Every car needs gas, every phone needs to get charged, every Berkeley student needs coffee. It’s a scientifically proven fact (okay, maybe not). Here’s a list of the ten best coffee shops near Berkeley.
10. The Coffee Lab
- This isn’t necessarily a full-size cafe, but if you’re on your way to Pimentel for your 8am chem lecture and you need a quick pick-me-up, it’ll definitely do the trick. The fact that it’s on campus is extremely helpful for the students who don’t have time to venture far for a good cup of coffee. The only downside is that you’re out of luck if you don’t have cash on you — they don’t accept cards.
- Location: right outside Hildebrand Hall
- Hours: M-F 7:30am-3pm
- Although Peet’s gets crap for having a monopoly on Berkeley’s campus (no Starbucks in sight!!), the fact that you can use meal points here is hands-down its best feature. The coffee itself may not be anything special, but for broke college kids in need of a caffeine fix, this is the go-to.
- Locations: GBC, The Den, on the corner of Dwight and Telegraph (no meal points at this location)
- Hours: GBC and The Den: 7am-8pm; D&T: 6am-8pm
8. Brewed Awakening
- This is one of the best cafes to study at on campus when you’re willing to make the trek!! It’s on the far side of campus, so it’s not as accessible as other places, but the coffee is SO good and there’s a ton of seating — even couches in the back. Also, the lower volume of their music makes all the difference when you’re trying to study (*cough cough* @ Cafe Milano).
- Location: 1807 Euclid Ave
- Hours: 7am-7pm
7. Cafe Blue Door
- This cafe has one of the best atmospheres out of all the choices on this list. There are always lots of available tables, open outlets, and fast WiFi, which are crucial when you need to get some work done between classes — that is, as long as you’re okay with louder background noise. The coffee and pastries here are also surprisingly good, and they even offer Nutella hot chocolate (sign me up)!!!
- Location: 2244 Bancroft Way
- Hours: 7:30am-10pm
6. Blue Bottle
- Based on coffee alone, Blue Bottle takes the cake. Also, the aesthetic is pretty modern and visually appealing, but the biggest issue is that there isn’t much seating here. It would probably be better to get your coffee here and then go elsewhere to get some work done!
- Location: 2118 University Ave
- Hours: 7am-6:30pm
5. Elmwood Cafe
- This is definitely one of the cuter places on this list!! It’s in Elmwood, which is a little out of the way from main campus, but it’s in such a pretty area that it’s worth it!! Both the food and the coffee here are SO good, and the floor-to-ceiling glass windows make for some awesome people watching.
- Location: 2900 College Ave
- Hours: 7am-10pm
4. Cafe 1951
- The concept behind this place is one of the main reasons why it’s ranked so highly on this list. They only hire refugees and strive to educate the public about their stories, as well as refugee lives and hardships in general. Also, their aesthetic is visually appealing, and their coffee is SO good (bonus points for doing latte art)!!!
- Location: 2410 Channing Way
- Hours: 7am-7pm
3. Caffe Strada
- This is the most basic, well-known coffee shop in all of Berkeley. Conveniently located on the path of students headed down Bancroft to g0 to class, it’s a popular pitstop for avid coffee drinkers and tourists alike. It is best known for its ambient outdoor seating area, whose heat lamps and string lights allow students to study late into the evening. However, it can be pretty distracting when you’re trying to do your homework but you have to give an acknowledging head nod every 30 seconds to someone you know as they walk by.
- Location: 2300 College Ave
- Hours: 6:30am-12am (!!)
2. Cafe Milano
- Coffee: 10/10. Atmosphere: 10/10. Location right across from MLK: 10/10. If the music was a tiny bit quieter, it would be the PERFECT study space. It’s always packed with people, but it’s still possible to snag a seat when you need one. But alas…no outlets 🙁
- Location: 2522 Bancroft Way
- Hours: 7am-12am (!!)
- One of my personal favorites in both the coffee and studying categories! Its high ceiling and large windows make for a visually appealing and relaxing study space. It’s a bit far from main campus (closer to Elmwood), but the tradeoff is that it’s often quieter if you need to focus. Not only is the coffee excellent, but it has some DOPE paninis to make for a well-rounded meal!
- Location: 2701 College Ave
- Hours: 7am-10pm