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Looking for cafe near BART, Oakland, quiet for mid-afternoon meeting

indigirl Apr 30, 2012 04:37 PM

I know many such cafes must exist. I just can't think of them.

The following criteria have to be true on a weekday afternoon 3-5pm:

1) Within a few blocks of one of these BART stations: 12th, 19th, MacArthur, Rockridge, Lake Merritt.
2) Reasonably easy/cheap parking, preferably free street parking.
3) Quiet & uncrowded enough to have a meeting of 4-6 people, but at the same time
4) not so quiet that everyone else in the place would hear everything we say.
5) decent food, coffee, tea, so folks can either eat or just drink

I thought first of Crepevine upstairs, but don't know how quiet it is at that time of day.


Thanks in advance!

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  1. b
    bgbc RE: indigirl Apr 30, 2012 06:08 PM

    Off the top of my head -- you'll want to check opening hours, etc. --

    Bittersweet (Rockridge)
    Cactus (Rockridge). Will get noisy after 5.
    Hudson Bay Cafe (Rockridge)

    1 Reply
    1. re: bgbc
      zippo RE: bgbc Apr 30, 2012 06:55 PM

      Bittersweet Cafe has just opened another location in downtown Oakland at 1438 Broadway (between Telegraph Ave. and 15th Street) near the 12th Street BART Station. haven't been yet.


      Bittersweet Cafe
      1438 Broadway
      Oakland, Ca 94612
      phone: 510 238-8700

    2. g
      GH1618 RE: indigirl Apr 30, 2012 06:27 PM

      The café at the Oakland Museum might work — it's a block from the Lake Merritt station.


      Museum admission is not required.

      5 Replies
      1. re: GH1618
        Rapini RE: GH1618 Apr 30, 2012 06:47 PM

        and there's a reasonably priced parking lot under the museum building...

        Another alternative is Oliveto cafe--decent espresso, fairly quiet, and can accommodate party your size. Market Hall has a free parking lot, and the BART lot across the street should be free by the time your meeting begins.

        1. re: GH1618
          escargot3 RE: GH1618 Apr 30, 2012 07:17 PM

          great idea. i haven't been to the museum cafe in ages.

          1. re: GH1618
            Pius Avocado III RE: GH1618 May 1, 2012 09:52 AM

            Robert Dorsey left the Museum cafe in December.

            A recent review alluded to institutional food service, cafeterias and the like:


            1. re: Pius Avocado III
              GH1618 RE: Pius Avocado III May 1, 2012 11:30 AM

              Thanks for the update. I used to like it before the makeover. I hope they fix it. It doesn't have to be chi-chi — just a nice place for a pleasant lunch.

            2. re: GH1618
              Mission RE: GH1618 May 1, 2012 11:05 AM

              That reminds me when the City of Oakland nixed the idea of having Alice Waters run the Oakland Museum Cafe many,many years ago.

            3. i
              indigirl RE: indigirl Apr 30, 2012 08:55 PM

              Thank you all! That gives me some good options. Meanwhile someone in my group came up with World Grounds at 3rd & Jackson, so we're trying that first...

              7 Replies
              1. re: indigirl
                GH1618 RE: indigirl Apr 30, 2012 09:07 PM

                World Ground is a small place, and sometimes will have some awful music turned up too loud. I see small groups meet there now and then, so it can work if you are able to get one of the two large tables. If it's crowded, it might not work.

                And, it's a pretty good hike from BART.

                1. re: GH1618
                  GH1618 RE: GH1618 May 1, 2012 09:01 AM

                  Correction: three large tables. And the tables are very close to other tables.

                2. re: indigirl
                  Rapini RE: indigirl Apr 30, 2012 09:47 PM

                  I don't believe that 3rd & Jackson is within your parameters--its several blocks from BART, and doesn't have extensive seating. But if If you're willing to go to 3rd & Jackson, then should go to Blue Bottle's mother-ship cafe at 300 Webster.

                  1. re: Rapini
                    Robert Lauriston RE: Rapini May 1, 2012 08:49 AM

                    Does Blue Bottle have any proper seating? I remember counters with stools.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      Rapini RE: Robert Lauriston May 1, 2012 09:12 AM

                      Indoors it's the counter and stools. Outside, there are several (bar height, IIRC) tables and chairs, along the Webster Street storefront. Not sure what you mean by "proper", but I've always felt comfortable.

                      1. re: Rapini
                        Robert Lauriston RE: Rapini May 1, 2012 09:15 AM

                        By "proper" I mean chairs and tables that would be comfortable for this meeting of four to six people.

                    2. re: Rapini
                      indigirl RE: Rapini May 1, 2012 01:15 PM

                      Oh dear, probably too late to change for this meeting... & the person who is on public transit agreed to it... looks like we'll probably change for the next meeting.

                      Keep the comments coming! Thank you!

                  2. b
                    betterbeheaven RE: indigirl Apr 30, 2012 10:15 PM

                    Awaken Cafe just re-opened on Broadway, near 14th. It's very close to 12th St BART station, though parking is perhaps not as easy in that area. It's pretty spacious, lots of tables and chairs, so I think it'd suit your needs.

                    There's also Cafe Zoe near Rockridge BART that's reasonably large.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: betterbeheaven
                      dunstable RE: betterbeheaven May 1, 2012 09:02 AM

                      There is a parking garage very close to the 12th st station, like two blocks away. It's cheap enough that my coworkers parked in there (9-5 sort of deal), when I worked in that area.

                      1. re: betterbeheaven
                        shanghaikid RE: betterbeheaven May 1, 2012 08:24 PM

                        Awaken cafe has lots of seating whereas bittersweet chocolate has only 3-4 tables.

                      2. a
                        abstractpoet RE: indigirl May 1, 2012 09:19 PM

                        How's the "Lane-e" Kefa Coffee location that's near the Lake Merritt BART, on 8th? Anyone been? I really like the food and coffee and the lowkey vibe at the original location, but don't know what the seating situation is like at this outpost.

                        1. l
                          l_emily RE: indigirl May 2, 2012 04:36 PM

                          I recommend Arbor Cafe, a few blocks from MacArthur- good coffee, lots of communal tables, seems quiet enough, although I have not been there in the weekday afternoon. 4210 Telegraph Ave (between 42nd St & 43rd St). Open until 8PM.

                          1. i
                            indigirl RE: indigirl May 2, 2012 08:39 PM

                            So, we went to World Grounds & my main complaint was too noisy -- kinda cavernous space, the sound bounces around.

                            Does anybody know if Homeroom is quiet in mid-afternoon (I seem to recall so) & if they would mind a table of people mostly not ordering food?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: indigirl
                              l_emily RE: indigirl May 3, 2012 08:52 AM

                              I've only been to Homeroom midday on a weekend and it was pretty happening. I get the feeling that it is more of a restaurant rather than a cafe-hangout. If you head on the other side of 40th going towards MLK, there's cafe Dejena, which is pretty mellow. The food is decent, the coffee is ok. It is only open until 4PM though.

                              1. re: indigirl
                                dunstable RE: indigirl May 3, 2012 09:19 AM

                                I've only been once, but the one time I went to Homeroom, it wasn't that loud but there were many, many kids. If you've got clients and such, that might not be a great idea.

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