A major aspect of living in the East Bay is the coffee shop culture. The neighborhoods around UC Berkeley are home to some of the best cafes around. These cafes are as diverse as the customers they serve.

Photo Credit: NYTimes on Berkeley

Coffee shops serve such a specific purpose for every individual that to say we could list all the best ones is impossible. But here are a few go-to places to visit near UC Berkeley.

1. Cafe Milano

We start this list with one of the more well-known cafe’s near UC Berkeley, but also one of the best. If you need a nice quick breakfast or maybe an afternoon snack, Milano is always sure to be less busy than its neighbor Caffe Strada and has many more options.

Milano is a two-story gem with a major “Tumblr” vibe created by brick walls, scattered pieces of artwork, and loft seating.

Cafe Milano is a great place to catch up with friends or do work. There is an abundance of seats and most importantly — amazing coffee. The “Caramella” has quickly become a favorite. This latte has just enough caramel to enhance the overall coffee taste and makes for a perfect drink at any time of the day.

2. Cafe Blue Door

Also in the Southside area is Cafe Blue Door. Located on Bancroft, Cafe Blue Door is surprisingly easy to miss despite its name.

The coffee shop is perfect for any student or community member that needs to get work done. It has one of the fastest Wifi available and ample seating. 

For all you Nutella lovers, Cafe Blue Door’s Nutella hot chocolate is an absolute blessing and will probably become your new addiction (speaking from experience). Despite being off the beaten path from the popular area around Telegraph, we recommend venturing out to Cafe Blue Door for a refreshing coffee shop experience.

If it happens to be extremely busy when you go, check out The Musical Offering Cafe a short walk down Bancroft which tends to have more seats available. Both hire on the Berkeley Jobs page of Localwise, so you know they're good.

3. Coffee Lab

It is amazing how people can go four years at UC Berkeley and never even know about Coffee Lab. Tucked away in the epicenter of the chemistry buildings, this appropriately minuscule coffee stop is one of the chemistry department’s best-kept secrets.

With limited outdoor seating and just a window to order from, The Coffee Lab is ideal for anyone with a sudden coffee craving while strolling through campus.

For most college students, spending too much money on coffee is a major struggle. However, Coffee Lab provides high-quality lattes for half the price you’ll find around town.

Best of all, their friendly staff might just give you a free treat — we were both given donuts with our coffees because it was raining outside!

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