A cozy, worker-owned cafe, offering Verve coffee, various pastries and teas, and community events.
Ahh... Au Coquelet, the welcoming Berkeley cafe where you can get a cup of coffee at the crack of dawn and come back after midnight for another cup with an Irish kick, indulge in a fresh fruit torte or any of the spot's homemade desserts. No matter what time of day you opt to sit for a spell in the brick-walled Berkeley institution, there tables are sure to be dotted with people typing at laptops, thumbing through books, or just shooting the breeze.
This sleek, loungey little wine/sake bar boasts an interesting menu of nigori cocktails, a dozen or so largely satisfying noshes, and an ambient conviviality that belies its proto-IKEA design scheme.
Turns out, the Hotel at Shattuck Plaza has not only a rock-solid restaurant, but a bang-up — if slightly mannered — bar space as well. Drinks are well-made and undeniably thought-out — you'll be hard-pressed to find a cocktail here with fewer than five ingredients — but it's a pleasant place for an after-work or post-theater cocktail.
This cafe, located in the heart of the UC Berkeley campus, gives students a place to study and interact with their peers. The space hosts various exhibits that fit in with the cafe's emphasis on political activism, sure to stimulate and study break conversation.
Henry's is an old-school hotel bar that's been newly remodeled and reinvented. While you can still sit at the bar and enjoy a reasonably stiff drink, you might be better off sitting down for a full meal, as Henry's now offers a full size and well-executed take on classic pub fare.
What doesn't this place do? Located beneath the venerable Jazzschool in downtown Berkeley's theater district, the Jazzcaffè, run by German-born proprietor Kristine Seinsch, is part cafe and part bar, and also offers catering and event production services. Each succeeds on its own merits. Originally intended to serve a quick bite to Jazzschool students and teachers, the cafe has grown into a gathering place for the local jazz scene, offering a simple yet sophisticated (and evolving) menu of breakfast, brunch, and lunch fare. The bar offers a range of specially chosen wines, beers, and apertifs.
Enjoy tasty Mediterranean-style pizzas and a wide variety of house brews on tap in this Berkeley outpost’s beer garden, where live bands perform on a brick patio throughout the week. For no cover charge you get atmosphere -- heat lamps, foliage, lanterns, a huge brick fire pit -- and entertainment ranging from experimental laptop music to bluegrass and Americana. Inside, the restaurant is two stories, and there are tables large enough to accommodate groups.
Perhaps most notable for the fact that it's located inside the Shattuck Cinemas movie theater, this bar/restaurant offers a full bar, a comfortable atmosphere, and surprisingly delicious food.
Nobody would ever describe Muckrakers as “bustling,” though it’s located a few blocks above the bustling Whole Foods store on Telegraph at Ashby. A low-key, unassuming place, Muckrakers nurtures community in its style. Hospital workers, students, and yoga practitioners come here for the substantial salads and Middle Eastern lunch menu items. The many tables in the front and back room allow for long stretches of quiet work time with free WiFi. You can also relax into a substantial leather chair, rest your coffee drink on the side table, and watch people test drive used bicycles at Karem Cycle, across the street. Kudos to the owners of the café for inviting the PTA and other neighborhood groups to meet in the back room free of charge
Located a few blocks away from Berkeley City College, the coffee shop emits a European vibe with large, open windows in the front and a large mural inside with a bicycle serving as its focal point. The shop serves fair trade organic coffee, hot sandwiches, salads, and hosts an ever-changing selection of art on its pale green walls.
Amy Murray’s bustling downtown venue celebrates the Bay Area’s bounty of fresh, organic foodstuffs with flair and a sense of fun. Fig and marrow flatbread, creamy pork rillettes with lemon chutney, handmade pasta with pea tendrils and trumpet mushrooms, and a mixed pig plate of sausage, tenderloin, shoulder, and belly are among the standouts.