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looking for hip cafe for morning coffee in Oakland

araminta2 Aug 23, 2011 05:54 PM

A 20-something yr old relative is coming to visit, and wants to have coffee in Oakland before we head off to lunch with a lot of folks. I'm thinking something Oaklandish, not upscale. Perhaps downtown Oakland? Perhaps Temescal? Perhaps the produce district?

parking on the st is a plus. (meters ok)

I haven't been to REmedy. What's that like? Is Lukas open to having people just sit and have coffee?

  1. d
    donbonus Aug 23, 2011 06:29 PM

    Boot and Shoe on Grand...

    1. d
      dordogne Aug 23, 2011 06:56 PM

      Pizzaiolo at Telegraph just south of 51st. Opens at 8, great coffee and pastries (or levain toast with excellent preserves), wooden booths, lots of street parking (meters on Telegraph, unmetered spaces on 51st and on adjacent streets).

      5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

      1. r
        rubadubgdub Aug 23, 2011 07:04 PM

        remedy is perfect for your needs!

        1. a
          abstractpoet Aug 23, 2011 08:09 PM

          I think Remedy has by far the best coffee (both drip and espresso) of the bunch that people have mentioned -- pretty small space, definite hipster vibe (which can be a plus or a minus). Good scones! If your relative is super into coffee, this is probably the best bet. I like it.

          Pizzaiolo would be a good choice if you want a quiet place to converse. It's a restaurant that serves coffee and donuts in the mornings, not a cafe. The couple times I've been there in the morning there haven't been too many people around. It's not an especially happening place during the day. But the coffee and pastries are pretty good.

          Boot and Shoe is a good choice if it's a nice day out and you want to snag an outside table. Inside, you're sitting on stools at a narrow counter facing a brick wall. The coffee (Sightglass) isn't bad, but there are only two drip options (a standard blend and one single-origin option -- as opposed to Remedy, which will have at least three or four choices), if that's something that matters to you.

          Nothing really noteworthy downtown, coffee-wise. There's Awaken Cafe (which I guess has switched over to serving Four Barrel coffee), but they're just a cart right now while they set up their new space.

          If Berkeley is an option, Local 123 is still my favorite spot.

          5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

          Remedy Coffee
          4316 Telegraph Avenue, Oakland, CA

          Local 123
          2049 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

          Boot and Shoe Service
          3308 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

          5 Replies
          1. re: abstractpoet
            happenstance Aug 23, 2011 09:32 PM

            And Don't forget about Kitchen 388 on Grand as well. They open at 8 and have four barrel coffee and those homemade (to die for) pop tarts.

            Kitchen 388
            388 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA

            1. re: happenstance
              abstractpoet Aug 23, 2011 10:02 PM

              I love Kitchen 388 and those pop tarts specifically, but it's definitely not a "hip" place (which is part of its charm). Also, no espresso drinks, if that's important to you.

              Kitchen 388
              388 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA

              1. re: abstractpoet
                escargot3 Aug 23, 2011 10:47 PM

                actually not "trying" to be hip sounds like a breath of fresh air. that's why i like lukas.

                i'll have to check out Kitchen 388

            2. re: abstractpoet
              chompy Aug 23, 2011 10:14 PM

              I went to Pizzaiolo for coffee and donuts a few weeks ago, after not having been there in the morning for over a year. I was surprised at how busy it was! It was packed, they were slammed and it felt like quite the hipster scene. Took a long time to get coffee, but if you're 20-something it would probably be fun. (I was chasing a toddler around and it was a little less fun).

              EDIT - sorry, meant to reply to abstractpoet above.

              5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

              1. re: chompy
                abstractpoet Aug 23, 2011 10:22 PM

                Huh, good to know -- I haven't been for a long time either. Doesn't make me want to rush back, especially with Remedy right down the street. If I want to deal with that kind of a jam, I guess I'd rather go to, you know, an actual cafe. Those donuts are great, though.

            3. bbulkow Aug 23, 2011 10:53 PM

              And no one has mentioned Blue Bottle on webster? Just saying --- an instant classic.

              1. a
                araminta2 Aug 24, 2011 09:38 AM

                thanks for the suggestions.

                1 Reply
                1. re: araminta2
                  Mission Aug 24, 2011 08:44 PM

                  cole coffee on college in oakland is cool.

                2. mmerino Aug 25, 2011 10:53 AM

                  commonwealth opens at 9. very oaklandish.

                  1. wolfe Aug 25, 2011 03:24 PM

                    Cana Cuban Parlor & Cafe
                    Week days at 7.

                    Cana Cuban Parlor & Cafe
                    530 Lake Park Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: wolfe
                      abstractpoet Aug 25, 2011 03:30 PM

                      I like the vibe at Cana, but unless things have changed in the past month or two, they serve the absolute worst Blue Bottle coffee I've had anywhere. Unless you order the Cubano (which is extremely sweet and definitely not for everyone), their standard drip coffee and espresso drinks are all absurdly, almost undrinkably bitter.

                      I assume it's an issue of how they prepare the coffee there rather than a matter of the beans being over-roasted. They make every cup to order too, so I don't know what the problem is.

                      Blue Bottle Cafe
                      66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      1. re: abstractpoet
                        moto Aug 25, 2011 05:01 PM

                        sounds like they're deliberately making an extreme brew to give them a foundation for the caribbean prep with big doses of milk and sugar. maybe they want their coffee to be different from everyone else's. from the way a puertoriqueña acquaintance once described their old school home brew, and the kind of coffee they'd use, the results would have been robust and bitter if not for plenty of milk (generally scalded) and sugar.

                        1. re: moto
                          abstractpoet Aug 25, 2011 08:48 PM

                          Yeah, I suppose that's possible. I would just describe the coffee as "oversteeped." Maybe that's the best brew for a cafe cubano, but is it worth it if it renders every other drink undrinkably bitter?

                          Anyway, I'm not a Blue Bottle apologist by any stretch -- my only point is if you go to Cana expecting it to taste how Blue Bottle coffee normally tastes, you'll be pretty disappointed.

                          Blue Bottle Cafe
                          66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                    2. p
                      peterme Aug 26, 2011 03:00 PM

                      While Remedy is super hipster, I find it overpriced and too precious. My local coffeehouse is Cole Coffee on College and 63rd. Great mix of hipsters, motorcyclists, neighborhood folks, and more. And great coffee. And plenty of outside seating.

                      Cole Coffee
                      3179 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94705

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: peterme
                        jade408 Sep 6, 2011 11:02 AM

                        I like Farleys: friendly people. Pretty good coffee. Magazines! Lots of seats, plugs and wifi.
                        Modern coffee: yummy pastries, excellent coffee.
                        Bica: hipster staff. Excellent coffee. muffins are good. Scones are hit or miss.

                        Farley's East
                        33 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA

                        Bica Coffeehouse
                        5701 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                        Modern Coffee
                        411 13th St, Oakland, CA 94612

                        1. re: jade408
                          araminta2 Mar 26, 2012 05:57 PM

                          I realize I never followed up on this. Thank you all for the range of wonderful suggestions.

                          In the end, we did go to Farley's East, and all I can say: it was PERFECT.

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