This Chinatown breakfast and lunch counter serves “organic bicycle-pedaled roasted coffee” and Sri Lankan homemade Chai tea. There’s also an array of tropical smoothies, and a lunch menu full of Caribbean and Sri Lankan flavors that rotates daily and often sells out. (You can order a day in advance.) The muffins and breads all come from Semifreddi’s bakery. Prices are very reasonable, seating is limited, and catering options are available.
This family-owned downtown Oakland cafe and bakery offers a fresh and impressively well-stocked menu for all your breakfast, lunch, and snack-time needs. Bagels and croissants join cold and hot sandwiches, soups, wraps, and salads. Don't miss the fresh-baked cookies, muffins, and scones. Plenty of thirst-quenchers and pick-me-ups are also on hand -- including, of course, an extensive coffee bar. Online ordering is available, and regulars might just find themselves being treated like family.
Award-winning espresso bar, tea house, bar, restaurant, music venue, and gallery.
This vegan and vegetarian cafe serves coffee, sandwiches, soups, sides, and sweets. The coffee is organic, and the faux turkey bacon sandwich is a crowd-pleaser. Breakroom is open for breakfast and lunch, prices are reasonable, and there's free wi-fi. The walls are hung with local artists’ work, and there's live music from time to time.
This adorable cafe has a warm, cozy vibe and features great art, occasional live music, and the namesake brown couch. Besides coffee, the menu includes wraps, sandwiches, and salads in the $5 to $9 range. Laptop users are welcome — there's free wi-fi and ample outlets. There's plenty of seating inside as well as two small sidewalk tables for outdoor seating.
The Bulldog Coffee Shop borrows its name and image from a popular Amsterdam chain of shops selling something other than coffee. Bulldog is not a dispensary, but it is owned by Oaksterdam’s Richard Lee. Come here for the tea, coffee, and friendly faces. No wireless.
This friendly downtown stopover features an array of local delights: Blue Bottle coffee, pastries from SF/Oakland/Emeryville bakery Arizmendi, vegan doughnuts from West Oakland's People's Bakery and dairy products from Sonoma-based Clover Stornetta. Gabriela's lunch options vary, but a beloved menu item is the popular pulled pork adobo sandwich, which puts a tasty spin on a traditional Filipino dish. Space is limited, but the counter seats face the window and are great for people-watching.
Located along a quiet stretch of Washington Street in downtown Oakland, Caffe 817 — under the new ownership of Scott and Emily Goldenberg — offers a European cafe experience with meals worth the relatively high prices. Loyal customers come back for the delicious Italian flourishes in breakfast and lunch offerings, with daily specials that appeal to the palette, the eye, and, when read aloud, to the ear — “Roasted pork shoulder sandwich with arugula and aioli.” The service, though sometimes slow, is solicitous, and the baristas make impressive coffee art, as worthy of display as the latest art show on the walls. On a sunny day, sidewalk seating under umbrellas perfects the experience. Bottled beer and wine selections vary with the season.
The outdoor entrance to this small cafe is like the entrance to a knock-knock club, hard to find and not inviting. Keep faith as you enter and proceed into the dimness, rounding a corner to emerge in a small, lamp-lit space with the cafe counter to your left. Now take two steps forward and look to the right. The view astonishes. Mammoth columns reach to the sky inside the Oakland Rotunda building. As if in counterpoint to the sublimity, the cafe serves simple, reasonably priced fare — toasted bagel with an egg option, standard pastries, and a standard selection of espresso drinks, four types of pre-made salad, daily soup, and sandwiches such as turkey and roast beef. Free wi-fi and a comfortable couch, with several issues of Oprah and House Beautiful neatly arrayed on the coffee table.
Located in the business district of downtown Oakland, this is a serviceable cafe for a bite on the run or a pleasant lunch break in the courtyard outside. If you have a sweet tooth, the earth tones that predominate in the decor are likely to bring chocolate to mind and trigger sugar cravings, which you can satisfy with a slice of rich, frosting-laden cake, pastry, or a sugar-bomb cereal such as Fruit Loops and Coco Puffs. There’s also a decent salad bar to offset the guilt of indulgence, as well as pre-packaged wraps and salads. The fair trade and organic-certified coffee is roasted locally by the McLaughlin Coffee Company in Emeryville.
Yes, it’s a coffee chain, as clearly broadcast by the ubiquitous franchise logo, plastic bubble cup tops, and obligatory seasonal latté promotion (fall is pumpkin, ’natch). But the owner of this outlet has done good by Oakland, bringing you the warmth of servers who remember your name; the great taste of treats from It’s All Good Bakery; and the groove of local jazz performers that pack the house Wednesday nights, starting at 7 p.m. Coffee by the cup is self-serve, with some organic choices, and espresso drinks feature decadent treats such as Triple Chocolate Mocha. Free wi-fi with no log-in necessary.
Located in the historic Tribune Tower in downtown Oakland, Modern Coffee is Oakland’s first coffee taproom. Offering a continuous rotation of the best artisan coffees from their favorite local roasters, owners Kristen & Robert craft espresso drinks with care, accommodating customers’ whims and needs. If you want some snacks to go with your coffee, check out their extensive selection of locally made baked goods, sandwiches, salads, quiche. Tea-lovers won't feel left out either, with plenty of varieties to choose from. Free Internet and a couch area in back, but no restroom