At Actual Cafe, it's all about sitting down and enjoying the coffeehouse experience. Get a cup of Joe (or tea) served in a real china cup, plop down, and just hang for a while. Actual Cafe boasts comfy furniture and communal seating to encourage actual interaction with actual human life-forms. It's "not just another wi-fi shack." Indoor bike parking and a full menu are also available. Weekends are laptop-free.
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.
A mellow environment and close proximity to the UC Berkeley campus make this quiet cafe a prime study spot for students. In the academic off-season you can play Scrabble or peruse books from the cafe's in-house library.
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.
Step inside cozy Cafeina and discover a sweet community atmosphere with a kids’ menu, flowers gracing the concrete counter, and amiable customers to greet you at indoor and outdoor tables. The welcoming staff serves a large variety of organic and fair trade coffee, tea, and espresso drinks as well as bulk coffee and tea. Fresh seasonal menu with real food and plenty of veggie options. Must try: bursting blueberry muffin, all-organic chicken salad sandwich, and several homemade soups, including a vegan option.
Despite their sheer numbers, cafes are never unpopular for Berkeleyites wanting to chat with friends over soy cappuccinos or pretending to write a research paper while engaging in some serious people watching. Apparently, Caffe Triestes location in Berkeleys "West Bank" is the perfect spot for such social anthropological study, as its situated at the corner of busy San Pablo Avenue and Dwight Way, and has the type of baristas who wonder why you havent shown up in the last few weeks. With tiny white lights strung from the ceiling and bottles of Pinot Grigio and Chianti on the counter, this cafes Euro vibe is accentuated with traditional Italian music rotating with Argentine tango every Monday night. If you love Italy but arent in love with Italy, Caffe Trieste also books varying live jazz acts every Tuesday, and a range of other live music on Friday nights.
Across the street from the Rockridge BART station and situated inside Market Hall, Highwire Coffee Roasters (formerly Peaberry's) serves as a regular morning destination for commuters as well as a hangout spot for those with the time to contemplatively sit and sip their caffeine. Don't fret the long lines, the baristas are friendly and quick. In addition to coffee, the shop serves up pastries, fancy chocolates, gelato, and affogato, an Italian dessert of espresso and vanilla gelato.
A landmark Oakland business, Peerless Coffee has been bringing fine coffee and tea to the Bay Area since 1924. While Peerless coffee is ubiquitous in countless local restaurants and hotels, what many fans may not know is that they can also get their fix straight from the source. Peerless' retail shop and espresso bar, located adjacent to its shipping plant near Jack London Square, offers bulk coffees and teas in addition to take-out and dine-in service.
This coffee house has the usual pastries and food items to complement any and all coffee or tea orders. There is ample space for groups. There is also an outdoor patio. Customers wishing to set up their laptops and connect to the Internet can do so using the free wi-fi. If you drive, there is a parking lot in addition to street parking.
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.
Tucked away behind the Bank Club is a horseshoe counter with stool seating. Sit down and either Wally or one of his friendly employees will greet you with a bowl of hot, spicy lentil soup. No, you didn't order it, nor did you order the baklava that will arrive with your bill. Tuck in, you're in good hands with this crew. Wally bills the fare as "Mediterranean & More," and that's an understatement.
A cozy, worker-owned cafe, offering Verve coffee, various pastries and teas, and community events.
This cafe is a diverse gathering place. There’s lots of conversation, and, because the wireless is unreliable, it isn’t a haven for laptop users. Besides consistently good coffee, Alem’s menu includes healthy breakfast and lunch offerings like Shiyan Phool, a dish made with fava beans, onion, and feta cheese that’s served with a slice of bread. It’s in a colorful little building across the street from the DMV. Cash only.