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.
Step inside cozy Cafeina and discover a sweet community atmosphere with a kids’ menu, flowers gracing the concrete counter, and 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.
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 her favorite local roasters, owner Kristen Nelson crafts espresso drinks with care, accommodating customers’ whims and needs. If you want some snacks to go with your coffee, check out the extensive selection of locally made baked goods, sandwiches, salads, and 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.
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, many fans may not know 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 coffeehouse has the usual pastries and food items to complement coffee or tea. There is ample space for groups, an outdoor patio, and free wi-fi. Also has off-street parking.
Located two blocks from the El Cerrito Community Center, Well Grounded is a family-owned cafe that sells coffee and bagel sandwiches, including a gluten-free option.
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 homemade desserts. No matter what time of day you opt to sit for a spell in the brick-walled Berkeley institution, the tables are sure to be dotted with people typing at laptops, thumbing through books, or just shooting the breeze.
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.
Located in Oakland’s Uptown district, Anfilo serves organic Ethiopian coffee, as well as authentic Ethiopian food with plenty of vegetarian options.
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 massive cafe features Bicycle Coffee (no espresso drinks), a small food menu, beer and wine, and plenty of tables and chairs, which has made it popular among the laptop crowd.