Telegraph Avenue is home to an endless supply of a lively culture of music, art, and food. Mixed within the stretch of vintage clothing shops, record stores, and colorful murals are some of the most underrated cafes in the bay area. Whether you’re looking for quality pourovers, coffee drips, or a hearty brunch, these Telegraph treasures are sure to satisfy.
Caffe Mediterraneum offers all your coffee and tea favorites, a hearty breakfast menu, WiFi, and a consistent collection of eclectic customers. This classic Telegraph venue is also one of the only non-restaurants in the area that serves Vietnamese iced coffee, so if you’re ever in the area and craving it, you know where to go.
If you’re looking to enjoy your coffee with a charming brunch, Aunt Mary’s Cafe is for you. The cafe is one part Oakland hipster and one part Southern soul, creating both a menu and decor that are both unique and homey. Their double latte and chai latte are a couple of the local favorites, and Aunt Mary’s also offers a convenient and generous self-serve coffee station. If you’re feeling adventurous, try out some of their more interesting options on the menu, like the hangtown fry-tatta: a spinach-bacon frittata topped with fried oysters and fennel slices, drizzled with Rockefeller sauce.
Bar, Cafe, Restaurant, American, Coffee, French, European, $$$
You don’t have to speak French to enjoy Le Bateau Ivre’s French roast or French toast. The cafe-restaurant serves a full menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and also offers drinks from the bar. The brick interior, fireplace, and classic decor create a warm, cozy atmosphere reminiscent of a country home in France. Enjoy brunch in their gated garden, or come by in the evening for a romantic candlelit dinner.
Cat Town Cafe is the first permanent cat cafe in the country. It features a ‘cat zone’ play area where customers can interact with rescues and even adopt. Don’t be fooled by the novelty of this unique establishment – they serve a great coffee too. The coffee bar is sectioned away from the catzone and features a quality pour-over, accompanied by a selection of bagels, breakfast burritos, pastries and cookies.
The recycled wood floors, mismatched furniture, and quirky decor give Arbor Cafe a comfortable, rustic feeling and an aesthetic that is oh-so-Oakland. Arbor serves a quality selection of pour-overs, and their most coveted drink is their French press. If you’re not feeling coffee, their beer is on tap all day. The entry wall is made entirely of floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the main room a lot of natural lighting, which makes it the perfect place to get some work done. Cal students and young professionals crowd the main room with their laptops, so competition for power outlets is usually fierce.
Koffee Pot will surprise and satisfy you with both their menu and service. The neighborhood favorite serves simple doughnut shop-style coffee and an all-day breakfast of classic plates, like hotlinks and pancakes, in generous portions.
Beauty’s Bagel Shop is a Montreal-style bagel shop that takes pride in their hand-rolled, honey water-boiled, and wood-fire oven-baked bagels. The staff makes several small batches of bagels with this artisan process throughout the day, so your bagel is always fresh. Beauty’s offers over two dozen options for toppings, allowing for different custom combinations for you to enjoy with your morning coffee.
If there’s any place wholly dedicated to the craftsmanship of coffee making, it’s the folks at Black Spring Coffee Company. Ryan, the owner, carefully selects only the best of coffee products and the latest cafe machinery, and he takes pride in keeping everything fresh to preserve the true flavors of every drink. If you ask the barista what he recommends, he might steer you towards their popular extra crisp iced latte. If you’re looking to try a different coffee option, go for the Malabar: two shots of espresso, milk, and sugar shaken up into a foamy treat poured over ice.
If you and a friend are ever in a disagreement about going for coffee or hitting up the bars, skip the debate and head over to CommonWealth Cafe & Pub. The hybrid bar-cafe has something for everyone. Coffee lovers can opt for the Gibraltar espresso drink or classic drips like the red eye. But if you’re looking to sip on an iced cold beer while watching the game, CommonWealth has that covered, too.