BoardPlus Cafe Spots Around Campus

Category Campus Spotlight


Trinh Class of '25
Authored on March 22, 2024


Cafe Gato Rojo

As the spring semester passes by on campus, students find themselves caught in the familiar frenzy of academic demands. With the stress of overdue papers comes the inevitable return of the all-nighters, often fueled by caffeine. 

Like breaking out of a writer’s block, students suddenly remember their secret “pick-me-up" hack — BoardPlus. BoardPlus is part of the undergraduate meal plan that adds $65 per semester to use at any Harvard Dining Services operated cafe or grille. And just like clockwork, as the end of the year approaches, students race to spend their untouched balance. However, instead of overwhelming the barista at Buckminster Cafe with last-minute orders every Reading Period, we can gradually savor the perks throughout the semester.  


Finding the ideal study spot on campus is similar to the art of brewing the perfect cup of coffee—a process that requires time, patience, and a keen eye for the right environment. Fortunately, Harvard offers a diverse range of locations that fits different study styles, and where students can spend their BoardPlus.  


Bold Cold Brew: Barker Cafe

 Much like the rich aroma of a meticulously crafted cold brew, Barker Cafe provides the perfect blend of dark academia and productivity. Nestled in the heart of the Barker Writing Center, this spot offers a unique atmosphere of tall windows and warm sunshine that resonates with the focused energy of students. With a menu that caters to all tastes, from artisanal pastries to handcrafted lattes, Barker Cafe is a haven for those seeking a bold and invigorating study session. Maybe this is where Taylor Swift went to write her upcoming album...  


Cozy Caffeine Corner: Cafe Gato Rojo

Admist the chaos of being centrally located in Harvard Yard, Cafe Gato Rojo is anything but riotous. The Cafe hides in the basement of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and its seemingly obscure location allows for the perfect place to people-watch as you ignore the to-do list. The wooden interior mixed with the aroma of freshly baked croissants is enough to fuel your imagination of being the main character in a coming-of-age story that watches the world pass by.  


Latte Lounge: Lamont Cafe

We have two groups of students on campus: The student that has never stepped foot in Lamont or the student who has made a fort out of a table in the second-floor study room, complete with a sleeping bag, toothbrush, and their ten-step skincare. With the return of LamCaf and its wide variety of handcrafted beverages, quick snacks, and bakery bites, it is possible this 24/7 library is the hangout spot of the semester. Complete with private rooms, Lamont Cafe is perfect for students who prefer a lively yet focused environment.   


The clock at the coffeeshop reads 3:00. Whether you are an expert all-nighter finding yourself at LamCaf at 3AM or people watcher at 3PM, each spot on campus has its own unique blend. As the essays and problem sets may pile up along with the empty coffee, matcha, or tea cups, we can always savor those bursts of productivity. 

The last day to use BoardPlus is the last day of finals. This year, it is May 11, 2024. Harvard College can use their BoardPlus at any HUDs-affiliated cafes, House grilles, or for guest-swipes. On campus, these locations include the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC) Cafe and Harvard Law School Cafe at the Caspersen Student Center. 

Trinh Class of '25

Hello everyone! I'm Trinh, a junior in Kirkland House, concentrating in neuroscience with a secondary in computer science, and a citation in Spanish.

Trinh Nguyen