Best of: Old Towne Plaza’s most “Instagram worthy” location

Contra’s bookshelf can be found in many Chapman students’ Instagram photos of coffee. Photos by Kali Hoffman

Whether we like it or not, social media is a huge part of our lives. Different social media platforms are used for different interactions; Twitter for memes, Instagram for cute pictures and Facebook for parents to share articles they find extremely important.

Whenever we post on Instagram most of us try to get “the” picture, whether that means doing makeup, wearing a cute outfit, doing a fun activity, having good lighting, or shooting in front of a nice background. There are many locations for an “Insta-perfect picture” in Orange County, whether it’s a photoshoot at Laguna Beach, the teacups at Disneyland or the Anaheim Packing House, but the best location for Instagram photos that trumps the others is Contra Coffee & Tea. Hear me out.

First, Contra is located near the Old Towne Plaza, which makes it very accessible to Chapman students. It’s a walkable distance from the dorms, The K and the main campus. For those that live near campus and don’t have a car to go to Laguna for their cute pictures, they can make their way to Contra on foot.

Contra is a popular hangout and study spot for Chapman students and serves coffee and tea.

Contra’s vibe is also gender neutral; when you walk in, you can find white chairs, tables and a wooden bookshelf with many books titles ranging from nonfiction to graphic novels. The coffee shop also has a very modern and aesthetically pleasing look, especially compared to traditional coffee shops. The wall of books is filled with a variety of colors and covers, which makes for the perfect photoshoot opportunity.

Contra fulfills both inside and outdoor photoshoots. There is seating inside which can lend itself to a cute study session shoot. The glass windows have “Contra” and “1888 Center” written in white which provides a more outdoorsy city look with natural lighting.

Not only does Contra provide a great photo opportunity, it also has great “props.” What says studying for finals like a picture with Contra’s strong brewed coffee? What says studious student more than posing with a book from the bookshelf? What says “I care about the cows,” more than the fact that Contra’s coffee is made with rice milk? Or what says save the turtles more than Contra’s strawless lid?

Contra has gained popularity with Chapman students because of the drinks, but also because of its ambiance.

“I like taking pictures of my drink in front of the bookshelf,” said Mary Rapmund, a junior biology major. “I love how they have the books arranged and it adds such a homey feel to the shop, which is a nice contrast and juxtaposition with the modern feel of the place.”