6 Places to Study in Winston-Salem

Whether it is finals week or just an average week, it can be hard to find a spot to study on campus. The library is filled with stressed out students, every classroom is occupied, and you just can’t bring yourself to study in your room. Sometimes you just need to get out and experience a change of atmosphere, but where do you go?

Before moving to Winston-Salem, I knew nothing about the area, with the exception that it is the home of Krispy Kreme donuts! However, no matter how much research I did, I couldn’t find a blog post that specifically talked about different coffee shops or places in general where I could study outside of Wake Forest University’s campus. I had to take matters into my own hands, just like when I was in Nantes. However, my local friends were kind enough to write out a whole list of recommendations for where to get food, including some coffee shops.

If you are a student in Winston-Salem that isn’t originally from the area, here are some places where you could get some work done:

Camino Bakery: downtown location

Camino Bakery was by far one of my favorite places to study. This was one of the places that I was able to find out about online before coming to Winston-Salem. It was also highly recommended by locals. There are a few locations, but I have only studied in the downtown location. This place is popular, so you may find yourself struggling to look for a seat if you get there later in the morning or even in the evening.

If you like to people watch, there are bar-type seats that face the window, however, if you prefer to have a bigger table to yourself, there is that option. If you don’t need to work on a laptop or just want to enjoy the nice weather, Camino has outside seating at the picnic tables pictured above. I’ve enjoyed some of Camino’s fall season drinks here with my friends, as well as a delicious nutella scone.

Twin City Hive

Twin City Hive was another coffee shop that was recommended by some of my local friends. It’s located on Brookstown Avenue, not far from Old Salem. Like Camino, there is both indoor and outdoor seating. This coffee lounge can get filled pretty quickly, depending on what time you go. My friends and I had classes in the Brookstown area, so after class, some of them would come here to grab a snack or study some more. One of the things they and the friends that recommended this place raved about were their unique popsicle flavors including: cookies ‘n cream, Thai iced tea, sweet tea ‘n lemonade, chocolate sea salt, and more!

Atelier Bakery on Trade Street

Atelier Bakery is a French bakery in the downtown area. Unfortunately, due to its hours and my crazy work schedule, I was only able to make it there one time. Even so, I was impressed with what it had to offer. The interior was nicely-decorated, with bigger tables to study at and their pastries were good. When I went with my friend, we split a French churro, which was a croissant that had the consistency of a churro, and a pain au chocolat, something that I haven’t eaten since my time in France. Sadly, the hours of the bakery have changed since I’ve last been there. They are now only open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. until they sell out. Though it may be inconvenient, if you are looking to try something new in the Winston-Salem area and are disciplined enough to get up early in the morning to study, I would recommend checking this place out.

Tart Sweets, located in the historic Rosenbacher home

I was sad that I didn’t get to experience Tart Sweets until my last semester at Wake Forest University because it was, by far, my favorite place, which was recommended by a good friend that came to study here frequently. It’s a locally owned bakery on Fifth Street that has such a beautiful and quaint atmosphere. I also thought the name was cute, considering the owner’s last name is Tart.

I’m not sure if this is because of what day I visited, the location, or the time of the year in general, but this place was a lot less crowded than Camino and Twin City Hive, and it was much quieter. There are two different areas where you can get work done, although I must admit that I spent a fair amount of time staring at the decor in awe. The pastries are a bit pricier here, but I would say that whether you try their assortment of macarons, a cheesecake cookie bar, or their edible cookie dough, it’s totally worth it. If you’re looking to study somewhere until later in the night, I would recommend going to Camino or Twin City Hive, as Tart Sweets is only open until 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Rena Marie’s

Recently, I have really been into bubble tea. I had heard about it years ago online but never really knew what it was. I had only heard that it was really good. Thanks to its rising popularity in the U.S., I finally had the chance to try it two years ago when I was on vacation. Unfortunately, I did not know of any bubble tea places in my area, but I was happy to find out that there was one in Winston-Salem called Rena Marie’s.

The nice thing about this place is that there is also some space to study. The truth is, by the time I got around to visiting Rena Marie’s, I was already out of school, so I never got the opportunity to study here, but I would have liked to. There isn’t as much room as some of the other places that I had mentioned before, but you can enjoy some coffee or bubble tea while doing your work, whether you want to sit at one of the tables in the picture above, or sit by the window and admire the city.

Forsyth County Public Library, located on West Fifth Street

I have a confession to make… I don’t like coffee at all. Despite this, that has never stopped me from going to cute coffee shops and ordering other drinks and snacks while studying, since I love the atmosphere. However, you may not like that kind of environment for getting work done. Maybe you prefer to study at the library, but your school’s library is always packed. The Forsyth County Public Library is a great alternative.

One of my close friends, who will be studying Library Science, visited me in Winston-Salem in October of last year. Because of her love of libraries, we found out about this one by talking to one of my school’s librarians. It had just been renovated and re-opened in August, so we got to see its new features right away. We explored the entire library, which had a nice, modern look to it. There was plenty of space to get work done and I can guarantee that no one would bother you there. Aside from that, they had a large selection of books that expanded multiple floors. Whether you need a break from studying and enjoy reading or you just want to find something new to read, I would strongly recommend visiting.

A little over a week ago, I returned to Pennsylvania. I was sad to leave Winston-Salem and North Carolina in general, but I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend a year there. It may look like I ate a lot during my time away, but all of this was spread out over the course of a year. I also wanted to add that most of these places did have wifi; I am only unsure about Atelier, Rena Marie’s, and the library, since I did not use my laptop at those places.

If you still aren’t convinced about studying or getting work done at these places, you can find more pictures below. Just click on them to make them bigger: