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Despite their sheer numbers, cafes are never unpopular for Berkeleyites wanting to chat with friends over soy cappuccinos or pretending to write a research paper while engaging in some serious people-watching. Apparently, Caffe Trieste’s location in Berkeley’s "West Bank" is the perfect spot for such social anthropological study, as it’s situated at the corner of busy San Pablo Avenue and Dwight Way, and has the type of baristas who wonder why you haven’t shown up in the last few weeks. With tiny white lights strung from the ceiling and bottles of Pinot Grigio and Chianti on the counter, this cafe’s Euro vibe is accentuated with traditional Italian music rotating with Argentine tango every Monday night. If you love Italy but aren’t in love with Italy, Caffe Trieste also books varying live jazz acts every Tuesday, and a range of other live music on Friday nights.

Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-10 p.m.

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