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.
Like an old-fashioned Eastern European bakery, Crixa Cakes has everything from chocolate-cherry mousse cake to Fatima’s Thighs. Also, all of Crixa's delectable delights are baked from scratch on-site. The cafe boasts an expansive coffee bar, which features various espresso-based beverages in addition to the standard-issue cup of Joe. Surf the 'net while you sip and chomp; they've got free wi-fi as well.
A cafe specializing in good food and good ingredients, locally sourced and organic whenever possible. All baked goods are made fresh daily, by Pastry Chef Tom Purtill.
Thanks to its location, this incarnation of the Espresso Roma chain transcends chain. Occupying the entire corner of Ashby and College avenues, the site is like a cafe village. In the main serving area, there are a plethora of copper-topped tables. A well-situated bar serves beers on tap and Salmon Creek wine. A separate room with free wi-fi provides a quiet workspace. The extensive menu includes many pizza and salad choices, hot and cold sandwiches, baked potatoes, pastries, desserts, and a wide a selection of Fair Trade coffee drinks. On the other hand, it must be said that sometimes the brusque service here falls just short of surly, and the coffee doesn’t garner rave reviews from customers. Still, this is an excellent place to meet a friend for lunch or to enjoy the prime view of passersby while lingering over the New York Times crossword puzzle.
This tea shop offers a wide variety of tea and related accessories. Far Leaves stocks single estate, loose leaf teas from around the world. The service is friendly and focuses on the rituals and traditions associated with tea. Far Leaves is a great place to sit, sip, and talk. No wi-fi.
For those who thrive in happy paradoxes, Jump’n Java is the ideal cafe. The space is cozy yet feels spacious, with large, light-welcoming windows. Small tables allow for anonymity, though at the same time, visitors must share a convivial seat on benches running the full-length of the walls. A tropical-island mural makes for a kind of vacation experience, even while most patrons settle in with free wi-fi and very good coffee for serious work. Nourishment in this oasis of contradiction includes empanadas, piroshkies, spinach feta pie, and Zoe’s sweet treats.
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.
Located in a roomy corner location between Elmwood and campus, it didn't take long for Sack's to become a veritable study hall for caffeine- and wi-fi-reliant college students. They come for the good coffee and tea, menu of bagel sandwiches, free wi-fi, and, most especially, a seat and table to sit. And sit. If it's midterm season, you may need luck grabbing one of your own.
After developing a cookie dough recepie for William Sonoma, the owner of Sweet Adeline worked as a pastry chef for Garibaldis On College before opening this bakery. The restaurant/bakery features tea cakes, ginger sticks, peppermint patties, and chocolate cream pie complement cheese quiches, challah, and more. The establishment has free wi-fi as well as an outdoor seating area.