No matter how hard you brainstorm during the day, sometimes genius strikes only after dark, so we found a few St. Paul gems where you can sip coffee and do a little work. While we love the coffee and the greasy-spoon food at Mickey's Diner, not to mention its 24-hour, 365-days-a-year schedule, it's just popular enough even at 3 a.m. that you can't hang out for hours at a time.
Here are our favorite places in St. Paul to stay late for another latte:Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar Monday - Thursday: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Friday - Saturday: 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sunday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Black Dog is just right for folks who want to visit the St. Paul Farmers Market in the morning and then hit the books all day afterward. Just steps away from the market, this spot is a perfect getaway in the middle of the city. With art-filled walls inside, a flower-trimmed patio outside, there's no shortage of space to open up a book and spend a few hours immersed in coffee and lit. There are also a ton of traditional cafe food options if the caffeine jitters start to get to you. And when you're all done studying, Black Dog is also home to a small live music stage (and a killer happy hour.)
Monday - Thursday: 6:15 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Friday: 6:15 a.m. - 12 a.m.; Saturday: 6:30 a.m. - 12 a.m.; Sunday: 7:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.
For fair-trade fanatics, Gingko is the place to go. With a few different types of fair-trade and organic coffees, this late-night coffee shop is the perfect place to caffeinate and try a new blend, rather than settling for stale Folgers out of a plastic tub. Ginkgo sits right by Hamline University on Snelling Avenue, a short bike (or bus) ride away from Macalester, St. Thomas, and the other colleges in the area. Check their schedule for live music on various nights (usually during the weekend.)
3. Dunn Bros on Grand
Monday - Saturday: 6:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sunday: 7:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.
When it's finals time during the school year, Dunn Bros gets pretty darn busy, but there's a reason it's so popular. This is the original location of the ever-popular chain of coffee shops, the that one started 'em all in 1987 with Ed and Dan Dunn. Survey the well-stocked bakery case for a fresh Danish before settling in to look over your papers and sip a cup of joe. If you get there at the right time, the folks behind the counter put out the day-old (and still tasty) pastries for a steep discount -- which means double the yum. Dunn Bros is yet another St. Paul coffee shop that offers live music on occasion, and you can check their calendar to see if it's a mellow jazz sort of group or a more upbeat band.
Monday - Sunday: 6:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Some people will go the distance for a coffee shop with a well-trained barista, while others just focus on finding a spot with work-ready amenities. Why not have both? Nestled in Cathedral Hill, Nina's has been around forever, and it's not hard to see why. With delicious espresso drinks (and must-try hot chocolate), this is one place you won't mind visiting even in the dead of winter. Nina's also has ultra-fast wifi, a must for everybody who's in a pretty serious relationship with their keyboards. Be prepared to share a couch or a bench and get cozy with your neighbors at Nina's -- there's ample seating, but not so much that you'll always be able to spread all those papers out. Fun fact: F. Scott Fitzgerald's family stayed around this area back in the day.
Monday - Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.; Saturday: 7 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.; Sunday: 7:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Little ol' Cahoots faces a lot of competition in the Selby-Snelling area -- from the local Neighborhood Cafe to the coffee giant Starbucks just across the street. Nevertheless, this is one of the best spots in the city to settle in and tap away on that laptop. There's plenty of seating indoors, but if you need a breath of fresh air, you can watch the sun set and the stars come out in the courtyard, a quiet, brick-and-ivy-covered area with tables galore. Filled with locals, students, professors, and everyone in between, Cahoots is the place you go when you want to knock out your to-do list over a cuppa java without all the nonsense of ultra-trendy coffeehouses.
Looking for a late-night mug of coffee in Minneapolis? Here's a list of our Top 5 late-night coffee shops in Minneapolis.here to purchase directly.