Around finals week, campus libraries like Main Stacks and Moffitt become congested with students. Sometimes, it’s a hard-knock life trying to find a place to do all the work, and home may not be the best option with its countless distractions.
The following is a selection of prime cafe spots around Berkeley that are off the beaten path and can be enjoyed by students who liked to study around the hustle and bustle of families and city residents. These holes-in-the-wall can be used to benefit you when in need of a place to study over the course of an entire day and can even be found hosting happy hours if you need a break.
Berkeley Floor Cafe: This recent summer opening at 2244 Bancroft Way is just a short walk from campus and the RSF. My personal favorite is the entertaining cashier who will awkwardly fool you into thinking the dish you want to order is not available, even though it actually is. That awkward — but endearing — camaraderie is hard to come by anywhere else in Berkeley. Head over with some friends, and even if there aren’t many tables available, you can always perch on the cafe’s window seat space that will make you feel like Orphan Annie as people walk by.
Au Couqlet: This charming cafe at 2000 University Ave. is open until around 2 a.m. throughout the week. In addition to offering tasty caffeinated drinks and delicious food for college students on a limited budget, it has tables for small to large groups. Sometimes, the dinner tables will be filled with people doing table reads of wacky book manuscripts. It’s definitely a motivator for finishing a paper or having a conversation about philosophy.
Sack’s Coffee House: Quite literally at this cafe, you sit on sacks that line the shops outer rim and windows. But it also has tasty sandwiches and is just a hop away on the 51B if you’re too lazy to walk down to College and Derby. But, get here early in the day, as spots fill up fast and outlet space is hard to come by.
The Musical Offering: Located at 2430 Bancroft Way, this record shop seems as though it only sells music for the old fogies at first glance, but in actuality, it is a cafe bistro complete with paninis and soups during the lunch hour. It’s perfect for taking a professor, parent or yourself to get work done. You never know, maybe the classical music playing in the background will make its way into your brain cells and make you smarter and work infinitely harder.
I-House Cafe: This cafe sits atop the Bancroft “Hill” and can be quite a walk to get up to, but it is worth the uphill turmoil. The cafe pays homage to the history of Berkeley and its welcoming of international students from around the world each year. Head to the I-House and grab an espresso, and you’ll probably learn more from the people who sit down next to you than the book that is in front of you. Special perk: The courtyard near the dining commons in I-House is rumored to have a hanging bed.
Contact Anjuli Sastry at [email protected].