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Is your place to try out exotic and international beers, whether you’re looking for that brew you haven’t seen since El Salvador or are just bored with the selection at your local store.

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.

Home of Q’s Lounge and Dotha’s Juke Joint, this Jack London Square institution (located on the corner of Broadway and 2nd) showcases a variety of neo-soul, hip-hop, and blues acts, along with Monday Night Football (featuring video game tournaments and occasional guest appearances by the Raiderette Nation), live KSFO broadcasts recapping Raiders home games, barbecue, beer, and dinner buffets on the cheap. Birdlegg and the Tight Fit Blues Band perform every Saturday night at 9 p.m.; local and touring acts perform Friday nights at 8:30 p.m.

Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island is a tiki bar at its best, offering everything it takes to capture that elusive blend of island kitsch, pure spectacle, and festive mood: a nautical wood interior, gaudy cocktails, a jukebox crammed with vintage Martin Denny and Frankie Laine tunes, and a tropical lanai for outdoor guzzling. It’s apparently the only tiki bar in America that makes fresh fruit juice in-house every day, and there are appetizers of the deep-fried variety. Entertainment includes live surf-rock bands and dance parties with DJs.

Duende

This ritzy Spanish restaurant from former Oliveto chef Paul Canales is nothing if not ambitious: a 4,000-square-foot multi-use space that includes a high-end coffee shop, a wine and olive-oil retailer, an art gallery, and a performance venue for experimental jazz.

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