazing. Maybe the sights can inspire some great blogging.

  2. Darrell Avatar

    Cafe Hillel on the corner of Hellini Hemalcha and Jaffa! Have a coffee, read the paper and watch the people! I miss it a lot.

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