Picture this: you rushed out the door this morning and a block away from your destination, you pat your pockets and realize you forgot your headphones. What do you do? Well, the answer is quite straightforward: find a spot that has some music playing for everyone. There’s something ideal about having background sounds to keep one company through the exasperating essays, the cluttered coffee chats, and the droll dinner discussions. Still, it has to be a mix of good tracks and various genres; heavy metal probably doesn’t sound like a great idea to most people. A few campus locations are particularly better than others at providing an optimal sonic atmosphere for the student populace. Here are three of them:

Starbucks Under Commons

The beauty of Stommons music is its balance; depending on the time of the day, the playlist changes up. Mornings and afternoons are filled with a combination of pop, soft rock, and electronic house. It’s a buoyant mix that provides a constant stream of adrenaline to the rise–and–grind folks and the suit–adorned job seekers meeting with recruiters. Later in the evening, there’s an audible switch to soulful hip hop and R&B, a welcome change that captures a more soothing nocturnal vibe for the late workers. You can’t go wrong any time of day.

Where: 3800 Locust Walk

What to get: Green tea and an egg sandwich

Go here if you’re in the mood for: Relaxing study noise to keep you company


The new hit restaurant on campus, &pizza isn’t just succeeding because of its diverse menu and delicious pizza—it’s also got an excellent song selection. Featuring a variety of electronic, psychedelic, pop, and hip hop tracks curated by its corporate headquarters, the fast food phenomenon takes its counter–culture brand to heart. With the speakers blasting as patrons devour the cheesy goods, it’s an electric ambiance that beckons you inside for a fun lunch or dinner with friends.

Where: 3925 Walnut St.

What to get: Build–your–own pizza

Go here if you’re in the mood for: A groovy playlist to nod your head to while discussing weekend plans with friends

The interior of the Penn &pizza location. Photo courtesy of &pizza via Derris.

Williams Café

With both mainstream and alternative playlists curated by the baristas themselves, Williams Café is the pinnacle among campus locations for discovering and enjoying good music. Regardless of whether you’re there to study, relax, or simply stop by and grab coffee, the café is certain to have plenty of jams playing. It might be an obscure rock song from the middle of the ‘80s or a brand–new banger from your favorite rapper, but it’s sure to be a track everyone will enjoy. William’s Café knows how to please the ears of visitors to its cozy corner.

Where: 255 S 36th St.

What to get: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee

Go here if you’re in the mood for: Music to get your mind running through the essay due tomorrow