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Best Art House Coffee Shop 

cafe (504)

This cozy Lake Merritt coffee shop boasts Ritual and Blue Bottle beans — not to mention engaging art and an unmistakable community vibe. You might have to fight for a spot in this quiet, postage-stamp hideaway, but parking is easy and the tables are expansive. The cafe offers new beans monthly. You'll have your pick of seasonal espresso blends, a slew of single-origin French-press options, or a mug of drip brewed just for you. The owner, who lives on an urban farm in Oakland, stresses high-quality natural ingredients. When you reach for dairy to pour into your brew, you'll find a petite glass bottle of Straus Family cream. Vegan coffee fiends will appreciate that soy milk incurs no extra cost. Prather Ranch meats and Veritable Vegetable veggies accompany fresh-baked goodies you won't easily resist. On one recent day, diners had their choice of mozzarella-olive quiche, or a roasted zucchini or pastrami-and-brie sandwich, to be washed down with Meyer-lemon-and-cinnamon soda. And, yes, free wi-fi seekers won't be disappointed. The shop sits just east of Lake Merritt, minutes from Highway 580, if you're not lucky enough to live nearby.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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