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Best Low-Key, Under-the-Radar Cafe 

Room 389

So it turns out that one of Oakland's most low-key places to wind down with a cappuccino and a pastry is a Grand Avenue bar. For the past several months, Room 389 has transformed into a sleepy, quaint cafe during the mornings and afternoons. There's always chill music playing (often reggae), and because there aren't big crowds like there are at night, you can hang out wherever you want — on the nice front patio, at the bar, or even sprawled out on the couches in back. The cafe serves better-than-solid Roast Co. espresso drinks and Bicycle Coffee drip coffee, plus a small selection of Starter Bakery pastries that are priced lower — $3 across the board — than you'll find at a lot of places. At lunchtime, check out the killer grilled cheese sandwiches. There's even free wi-fi. (But don't tell the laptop drones: Once that cat's out of the bag, they might just ruin the place for the rest of us.)

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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