The East Bay, California is one of the most impressive tech hubs of California- therefore, in order to be consistently running so efficiently, it’s also a hub of impressively delicious coffee. Here are some of the best places in the East Bay, California where you can find an exceptional banana Nutella cold brew, cafe au lait, or almond milk mocha.
1) Coffee Shop in Alamo
Yes — this coffee shop is literally named “Coffee Shop.” As the winner of Diablo Magazine’s “Best Coffeehouse in the East Bay” consistently each year, the straightforward name really speaks for itself- and so does its coffee. The shop brews roasts like Stumptown from Portland, Four Barrel from San Francisco, and many more types rotating on drip as well as seasonal specials like the “gingerbread latte.”
2) Caffe Strada in Berkeley
Another great place to break out the laptop and be a productive human is Caffe Strada in Berkeley. Established in 1989, this shop has truly stood the test of time in the East Bay’s most eccentric city. The shop is located about ten feet from the UC Berkeley campus, and you can feel the intelligence radiating from the minds of the students who are there to study.
Caffe Strada has consistently been praised as one of the best coffee shops in the area, even ranking as one of the best college coffee shops in America. This is for a good reason, the coffee is strong and good tasting.
There’s an ample amount of outdoor seating with heat lamps so patrons can soak up the California sun and admire the eclectic Berkeley atmosphere any time of year.
It’s an ideal place to meet a friend for coffee. Here’s a poem on the Daily Californian in an ode to Caffe Strada, praising it in all its unique glory.
3) Sideboard in Danville
For tasty food and yummy coffee in the heart of the quaint, historical town of Danville is Sideboard. This shop is a classic go-to for Danville friends to grab a coffee, pastry or brunch to catch up. The cozy, homey style cafe-coffee shop offers room for socializing and its outdoor patio is lovely to soak in the California sunshine.
There’s live music on Wednesday nights during the Summer months and in the winter the space decorated beyond this world (and to the North Pole) with holiday decor. They offer adult beverages including wine in addition to espresso- as well as a selection of small bites for breakfast, lunch and dinner items like french toast and mac n cheese. In addition to Danville, Sideboard also has a location in Lafayette.
4) Highwire Flowerland in Albany
Lattes and lilies: What could be a more beautiful combination? These two wonderful things are united together at Highwire Flowerland in Albany in an airstream style coffee truck inside of a nursery. The experience can make anyone feel like they’re sipping coffee straight inside of a fairytale. It truly is a hidden gem for caffeine and cultivating blooms.
BONUS: Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz
Verve means “the spirit and enthusiasm surrounding the creation of art.” In 2007 the first Verve Coffee was opened by founders Ryan O’Donovan and Colby Barr on 41st Ave in Santa Cruz- sparked through the combination of a love for life, living, and the Santa Cruz coastal surf. Nowadays its legend lives on all the way down to LA and beyond.
Verve uses the term “streetlevel” to encapsulate the feeling of community that a coffee shop can bring alongside the energetic atmosphere of a vibrating cafe. This feeling was inspired by the idyllic street level cafes of Europe where people can meet for a chat over cappuccinos and espresso, and celebrate the gift of life and good coffee.
BONUS: Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco
The flagship Sightglass is nestled in the SoMa district on 7th street. With its open, airy factory/warehouse-type space and rustically industrial feeling atmosphere- it’s like being transported into the future of coffee roasting. And it is: Sightglass showcases its production roastery right on site. With multiple coffee bars and two floors of space including a a customizable affogato bar on the top floor- “this club has everything”.
Be warned that it’s not, however, a great place to try to get any work done- because it doesn’t have any power outlets or WiFi. So you’ll have to talk to each other.
From a warehouse coffee roastery in San Francisco to an airstream-nursery combo in Albany, to Cal Berkeley’s front yard there are an amazing variety of fabulous coffee shops in the bay.
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