The 5 Best (And Worst!) Places to Study in Missoula

During finals week, many of us sniff out new territory for a great study spot, or we stick with a few tried-and-true favorites. This week, I've done a mixture of both and am pleased to share what I proudly dub the 5 BEST (and WORST!) places to study in Missoula. I have based my rankings on noise/music, activity levels, friendliness of staff, atmosphere, and convenience. Read and think... do you agree?

#1 Best and Worst: Zootown Brew and Bagels on Broadway

Zootown Brew: BEST! This downtown favorite has a safe, business-like feel. Great for meetings, and with a small lunch selection, the folks at ZooBrew can power you through the whole day. Internet is very reliable and the staff bring your drink right to your table, and with the cushioned seats, you won't want to get up anyway! Music there ranges from quiet guitar to current radio favorites- but what's most important is that the volume is reasonable. Plus, when you're done with that paper, you can print it out right across the street at Fed-Ex.

Bagels on Broadway: WORST! If you can even sit down and open your laptop without being approached and asked to purchase something, then you're lucky! The vibe here is, don't get too comfortable... if your mouth isn't full then you're not welcome. Not very conducive to writing that 14 page essay!

#2 Best and Worst: Talc Gallery and Buttercup Market

Talc Gallery and Coffee House: BEST! This brand new shop is a cozy nook with mod decor, great coffee, delicious sweets, and fast internet. Highly recommended for someone who is typing a paper or doing some research and needs limited distractions in an environment that will get those creative juices flowing. On your break, enjoy local artist's paintings, jewelry, and ceramic work displayed throughout the cafe, or do some people watching, looking out on the bustling corner of S.3rd and Orange. Heads up though, Talc is open Wednesday-Friday from 11am-7pm
"Like" Talc Gallery on Facebook And learn about their crafty Thursdays, where $5 gets you all the paint, glue, pretty papers, and inspiration you could ever want!

Buttercup Market: WORST! Its cafeteria seating may be a turn off for many, and with no internet, this may not be a viable option for someone who's trying to do their research paper. It's hard to get comfortable here, but if efficiency is what you're after, then grab a coffee, sit down and work on that math homework... and grab some groceries on the way out!

#3 Best and Worst: City Brew and Liquid Planet

City Brew: BEST! Truly well suited to the business-set, this is a good place for some serious focus to classic jazz. And when it's time to print out your hard work, the UPS store is right next door. It's kind-of cramped though, so be prepared to fight for your right to a power outlet.

Liquid Planet: WORST! Although they have a wonderful staff and great food, the loud, repetitive world music mixing with the heavy metal blasting from your neighbor's headphones just doesn't bode well for meeting your deadline. Plus, they are frequented by disruptive, crazed transients- I have never been there when I haven't seen someone being asked to leave. That being said, this is a great people watching spot, or if you're just hanging out with a friend and can't afford to see the latest terror flick.

#4 Best and Worst: Book Exchange and Butterfly Herbs

The Book Exchange: BEST! If you don't have a computer, the Book Exchange has you covered. They have 2 computers set up with internet as well as Wi-Fi with all-day access to delicious Liquid Planet offerings. This place will remind you of studying in a library, only a lot more fun! Their customers are friendly and courteous, and the staff will let you borrow their stapler. Plus, if you browse on your break, you may come across a few deals!

Butterfly Herbs: WORST! Although a lot of fun with friends or to relax, this place might be too distracting for getting any real studying done. Their seating is very limited, but their coffee has gotten a lot of praise. So- maybe when you're done with a day of hard work, go unwind with some tea and shopping at Butterfly Herbs.

#5 Best and Worst: UM Library and Break Espresso

Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library: BEST! You can't get much better than on-campus for your studying needs, plus with discounted printing at the Paw Print you won't have to leave at all. Well, except maybe for food! If you don't see a computer right away, try one of the other floors. Most computers are equipped with all the programs you'll need to compete assignments. And don't worry! You won't feel pressured in to buying anything. Trust me, you've already paid!!

Break Espresso: WORST! Don't get me wrong, this place attracts tons of students, but that may just be its downfall. The internet is sometimes unreliable and it can be very hard to find a seat. Often, you'll have to sit cramped next to people you don't know, which can be very distracting! That's not to say you can't get a great coffee drink and baked good there- but you may want to think outside the Break for a great study-spot.

Where do you get your best studying done? Disagree with some of these? Leave your response, I'd love to hear of more great places!



  1. why you gotta hate on people? it's a small town. why not just post the "best" places to study?

  2. Hey, thanks for your response! I think it's good to give honest feedback about places to study, as long as it's done in a constructive way. It wasn't done in a spirit of hate, I assure you! Keep Missoula weird!

  3. THANK YOU... I am looking for a place to study on a friday night i might try one of the suggestions!


Thanks for your comment!

Content by Laura Gabriele