Espresso Royale is the coffee shop you want to walk into bleary-eyed after a long night of cramming, frustration and more than a few nervous breakdowns. The atmosphere is the perfect kind of casual: warm and inviting, but as straight-to-business as the larger coffee chains. Request just a normal coffee (ever the sin these days), and you’ll receive a cup, which you can fill with the perfect ratio of a selection of coffees, milks and whatever accoutrements are deemed necessary.

And, oh yeah, the coffee is pretty delicious. Between all of the self-labeled coffee aficionados and the 12-step ordering processes, did everyone forget that most of us just want a cup of joe to get us through our 9 a.m. seminar? Well, Espresso didn’t. The pump-pot selection isn’t fancy; it doesn’t boast quadruple-roasted coffee. But it does house some tasty, comforting blends with simple, unassuming names: Lighthouse, Solidario, Carnivale. And the flavors are anything but — nutty here, floral there and always ready to give a morning boost.

That’s not to say Espresso can only brew a simple mugful. Their vanilla lattés rival any hipster café, and they know their way around their namesake machine. Get a sweetheart latté (cinnamon and vanilla) off the menu for a delicious day-starter.

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