So, here we are again (for the third time) delivering a hot crop of coffee houses that you need to peep. If you’ve ever been strolling around the East Bay terrain in search of a place to plant it and sip a steamy cup of joe — you're welcome. From ultra-sleek cafe setups to cutesy mom-and-pop places, this is the only East Bay guide you need to appease your caffeine craving.
Strolling into this sun-soaked coffee spot sort of reminds us of Cheers — everyone knows your name. Okay, that may be a stretch, but it definitely has a unique, neighborhood-centric ambiance. And if you’re a bike enthusiast, you’re in for a treat. Not only does it boast indoor racks, but it offers cool, cycle-friendly activities like “bike bingo.” Oh, and if you’re feeling artsy while you sip your java, mosey around — there are plenty of pieces by Oakland-based artists on the walls.
Actual Cafe, 6334 San Pablo Avenue (between 63rd and 64th streets), Oakland; 510-653-8386.
Guerilla Cafe is an earthy café nestled in the heart of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. Pouring Blue Bottle Coffee and boasting a wide range of preparations (from European to Latin American), this spot oozes the worldly vibe that coffee enthusiasts crave. Its noms are nothing to sneeze at either — fresh, healthy ingredients, and a clear view of the kitchen means great food in a warm and cozy environment, marked by a stunning bright-blue mural.
Guerilla Cafe, 1620 Shattuck Avenue (between Lincoln and Cedar streets), Berkeley; 510-845-2233.
This gem of a java house is on our roasting roster for a good reason. The cafe soundtrack and the cups of coffee keep us captivated and coming back for more. Aside from those two elements, this space is homey (ample board games), light-filled, and… open until midnight? When does that ever happen in the Bay? In case you aren’t convinced, it also has cutesy old-school desks, a wine bar, and art galore. Check you there!
Awaken Cafe, 1429 Broadway (between Telegraph Avenue and 15th Street), Oakland; 510-863-1440.
Photos: (Left to right) Guerilla Cafe, Actual Cafe, and Awaken by Christine Ting
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