This hip, airy Temescal hangout serves fresh, often tasty and imaginative soups, salads, sandwiches and breakfast items. Rich, buttery chowder, spiky tamarind chicken salad, a meltingly tender pulled pork sandwich and exemplary triple chocolate chip cookies are among the menu's highlights.
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
Mo Joe Cafe is a comfy corner coffee outpost with free wi-fi, sandwiches and wraps in addition to a full menu of traditional coffeehouse beverages. There's plenty of space here, so if you want to spread out while you sip joe and read a book, update your blog or just people watch, Mo Joe Cafe should suit you just fine. Delicious baked goods to nibble on help maintain your blood sugar level while you finish that novel. The staff is friendly, and if you don't mind a kind of clean that reminds some patrons of a strip mall, then this will be your kind of place.
The South Berkeley coffee and sandwich shop is a welcome addition to a stretch of Telegraph Avenue with relatively few coffee options, and is no doubt a haven for hospital visitors (it's right around the corner from Alta Bates Hospital) who need to stretch their legs and indulge in something other than hospital cafeteria fare. The cafe serves paninis and subs, Semifreddi's breakfast pastries, gelato, and organic / fair trade coffee.
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
This fancy cafe and classical music store, located across the street from UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza, is one of the few venues in downtown Berkeley where you can eat scones and sip lattes while listening to live chamber music or cabaret.
This friendly little Mediterranean haunt is a favorite of Cal-campus north-siders. Grab a sandwich with a side of pasta and salad along with your espresso (or glass of wine) and take a seat on the bustling sidewalk for some people-watching, or squeeze into a table inside and get some reading done.
The Montclair Village shop serves organic coffee, pastries, and fresh sandwiches like egg salad and turkey.
Free wi-fi and ample seating (inside or on the shaded back patio) give this cafe an ample title. It's an easy spot to grab a coffee or espresso drink, or perhaps partake in a turkey slider, and settle in for some catch-up time with a friend.
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.
You can't really go wrong with a 24-hour cafe, can you? The East Oakland joint is just the sort of greasy spoon destination you crave when a long night turns to an early morning and your alcohol-lined stomach is crying out for a hot cup of coffee and a huge plate of breakfast food.
But for the regular singer-songwriter performances (scheduled Friday and Saturday from 7:30 to 9:30, with an additional Sunday brunch session), the predominant musical backdrop at this South Berkeley/North Oakland cafe is a cool mix of J Dilla, Wu-Tang, and old-school R&B — along with the whir of an espresso machine and the sound of a well-to-do collegiate clientele pecking on their new Apples. Located a couple blocks from Ashby BART, Nomad provides the soy-latte crowd a place to discuss their recent trips to Guatemala or whatever was featured in the most recent issue of Harpers, and take advantage of the joint's free wi-fi. In addition to the espresso menu, Nomad serves sandwiches, vegan beer, and smoothies.
The Numi Tea Garden is not a garden but a tranquil tearoom in East Oakland’s warehouse district. Customers seek and find sanctuary here, a Zen haven where skylights, gently gurgling fountains, and graceful plants are integral to the aesthetics of steeping and pouring fragrant tea. The colors, textures, and scent of teas inspire visitors to return and sample different varieties, though given the selection, it might take years to try all of them. Most teas are organic, as are the menu items, which include a nice array of savory and sweet snacks, such as green tea pumpkin seeds, nut and dried fruit plates, French and Italian cheese plates, pizza, and chocolate scones. Frugal guests who expect to enjoy their pot of tea for same price as a Lipton may complain but will no doubt recover their equanimity after loading up on the free samples of Numi tea. Free wi-fi. A fine place to read in peace.
This small family-owned coffee shop is situated on the edge of the ritzy Broadway Plaza shopping center in downtown Walnut Creek. With its mosaic-tiled bar and in-house roaster (the cafe roasts its own beans daily), Pacific Bay Coffee Co. has a cool, laid-back vibe that entices patrons to enjoy organic coffee while cozying up to a good book or surfing the Web (it also offers free wireless Internet). There's also free parking and a small outside patio.