Cloud Nine Market's Coffee Shop is the ideal spot to rest your feet and refuel while shopping in the Vista. Savor a cappuccino or latte, nibble on a muffin or a slice of cake (or share a big cookie), but then be sure to hit the aisles. This place is a browser's heaven, with a great assortment of gourmet foods, coffees, bath products, and home accessories. If you need to find the perfect gift or want to splurge on a little something for yourself, you can find it here.

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Two of life's finer pleasures – chocolate and books – combined in one marvelous little shop. Stop by in the morning for a hot cup of coffee and a blueberry muffin or cinnamon roll. Late in the day, you can enjoy a fine gourmet chocolate, slice of pound cake or fresh-baked cookie. Don't neglect the books – the selection may be limited, but it's high-quality and fun to browse through.

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University Of South Carolina

Regularly cited as Columbia's coolest coffeehouse, Cool Beans has everything you're looking for. The food is satisfying, the coffee is great (try the "Perfect Woman" – it's a mocha-type concoction with whipped cream and a chocolate disc on top), the WiFi is free and the clientele is eclectic. Plus, they stay open until midnight, making it a decent place to hang out if the bar scene isn't your style.

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University Of South Carolina

At lunch, the lines at Immaculate Consumption are a little daunting, but there's a good reason for that. The food is exceptionally good, well above coffeehouse standards. It's nothing fancy – salads, sandwiches – but it's well prepared, fresh and unusual, and the baked goods are downright wonderful. And don't forget the fantastic coffee. If it's hot outside (and in Columbia there's a good chance of that!), opt for a frozen mocha. Divine.

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