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Oct 31, 2007 01:47 AM

East Bay Coffee/Tea places with Ambiance?

Looking for a good place to go that's cute/quirky/funky, has not too bright lighting (on the dimmer side), ideally opened past 9pm. Can also be a cafe where one can get just coffee/tea and not be bothered.

bonus points for quality tea selection and couches/comfy chairs (hard to find around here!)

Tell me your favorites! Thanks.

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  1. Where in the East Bay?

    I enjoyed sitting both inside and on the patio at Julie's Tearoom in Alameda. It's good without being precious.

    I seem to remember a cafe with giant chairs on College on the Elmwood/Rockridge border, opposite the Safeway.

    Julie's Coffee & Tea Garden
    1223 Park St, Alameda, CA

    4 Replies
    1. re: Windy

      Are you talking about "A Cuppa Tea"? I wasn't thrilled with the chai I had there (way too sweet) and their chairs aren't very comfy. An otherwise nice coffee place.

      1. re: chemchef

        I don't think that's it--I thought it had a woman's name.

        Commercial chai is a horrid invention, much worse than instant coffee (and I grew up happily drinking diet instant iced tea). Samovar is about the only place that's worth ordering chai, aside from an Indian or Pakistani restaurant.

        1. re: Windy

          Oh, ok. Then its the one on the next corner down. I can't remember the name of that one. I've never been to it since its always PACKED! Its probably good then.

          I agree about chai. I've never been to Samovar, but aside from making my own at home (which I do only occassionally), I like the one at the Berkeley Farmer's Market (made at the Indian food booth), and if I have to get one while I'm out, I think Peet's is ok. At least its not sickly sweet.

        2. re: chemchef

          Or maybe Cole Coffee? They have a sofa inside the store and a couple of tables and chairs outside.

          Cole Coffee - retail store
          307 63rd St, Oakland, CA 94618

      2. The Pub on Solano has chairs and sofas (though you may end up with fleas), it's open late and can be a good place to talk, unless other people are talking loudly. I like to go there during the day to read or write because there are no kids, no strollers. Since it's in an old house, you can usually find a quiet corner. No food, except chips, though they often don't mind if you bring something in.

        1. World Ground. In the Laurel in Oakland

          1. I was at Crixa Cakes across from the berkeley bowl two weeks ago. I think it fits your bill - perhaps not in regards to late opening.

            Cool eastern-euro bent to pastries, ambiance.

            1. wow, this is a challenging question. i'd second a cuppa tea on college, cause it's open late and is pretty chill. cole coffee isn't a late nite spot, but their couch is nice during the day. the pub on solano is a gem. there's a place on park in oakland, near the parkway, called the artist's cafe. it's open til 11, i think, is chill and sometimes has live music, which may bother you. downtown oakland there's the breakroom, at 13th and harrison, which just opened, and fits your description exactly, except for they close at 7pm. we need some good late night coffee spots in the east bay!!