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Best Waffles: The perfect vehicles for butter and syrup 

Guerilla Cafe

Part shrine to vintage Afro-activist chic, part California cuisine lunch counter, this little cafe brings a double shot of fierce to Berkeley's grayed, terminally upscale Gourmet Ghetto. Panini, salads, and poached-egg dishes are all tasty, but it's the daily-changing fruit-topped waffle that expresses the soul of this place like the funky beats rocking this narrow storefront, plastered with art by co-owner Keba Konte. Vintage commercial irons yield waffles with thick edges and delicately crusty cells. The Guerilla Classic mingles the scents of cinnamon and buttermilk under a soft trickle of housemade creme fraiche. Keep coming back till you hit the spiced yam: It's moist, flecked with orange fibers, and has the warm, spicy glow of sweet-potato pie. The maple syrup is as real as the vibe, and so is the coffee. It's from Oakland roaster Blue Bottle — the Three Africans blend sets up a flawless macchiato.

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

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