Avoid the mayhem of finals at Mokka Cafe

mokka 2
Abigail Balingit/Staff

RRR week is upon us and you know what that means … stu(dying) should be in full swing. Though finding a seat in Main Stacks or the MLK Student Union may feel nearly impossible, there are plenty of local cafes you can go to to get work done. In your sleep-deprived stupor, you’ll find yourself lucky to stumble into Mokka Cafe on Telegraph Avenue. Located right around the block from the local Whole Foods Market, Mokka Cafe is a delicious detour into Berkeley suburbia.

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Abigail Balingit/Staff

When I walked in on a warm afternoon, the ambience was inviting and ceiling fans blew a cool breeze around the cafe. To my relief, there were plenty of seats facing the window and around the room. The only downside was the lack of outlets, which means I highly recommend charging your laptop beforehand. There was outdoor seating with umbrellas for shade as well.

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Abigail Balingit/Staff

For my caffeine kick of the day, I ordered a caramel macchiato and it was exactly what I needed. Topped with a fluffy pillow of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce, the drink was at optimum sweetness level.

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Abigail Balingit/Staff

You can even buy packaged coffee from them if you want to take some of the goodness home.

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Abigail Balingit/Staff

As for my meal, I went for the ham and cheese panini. I would have ordered one of their Belgian waffles, but they only serve them until 1 p.m. The ham and cheese panini was no basic American cheese and packaged ham lunch I’d make for myself at home. It had Niman Ranch ham, Bellwether Carmody cheese and thinly sliced apple. Golden-brown grill marks from the panini press gave the bread a lovely, crisp texture. Once I bit into the sandwich, the sweet apple slices were the perfect complement to the smokiness from the ham. A refreshing side salad with a balsamic vinaigrette accompanied the meal.

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Even though it’s a bit off the beaten track, I would come back to Mokka Cafe to study for finals in a heartbeat. Take advantage of the bus and take the 1 or 1R toward the Bay Fair BART from campus to visit Mokka. There’s something Narnia-like about a place that doesn’t have an infinitely long waitlist just for a table.

Contact Abigail Balingit at [email protected].