An aesthetically pleasing afternoon at Cafe Leila

Abigail Balingit/Staff
Abigail Balingit/Staff

Saturday afternoons are meant to be spent with your friends. Even when you feel like you have to do work for lots of your other classes, that doesn’t mean you can’t get out of the Southside Berkeley bubble. When you don’t have time to hang out, intending to study at a cute cafe just makes so much sense. You can attempt to be productive and still maintain some degree of a social life. So, we decided to brave the rain and go on a whim to Cafe Leila. After hopping on the 51B, we got off on University and San Pablo avenues and walked to Cafe Leila.

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Abigail Balingit/Staff

When I walked in with my friends, the cafe’s gorgeous interior immediately caught my eye. There were all the typical artsy pictures hanging in their frames on the red brick walls. But there was something completely rustic about the place that made it feel very homey. There was also plenty of space to find a table in the thicket of patrons there also enjoying their cups of coffee and tea.

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Abigail Balingit/Staff

When we ventured out to find a table, we ended up at a table close to the register and near an outlet. Unfortunately, the dismal weather meant that the garden seating was closed, but it would have been a great alternative on a sunny day (and when our laptops weren’t on life support!).

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Abigail Balingit/Staff

The display case of treats was packed full and it was extremely tempting to get more than one dessert, but I did exercise some self-control. By self-control, I mean that I settled on just getting one cronut. I mentally noted that I’d have to get a triangle of baklava or one of the alfajores cookies on my next visit. Once I finally ordered, the barista made my Hojicha Latte to order right on the spot. On the menu, the Hojicha Latte had the following description: “Green teas roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal. With only one sip of soothing velvety hojicha, its natural properties will penetrate your soul and all throughout your body. It will cleanse and calm your very core essence.” I would say that’s a pretty accurate description. By my first sip, I instantly felt healthier and less guilty about the cronut that I got with it.

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Abigail Balingit/Staff

While enjoying the general splendor of the cafe, Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be” played about five times over the course of the day. I was sipping on my earthy Hojicha Latte with alternating bites of my glazed cronut adorned with pecans. Although I didn’t get any work done, I had a wonderful time just sitting there with the people that make going to places like a random cafe across the street from a Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen worth it. We also took ample Instagram breaks because the cafe caters to our aesthetics so well.

Abigail Balingit/Staff

Abigail Balingit/Staff

When you want to at least attempt to get work done in a place with free Wi-Fi that isn’t MLK or Doe Library, you should try Cafe Leila for a change of beautiful scenery.

Contact Abigail Balingit at [email protected].