Cool Berkeley coffee joints to get your caffeine on

Guerilla Café. Photo: Christine Tang/Refinery29

As home to the first Peet’s, opened in 1966, Berkeley has always been a coffee lovers’ town. Espresso, Americano, soy lattes — you can find almost any variation on brewed coffee in almost any neighborhood in Berkeley.

Some call the recent resurgence in coffee connoisseurship the Third Wave of coffee. First came Peet’s. Then came Starbucks. And now there are a host of independent coffee roasters – Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, Ritual, Ecco, Sightglass, and Barefoot among them.

Refinery29, an online fashion and lifestyle magazine, recently ran a feature titled “13 Cool East Bay Coffee Joints To Get Your Caffeine On,” detailing some of the great coffee shops in the region. Four were from Berkeley.

Here’s an excerpt from Angela Tafayo’s piece:


Guerilla Café

Guerilla Café is an earthy café nestled in the heart of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. Pouring Blue Bottle coffee and boasting a wide range of preparations (from European to Latin American), this spot oozes the worldly vibe that coffee enthusiasts crave. Its noms are nothing to sneeze at either — fresh, healthy ingredients, and a clear view of the kitchen means great food in a warm and cozy environment, marked by a stunning bright-blue mural.

Guerilla Café, 1620 Shattuck Avenue (between Lincoln and Cedar streets), Berkeley; 510-845-2233.

Local 123

Local 123 is the spot for the serious coffee enthusiast. Knowledgeable baristas with excellent brewing skills mean a practically perfect cuppa joe. And its seasonally changing coffee menu will keep your taste buds flavorfully in flux.

The sleek, yellow-hued haven is nothing short of darling and if you’re feeling like a little beverage switch-a-roo it has you covered in that department, too. The on-tap wine and beer will definitely do the trick. Plus, fresh noshes and an outdoor patio assist in getting your work done sans a carb coma. If you get the chance, visit Local 123’s Albany location tucked away in the lush, plant-filled Flowerland (a.k.a. the Flora Grubb of the East Bay). It’s definitely a doozy!

Local 123, 2049 San Pablo Avenue (between University Avenue and Addison Street), Berkeley; 510-647-5270.


Philz Coffee. Photo: Christine Tang/Refinery29

Philz Coffee

Philz Coffee serves the epitome of bold, always-hits-the-spot, takes-you-to-your-happy-place brews. Featuring worldly blends like Turkish and mint-mojito iced coffee, it’s the quintessential Bay Area spot to awaken those tired taste buds. Mosey on up the stairs and toward the back for an area chock-full of lounge-y sofas and chairs while you relish in your cup. If you’re not into holing up inside, check out the quirky patio (always a good place to people watch). Also, the whip-sharp baristas have all the answers to your pressing java Q’s! We mean that.

Philz Coffee, 1600 Shattuck Avenue (between Cedar and Lincoln streets), Berkeley; 510-705-1083.

Caffé Strada

Okay, we’ll admit that this place gets a little flooded with UC Berkeley students, but you don’t have to get all academic to pay a visit. The gorgeous patio is really a sight to see — it’s brimming with natural light, seats, and cool vibes. Plus, quick noshes and a midnight closing time means you’ll never go hungry or without that sometimes-necessary late-night caffeine fix.

Caffé Strada, 2300 College Avenue (between Bancroft Way and Durant Avenue), Berkeley; 510-843-5282.

Read the rest of the Refinery29 article.


What did they miss? We would nominate PIQ Bakery on Shattuck and The Alchemy Collective Café on Adeline for sure.

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