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Bars, Clubs & Coffeehouses: Coffeehouses
The Mixing Bowl

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 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.

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.

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.

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 and fair trade coffee.

A low-key, unassuming place, Mudrakers 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 wi-fi. You can also relax into a substantial leather chair and watch people test-drive used bicycles at Karem Cycle, across the street. Occasionally, PTA and other neighborhood groups meet in the back room.

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.

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.

Located a couple blocks from Ashby BART, Nomad provides the soy-latte crowd a place to discuss their recent trips to Guatemala and work on their laptops, thanks to free wi-fi. In addition to the espresso menu, Nomad serves sandwiches, beer, and smoothies.

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.

Downtown Livermore has come a long way from its days as a dusty, Podunk town. Today, First Street is part elegant, part small-town USA, with lit-up, cascading waterfalls and American-flag-waving bars. Located in the middle is this chain coffee shop, which, at least on weekends, has an enormously popular following. Everyone from twentysomethings to Hot-Topic-clad teenagers flock to this cafe for its large outdoor seating area and prime people-watching location. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, young singer-songwriters play for free to a small, usually parental-aged audience, who feel close enough to discuss things like favorite bands between songs. With hyperactive youngsters downing too much caffeine at the espresso bar, Panama Bay Coffee isn't short on cultural stimulation.

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.

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