Where to find coffee on UAA’s grounds

January 6, 2016
Keep warm this winter. Stop by UAA for a hot coffee at one of NINE locations on campus. (Photo by Ted Kincaid / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Keep warm this winter. Grab a hot coffee at one of NINE locations on campus. (Photo by Philip Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage)

No matter your destination in town, you’re bound to pass at least one of the brew-thru coffee stops that colonize every available street corner in Anchorage. Alaskans undeniably love their coffee.

Rest assured the coffee craze is equally prominent at UAA. In fact, two new java spots opened just this school year. Even the Bookstore’s current renovation includes the addition of a coffee stand.

With nine campus coffee options, that’s a lot of sludge cups to sludge through. So let us lend a hand. Here are our recommendations…

Kaladi Brothers Coffee*
(asterisks indicate ‘buy 8 get 1 free’ punchcard participants)

This location—the biggest and among the best—is the only spot with name brand recognition on the marquee. The sizable spot on east campus is a social hub for study groups and club meetings. With two rows of ridiculously comfy overstuffed armchairs, it feels the most like a classic coffeeshop, too. An extra bonus: since it’s next to the UAA/APU Consortium Library, they’re open until 8:30 p.m. four nights a week for those evening caffeine jolts and smoothie cravings.

Kaladi Brothers Coffee, Social Sciences Building
Mon-Thu 7:30 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Fri 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m.

Spirit refuels at Kaladi on campus (Photo by Philip Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage).

Spirit refuels at Kaladi on campus. (Photo by Philip Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Union Station

While Kaladi looks like a coffeehouse, Union Station feels the closest, and has the most extensive hours on campus to boot. It’s the only campus coffee spot entirely staffed by UAA students, and its location in the Student Union builds on that youthful energy. Busy student staff amiably chat with friends and classmates while pouring espresso shots from behind a counter plastered in event flyers. A floor-to-ceiling chalk wall advertises a week’s worth of campus events, as well as the rotating daily special. Each morning the staff cooks up a new drink, opting for seasonal themes when possible (Inside tip—the daily specials are always on discount). So grab a UAA tumbler at the Bookstore, fill ‘er up at Union Station and enjoy by the fire pit in the Den downstairs.

Union Station | Student Union | Mon-Thurs 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri. 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

High-traffic Union Station is the only student-run coffee spot at UAA (Photo by Philip Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage).

High-traffic Union Station is the only student-run coffee spot at UAA. (Photo by Philip Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage)

UAA Perk

Due to its midtown location at University Center, UAA Perk is arguably the most convenient for alumni. An extra perk at Perk is the UAA discount; drip coffee is only 50 cents (!!!) if you have a UAA mug or tumbler (good thing there’s a small market stocked with school swag here, too). Get ready to wait a little longer for your drink orders, though. “We don’t sacrifice quality for time,” explained barista Ariel Susky as she prepared a customer’s order. “I still do every step to make sure every coffee tastes really good. A lot of people would probably prefer to get their coffee really fast. But if that’s the case, just go to McDonald’s.”

UAA Perk | University Center (36th and Old Seward) | Mon-Fri 7:45 a.m.–4 p.m.


What sets eXpress apart? In a word… paninis. This new kid on the block—housed in the Engineering & Industry Building—is the only UAA coffee spot that serves delicious hot sandwiches in addition to a wide range of takeaway food prepared fresh daily at the campus Creekside kitchens. But the real selling point is the standout setting. Grab a smoothie or sushi roll at the second floor café, then find a spot in the adjacent two-story study space. Or, better yet, climb to the fourth floor lounge for knockout city views. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the Chugach Mountains and Sleeping Lady and, on clear days, the distant Chigmit Mountains dwarf the downtown skyline. The new EIB highlights UAA’s urban and wild campus like no other building.

eXpress | Engineering & Industry Building | Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m.

The new EIB, home of eXpress, provides some incredible views of downtown and the Chugach range (Photo by Philip Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage).

The new EIB, home of eXpress, provides incredible views of downtown and the Chugach range. (Photo by Philip Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Borealis Brew*

This one is the true new kid on the block, opening just a few months ago. The small operation capitalizes on a little-visited corner of the ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building. “We’re trying to brighten up a little shadow of the building,” barista Tyler Fishback explained in the fall. “Almost every day someone says ‘I didn’t know you guys were here. This is so convenient!’” If you’re looking for all coffee, no lines and lots of power outlets, Borealis Brew provides a perfect spot to plug in, log on and get some work done in one of UAA’s most beautiful buildings.

Borealis Brew | CPISB | Mon-Fri 7:30 a.m.–2 p.m.

The Daily Grind*

Cuddy Hall opened in 1972, but has become the visual focus of the quad since adding a glassy expansion in 2008. The Daily Grind, which occupies that illuminated addition, has become the social center of west campus. The small space offers an open area lined with benches and a row of high-top tables with outlets to plug in your laptop. Plan your visit right and pick up a sweet treat from the Cuddy kitchens. For years, culinary arts students have hawked their homework at the Bakery Cart every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11 a.m. Grab a Danish or donut and enjoy epic views of the Chugach Range peeking over the campus buildings to the south.

The Daily Grind | Cuddy Hall
Mon-Thu  7:45 a.m.–7 p.m. | Friday 7:45 a.m.–2 p.m.

The Daily Grind, located just inside Cuddy Hall, keeps denizens of the original campus caffeinated (Photo by Philip Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage).

The Daily Grind, located just inside Cuddy Hall, keeps denizens of the original campus caffeinated. (Photo by Philip Hall / University of Alaska Anchorage)

Bear Necessities*

Catering to the nearly 1,000 students in campus housing, Bear Necessities provides a quick caffeine fix later than any other spot at UAA. It’s open to the public, though, so stop in and grab a drink before taking the pups for a walk around University Lake. Located in Gorsuch Commons—among the recently candy-colored MAC housing complex—the attached market at Bear Necessities offers everything from biscotti to bars of soap in addition to coffee. And, as an added bonus, it’s the only campus coffee joint open on weekends.

Bear Necessities | Gorsuch Commons
Mon-Fri 10 a.m.–10:30 p.m. | Sat-Sun noon–10:30 p.m.

City Market and Wolf Bites

City Market, the unassuming coffee cart located in the arena’s main hallway, stands out on a campus saturated in Kaladi. Caffé d’Arte, which sponsors Seawolf Athletics, serves its blends at City Market on weekday mornings, as well as during events at the arena (including every Seawolf home game). On weekends, Caffé d’Arte keeps brewing at Wolf Bites. Don’t be fooled—it may look like a concession stand, but it can still whip up the full spread of coffeehouse favorites like lattes and espressos.

City Market | Alaska Airlines Center | Mon-Fri 8 a.m.–12 p.m.
Wolf Bites | Wells Fargo Sports Complex | Sat-Sun 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

In case you’re wondering, there is no coffee option at the aviation campus. We asked, and the response was dejected. “I wish there was,” said the woman who answered the phone. “They’d make a million bucks.”

The volume of coffee options at UAA can be daunting. So we built you a walking route to all nine locations on Google Maps (by the time you’re on cup #8, the anxious sprint to University Center should be no problem for mug #9).

Written by J. Besl, UAA Office of University Advancement

University of Alaska Anchorage - University Advancement
3211 Providence Dr. Suite 236 - Anchorage, AK 99508
UA is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual: www.alaska.edu/titleIXcompliance/nondiscrimination