Blog of the Peer Advising Leadership Program, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley

October 27, 2006 9:08 AM

The Inside Scoop on Berkeley Cafes

By now, most of you have had plenty of experience studying, and many see the library as the ideal spot for curling up with that G-chem textbook or Ralph Ellison novel as midterms and paper deadlines approach. However, there are other environments that you can study in, and one of my favorites is the cafe. Not only is food and drink allowed, but you can engage in light conversation with your study buddies. Also, the atmosphere of a coffee shop tends to be less tense than the ultra-quiet Main Stacks. It can serve not only as a study spot, but also a place to meet up with friends or reading a book at leisure.

Many people head straight for Strada, on the intersection of College and Bancroft. It has a nice outdoor area, and chances are, you've met up there at least once for a GSI office hour or study group. It tends to get quite crowded however, so here are a few less well known cafes that are quite superb:

Espresso Experience: Located on Bancroft directly across from Eschelman, it's a tiny mom and pop shop that can whip up an intense brew of Americano or Espresso. The cafe can get a little crowded during lunchtime, mainly because of their exquisite Korean Bulgogi sandwiches. Yummm, they're awesome, and actually a rare cuisine that you can't find anywhere else in Berkeley. Great for a light lunch. This cafe is closed on Sundays.

Brewed Awakening: for Northside residents, this is the place to be. It's located on Euclid, near North Gate, and serves the traditional espresso and lattes that other coffee shops. On weekdays, they serve Aram sandwiches and baked potatoes for lunch, along with fruit salads, spinach pies, and delicious pastries. Many of their patrons are actually locals who live in the Northside suburbs. Quieter than most other cafes, so good for studying. Also has many electrical outlets for laptops.

Cafe Milano: convenience is this cafe's greatest asset; it's located right on Bancroft across from Sproul Hall, and right between the new Carvel shop and Bancroft Clothing. With two levels of seating, it's usually not too difficult to find a table. Moreover, pastries, sandwiches, and salads are served throughout the day, so you can have a full meal while studying or chatting with friends.

Other options include the International House Cafe, Cafe Zeb at Boalt, Espresso Roma on College and Ashby, and the ubiquitous & crowded FSM cafe. Enjoy the cafe hopping!


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