Best Cafe/Coffeehouse

The Musical Offering

To best appreciate this popular campus-side cafe that tends to attract more profs and university employees than students, stop in during the late afternoon or on a weekend, when the lilt of Brahms or Pachelbel isn’t drowned out by people barking their latte orders. Besides offering a menu of great Cal-cuisine style sandwiches, homemade sweets, and a short but well-picked wine list, the Musical Offering shares its space and name with what’s rumored to be the only independent all-classical record store in the country. Staffed by friendly, eccentric, and well-listened music geeks, the record store specializes in early music and sells titles off its own indie label, Wildboar Records. During slower times, it’s a wonderful place to sip coffee to a carefully chosen soundtrack, and if you hear something you like, it’s guaranteed that an employee can tell you not only what you’re hearing, but share the composer’s life story and recommendations for other music you’d enjoy. Owner Jean Spencer can be found working behind the counter or chatting with the cafe’s devout following of regulars several times a week, giving the shop a friendly, family-owned feeling that you can’t find in some other Telegraph-area businesses.

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