Coffee, books and peace: quiet hangouts in MHK

Meredith Comas, Opinions Editor

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Manhattan provides many opportunities to be social in our community, whether going to Halloween Zumba parties, ice skating or even going Little Apple Glow Paddling. However, for those quiet folks who simply want a place to immerse one’s self in a book, get in some quality writing time with nature or just watch the rain fall while sipping on a hot cup of coffee/tea, the Little Apple has a little, quiet place just for you.


We all love it. Some of us need it. Manhattan is no stranger to the coffee business, each local brewer offering their own unique, quiet place to enjoy a little “peace” of Manhattan.

  • You may have noticed students walking around the halls of Manhattan High with cups that say Radina’s on them, enjoying a got cup of locally brewed coffee. Radina’s is one of many coffeehouses here in Manhattan, with four locations throughout the city including Aggieville, Kansas State University campus, downtown Manhattan and Claflin Road. The atmosphere of the coffeehouse is not only the perfect place to get together with friends or host a study group, but also a good place to simply enjoy Manhattan’s local community. Professors and students often can be seen studying, writing, or simply enjoying the mood Radina’s provides. The jazz music that frequents the air along with the smell of fresh roasted coffee beans is sure to make your rainy, lazy Sunday a peaceful one.
  • The Bluestem Bistro is also another favorite among Manhattan students, college and high school alike. The Bistro, however, offers more than just coffee and bakery. While they do offer those breakfast (or all day) favorites, The Bistro also provides a lunch menu, with soups, salads, sandwiches and more. If you are looking for a place to have a good time with friends over the weekend or enjoy some contemporary and “oldies” jams while enjoying a good book or writing an essay, The Bistro, with its retro vibes and 4.6 star rating is for you.
  • Some smaller, less known coffee houses in Manhattan include Sparrow Specialty Coffee and Paramour Coffee. Sparrow, located on South 4th Street, offers a more religious take on a favorite drink. Their goal, according to their website: “To connect people with the love of Christ,” through community. If you are looking for a welcoming place to enjoy coffee, Sparrow is your place. Paramour Coffee, a newbie to the Manhattan coffee business, has only recently expanded to a second location in Clocktower Plaza. Previously, they were only located in Wamego, KS. Offering a passion for coffee at a price everyone can afford, Paramour is the place for a broke high school student.


While the beloved Dusty Bookshelf in Aggieville, one of the most popular bookstores with a 4.5 star Google rating, burned down last March, there are still places to make sure you can find affordable books in a quiet place, locally.

  • Some almost unknown, small little bookshelves-in-the-wall are Rockwood Books and Collectables, and Claflin Books and Copies. Claflin is a locally owned bookstore that hand-selects their books, rather than stocking with a company, offering readers a more intimate way to find their next reading adventure. Rockwood, offering a friendly staff, great classic literature and a killer comic book section is the perfect place for bookworms to sit around and waste time looking at books or find your next read.
  • The Manhattan Public Library is also a wonderful place for those who are broke book-lovers or just want a quiet place to read or find a new book to take home. Offering almost any kind of music, book genre, or print and online media, the library is surely a place any reader in need of some new material and a quiet space would want to “check out.”

Quiet Places in Nature

For those who simply enjoy nature and places to reflect, The Little Apple has something for you too.

  • City Park in the fall offers some breathtaking scenery. Whether sitting on a bench reading a book, sipping coffee, or simply taking a stroll, the vast fall colors on a crisp Autumn morning is sure to give any thinker the perfect place to sit and talk with one’s thoughts.
  • The Rose garden, a main attraction in City Park, is a wonderful place to go do art, write poetry, or simply think among the beauty of colorful flowers. Part of a 1940s beautification project, the garden still is widely popular today, even occasionally hosting weddings.
  • The Konza and Linear trails are also perfect for reflecting in nature. Offering a look at Manhattan, these are some of the perfect places to capture nature in its true essence, or simply sit and write surrounded by earth.

The Little Apple, much like the Big Apple, at times can get a bit noisy and busy. Like all people, we need some time to ourselves, to reflect and immerse ourselves in the pure bliss that peace and quiet can be. Manhattan, while truly involved with it’s community, offers these quiet places to help the introvert in all of us. So sit back, enjoy the peaceful rainfall and take a bite from The Little Apple.

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