BweeklyRoast provides weekly off-campus coffee shop reviews for students who can’t spend another waking moment at Butler. This week: Fillup Coffee in the UWS.

This week’s reason to leave campus for your coffee is to recover from being your parents’ tour guide all weekend and watching our homecoming game in the rain. That being said, roar, lion, roar!

Fillup Coffee

Another UWS cafe, Fillup Coffee, is a little over 20 blocks from campus (92nd and Broadway). It is relatively easy to get to but requires a long walk or a subway ride to 96th Street, and I’m going to be quite honest: the $5.80 isn’t worth it for this one. Let me explain. 

The ultimate reason I chose this shop over others was the interior shown in the photos, but I was honestly underwhelmed. The furniture was definitely cute, but the cafe is way smaller than it looks online. Walking in, I immediately noticed a lack of tables (sound familiar?). Throughout the store, there were only four tables (five if you count the bar with two seats). On the Wednesday I visited, there was only one table open, and while I was lucky enough to secure it, I can totally imagine how busy this place might get on a weekend. In my opinion, if I’m going to have to fight for a table, I might as well take my pick of any of the busy libraries on campus. Also, camping here for the hours it might take you to complete your Econ problem set would be bad, considering I couldn’t see a bathroom in the shop. To be fair, I didn’t ask, but unless the baristas are nice enough to let you behind the counter, you might be out of luck. There were also minimal outlets to charge my laptop, which could’ve been a problem if another five studying students were crammed in there with me. The shop also closes at 5:30, which isn’t super ideal for anybody who studies after classes. That said, they had a really good lo-fi playlist, which I found to be a nice touch.

Regardless of the design flaws of the actual shop, the menu is really extensive. Like, really extensive. There were the classics, but I was also excited to see that they had a long list of specialty lattes. Seasonal options include maple cinnamon, chile mocha, and, of course, pumpkin spice. While I’m usually drawn to autumnal options, I eventually decided that I only really wanted a small iced latte and, therefore, asked if they had lavender syrup. They did (bonus points), so I asked to add some to my latte, expecting a little upcharge. I was then rung up for an “Ube Lavender Latte,” which, instead of the iced latte’s $5.25, cost a whopping $6.75. I didn’t even bother to ask about milk substitution costs and accepted my stomach’s fate. I then remembered, to my dismay, that I also paid MTA to get here. For once in my life, it would’ve been much cheaper to just go to Joe Coffee, and while the whole point of this was to leave campus, I began to rethink my choices. 

My latte was fully purple. Purple milk with espresso on top. Usually I’d love this, but I was still recovering from the financial blow of accidentally ordering it. Even if I had wanted it, I doubt I would’ve spent that much on it unless I was truly desperate. I also believe it would’ve been really cute, but it came in a plastic cup with ugly branding stickered to it. Yes, it was pretty good, but that’s not the point. For $6.75, I deserve not only a perfect taste but a really good Instagram story, and I got neither. 

Highs: Really unique drink options, the playlist

Lows: $6.75 (+ $5.80) for something I didn’t want, very few tables, far, early close, plastic everything

Overall: 2/10. Pretty disappointed. Was good from a coffee standpoint but definitely not from a study standpoint. I generally doubt I’ll be coming back unless I’m in the area and really want to treat myself to a specialty latte. Otherwise, I’ll be studying elsewhere. 

Fillup Coffee via Author