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A cozy, worker-owned cafe, offering Verve coffee, various pastries and teas, and community events.

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.

Beta Lounge

This sleek, loungey little wine/sake bar boasts an interesting menu of nigori cocktails, a dozen or so largely satisfying noshes, and an ambient conviviality that belies its proto-IKEA design scheme.

This airy, high-ceilinged campus hangout offers coffees, teas, Italian sodas, pastries and sandwiches — and, perhaps more important, plenty of outlets.

The birthplace of the caffe latte and a meeting place for everyone from academics to artist types, Caffe Med serves up a satiating mix of coffee drinks, teas, breakfast fare, sandwiches, and more.

Whether you're looking to socialize, study, or people-watch, Caffe Strada provides the venue (including a large outdoor patio) and the location (directly across the street from campus) to do it. Its cafe mochas aren't bad, either.

FIVE

Turns out, the Hotel at Shattuck Plaza has not only a rock-solid restaurant, but a bang-up — if slightly mannered — bar space as well. Drinks are well-made and undeniably thought-out — you'll be hard-pressed to find a cocktail here with fewer than five ingredients — but it's a pleasant place for an after-work or post-theater cocktail. Plus, there's live entertainment on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

This cafe, located in the heart of the UC Berkeley campus, gives students a place to study and interact with their peers. The space hosts various exhibits that fit in with the cafe's emphasis on political activism, sure to stimulate study-break conversation.

Henry's is an old-school hotel bar that's been remodeled and reinvented. While you can still sit at the bar and enjoy a reasonably stiff drink, you might be better off sitting down for a full meal, as Henry's offers a full-size and well-executed take on classic pub fare.

What doesn't this place do? Located beneath the venerable Jazzschool in downtown Berkeley's theater district, the Jazzcaffè, run by German-born proprietor Kristine Seinsch, is part cafe and part bar, and also offers catering and event production services. Each succeeds on its own merits. Originally intended to serve a quick bite to Jazzschool students and teachers, the cafe has grown into a gathering place for the local jazz scene, offering a simple yet sophisticated (and evolving) menu of breakfast, brunch, and lunch fare. The bar offers a range of wines, beers, and apertifs.

Enjoy tasty Mediterranean-style pizzas and a wide variety of house brews on tap in this Berkeley outpost’s beer garden, where live bands perform on a brick patio throughout the week. For no cover charge you get atmosphere -- heat lamps, foliage, lanterns, a huge brick fire pit -- and entertainment ranging from experimental laptop music to bluegrass and Americana. Inside, the restaurant is two stories, and there are tables large enough to accommodate groups.

Kip's used to be campus' most unabashedly skeezy bar, complete with neon-colored liquor, auspiciously sticky floors, and unfathomably cheap pitchers. Now, it's cleaned itself up a little and sells such delicacies as salads and imported beer along with those aforementioned $7.50 pitchers of PBR. We'll leave it up to you to decide whether this is an improvement. Either way: KARAOKE!

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