Best People-Watching Over a Cheap Breakfast: Nice doggies allowed on the patio

Coffee Mill & Bakery

For a place that claims to be Oakland’s oldest coffee shop, the Coffee Mill is pretty uninspiring. The interior of this neighborhood spot is without personality. But if you’re sitting inside, then you’ve got it all wrong. The key to the Coffee Mill is enjoying your brew on the patio. Recent street construction left it uninhabitable for weeks, but now the plastic forest-green chairs and tables are occupying the sidewalk once again and the locals are back to people-watching on sunny days. What makes the Coffee Mill a prime spot is its location at a big crosswalk at the corner of Grand Avenue and Elwood. Bring your shades, the paper, and, if you want, your well-behaved four-legged friends. You don’t need to bring a fat wallet, though. You can get away with a big meal for under $6. The Coffee Mill serves standard American fare for breakfast and lunch: eggs any way you want ’em, syrup-drenched pancakes, crisp BLTs. Breakfast is the best deal. Eggs Benedict can run $9 at other places, but will cost you just $6 at the Coffee Mill. What can be better than sunshine, a plate of cheap eggs, and a nice cup of joe?

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