Mediterranean-inspired Cafe Réveille opens on Hearst Avenue

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Leonie Leonida/Staff

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At Cafe Réveille, the newest addition to Berkeley’s Hearst Avenue, customers sit at glossy marble tables, sipping on a variety of light-roast brews or sampling the cafe’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.

Cafe Réveille started out of a truck in the financial district in San Francisco and now has locations on the city’s Steiner Street and Long Bridge Street. Knoble Tankiamco, the cafe’s supervisor, said the company expanded to the East Bay because of its “convenient location next to Cal,” and he said he has noticed many UC Berkeley freshmen coming to the cafe. Much of the clientele at the cafe, located at 760 Hearst Ave., is from its San Francisco locations.

The cafe’s Mediterranean-inspired items, such as the Levantine sandwich and the ginger-turmeric hummus sandwich, are served with green tahini, and the coconut chia pudding is topped with almond dates and sesame crumble.

Leina Lau, a recent graduate of UC Berkeley’s extension program who is a customer of Cafe Réveille, said the chia pudding is her favorite item on the menu. She said she has ordered the pudding every time she has come to the cafe.

The beverage menu includes oat milk and almond milk as nondairy substitutes. According to Tankiamco, oat milk is an “up-and-coming” dairy substitute that has been highly popular and is a good alternative for customers who are allergic to nuts.

The cafe makes its own vanilla-flavored syrup and also serves kombucha, which rotates flavors every season, according to Tankiamco. The current kombucha flavor of the season is mango guava.

Lau said her favorite thing about the cafe besides the chia pudding is the atmosphere. Customers sit in pink chairs under black and white striped umbrellas. Inside, white ceramic tubs are mounted on the walls and filled with succulents.

“The design is from the owners. They know a few designers that decorated the other locations as well,” Tankiamco said. “Sleek, modern and clean is the look they were going for.”

Breakfast and lunch are served on weekdays and brunch is served on weekends. The kitchen closes at 3 p.m. on weekdays, and coffee is served until 5 p.m.

Though Peet’s Coffee and Project Juice are located nearby, Tankiamco said Cafe Réveille has a unique menu. Project Juice also serves kombucha, but it does not serve coffee. Peet’s Coffee does not offer oat milk as a dairy alternative. According to Tankiamco, the cafe aims to offer as many alternatives as possible.

“All the food is organic. We have lots of gluten-free options and vegan options, which again reflects back to the community,” Tankiamco said.

Contact Isabella Sabri at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @isabella_sabri.