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Bars, Clubs & Coffeehouses: Coffeehouses

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.

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.

Arlington Cafe sets its sights on being Kensington's comfortable neighborhood gathering spot. Food and drinks include only local, organic, and sustainable ingredients and are prepared on-site by the cafe's owners. Breakfast, lunch, dinner (Wednesday through Saturday), and catering available. Live music on Friday nights.

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.

At Asha Tea House, the bubble teas are brewed with loose leaves, the boba is cooked fresh at least twice a day, and each drink is mixed and shaken by hand, not by a machine. Factor in the sleek, modern decor and the well-curated selection of snacks, and you've got yourself a boba shop that's a cut above the rest.

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.

Tucked beside Interstate 880, Autobahn Café is a friendly, family-run coffee shop. Besides cups of strong brew and fresh-squeezed juice, Autobahn offers a small menu of sandwiches and salads. The owners make sustainable and delicious food their priority. There’s free wi-fi and a small patio with outdoor seating.

This award-winning cafe, tea house, bar, restaurant, venue, and gallery is one of Uptown's most happening spots.

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