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Jul 2, 2008 08:07 AM

Best Coffee Shop in Oakland/Berkeley?

Hello Fellow Chowhounds,
I am moving from Ithaca, NY where we have Gimme! Coffee, the best coffee and baristas I have ever encountered. I am bringing 10 lbs with me for home use but, frankly, I get a lot of work done in my neighborhood coffee shop and it reduces my stress to relax and people watch while drinking a perfectly prepared latte, americano or whatever strikes my fancy that day - it's a question of mental health (and neurocognitive enhancement).
I arrive next week - where should I begin the search for my new coffee shop?
Thank you for your help, Christine

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  1. My husband loves all the Peet's. When he travels, he carries Peet's with him. He likes the Fourth St one in Berkeley, and the Montclair Peet's.

    1. I'm a Peet's drinker too, but most Peet's branches aren't great places to hang out. The one on Fourth Street is only when the weather's nice for sitting outside.

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

      Village Grounds
      1797 Shattuck Ave Ste A, Berkeley, CA 94709

      Guerilla Cafe
      1620 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

      Caffe Trieste
      2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

      2 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        FYI, Village Grounds is closed. A new cafe just opened in its location (fall 2011).

        Village Grounds
        1797 Shattuck Ave Ste A, Berkeley, CA 94709

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I would find it hard to work in Guerilla as it is a restaurant, too, with no division/secluded areas. Noisy.

        2. It's not difficult to find a coffee shop in the Bay Area; it's finding one that you like, and feel comfortable in that will be the challenge...

          For what you want, you might try Gaylord's [Piedmont Avenue, Oakland]...I like their barristas, and see that there are copious numbers of WiFi Warriors there at all hours...

          There are a lot of Peets Coffee places around; and while they are good hang-outs, not all of them seem conducive to working...there's a relatively new one in the Dimond District [Fruitvale, btwn MacArthur and Montana] that looks pretty welcoming--bonus: it's just a couple of doors down from La Farine bakery...

          Fianlly, there couldn't be more than about 200 or 300 cafes near the campus in Berkeley, so you can always do a caffeine tour of the area, and find something suitable...

          I'll leave it to others to tell you about Solano Avenue and environs...

          1 Reply
          1. re: Rapini

            I think that's about it. No shortage but tastes vary widely. Add in purpose and you have another layer. Some places I hang at, I might not meet someone for business, or a fun place might not be a place to read or pull out the laptop. Gee, there's some places I don't go to depending on the time of day...sun in your eye or too busy, etc.

          2. I'm a big fan of Cafe Mokka on Telegraph a few blocks south of Ashby. They are the only east bay coffee shop I've found that makes cappuccino the way I like (wet with no foam). The space is pleasant but the people watching is unfortunately not the best there. Cole Coffee is very good for their drip coffee and sometimes the espresso drinks are excellent. Seating is limited but if you get a seat outside, it is great for people watching on College Ave.

            1. Caffe Trieste and Cafe Leila in North Berkeley are both quite delicious; Leila has comfortable couches and a lovely garden patio, and Trieste has a good crowd all day long and really awesome drip (chemex) coffee as well as espresso drinks.
              If you want good coffee beans, my favorite store is in the city - the Castro Cheesery.
              Where in Ithaca are you from?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Lydia56

                Triese and Leila are both on San Palblo = West Berkeley.

                Cafe Leila
                1724 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702