Best Art House Coffee Shop

cafe (504)

This cozy Lake Merritt coffee shop boasts Ritual and Blue Bottle beans
— not to mention engaging art and an unmistakable community vibe.
You might have to fight for a spot in this quiet, postage-stamp
hideaway, but parking is easy and the tables are expansive. The cafe
offers new beans monthly. You’ll have your pick of seasonal espresso
blends, a slew of single-origin French-press options, or a mug of drip
brewed just for you. The owner, who lives on an urban farm in Oakland,
stresses high-quality natural ingredients. When you reach for dairy to
pour into your brew, you’ll find a petite glass bottle of Straus Family
cream. Vegan coffee fiends will appreciate that soy milk incurs no
extra cost. Prather Ranch meats and Veritable Vegetable veggies
accompany fresh-baked goodies you won’t easily resist. On one recent
day, diners had their choice of mozzarella-olive quiche, or a roasted
zucchini or pastrami-and-brie sandwich, to be washed down with
Meyer-lemon-and-cinnamon soda. And, yes, free wi-fi seekers won’t be
disappointed. The shop sits just east of Lake Merritt, minutes from
Highway 580, if you’re not lucky enough to live nearby.


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