You’ll never be at a loss for finding a good cup of coffee in Oakland as there’s a wealth of places to choose from such as Cro CafeAwaken CafeBica CoffeehouseHighwire Coffee Roasters and Peerless Coffee, to name a few. As an avid cyclist, a good jolt of caffeine in the morning helps energize me for a long ride. (I’ve combined my love for cycling and coffee by leading an annual Coffee Ride with my friend Pamela. Last year we pedaled to longtime local favorites Blue Bottle, Farley’s East, Arbor Cafe, Cole Coffee and Actual Cafe with a stop at Berkeley’s Local 123.) Here’s five cafes throughout Oakland that make a fine brew. Let us know where you go for a cuppa joe in the comments. 

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Look no further if you want tasty vegan baked goods, sweets, savory dishes and more. While they don’t prominently advertise the fact that they’re a 100% vegan cafe, Timeless eschews animal-based products — but my almond-milk cappuccino (made with Sightglass Coffee) was just as wonderful sans dairy. Check their Facebook page to see what they’re serving up for their daily lunch and weekend brunch specials.

Timeless Coffee Roasters + Bakery
4252 Piedmont Ave. [Map]
Oakland, CA 94611
Ph: (510) 985-1360
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-6pm; Sun 8am-6pm
Facebook: Timeless Coffee Roasters + Bakery
Twitter: @Timelesscoffee
Price range: $ (Entrees $10 and under)

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Located right next door to the Tribune Tavern in downtown Oakland, Modern Coffee serves up coffee and sells beans from local purveyors such as Chromatic Coffee, Counter Culture, Linea Caffe, Stumptown and Verve. (They now roast their own, too.) They didn’t have any treats available when I popped by in the late afternoon, but Starter Bakery, Hopkins Street Bakery and Boogie Woogie Bagel Boy provide baked goods for weekday 9-5 workers in search of a quick breakfast.

Modern Coffee
Tribune Tower, 411 13th St. [Map]
Oakland, CA 94612
Ph: (510) 835-8000
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm
Facebook: Modern Coffee
Twitter: @moderncoffee
Price range: $ (Entrees $10 and under)

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A tiny nook that’s adjacent to one of my favorite neighborhood bike shops, Manifesto Bicycles, SubRosa keeps it simple with a limited menu of tea, pastries and beverages made with Four Barrel Coffee. You can also buy bags of Four Barrel to go or take home craftsy items such as Pendleton wool cozies. Enjoy your espresso in the sunshine and lounge in the parklet that’s located directly in front of the shop, or if you prefer a quieter seating, head to the secluded tables in the back of the cafe.

419 40th St. [Map]
Oakland, CA 94609
Ph: (510) 653-2030
Hours: Mon-Thu 7am-5pm; Fri 7am-6pm; Sat 7:30am-6pm; Sun 8am-5pm
Facebook: SubRosa Coffee
Price range: $ (Entrees $10 and under)
Cash only

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Tucked away inside a cozy storefront along the quaint corridor of Temescal Alley is North Oakland’s CRO Cafe. A custom furniture maker and fabricator, owner Luigi Oldani also designed and crafted the elegant furnishings in his studio. Brewing up Sightglass Coffee — Oldani attended their training sessions before he founded his business — there’s cold-brew, drip coffee and espresso drinks made with Cro Cafe’s vintage La San Marco machine. An assortment of freshly baked foods is also available for purchase.

Cro Cafe
Temescal Alley 49 (Map)
Oakland, CA 94609
Hours: Everyday 7am-6pm
Facebook: The CRO Cafe
Twitter: @TheCROCafe
Price range: $ (Entrees $10 and under)

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Coloso, which translates to “colossal” in Spanish, is a cheeky reference to the shop’s petite 370-square-foot space in Uptown Oakland. Friends for over 15 years since they originally met in Lima, Peru, co-owners Renzo Gianella and Jose Posadas launched their venture in 2014. They serve Portland’s Heart Coffee and offer batch-brewed drip coffee and espresso drinks. Coloso also sells freshly baked goods from Sandbox Bakery in Bernal Heights.

Coloso Coffee
1715 Webster St. [Map]
Oakland, CA 94612
Ph: (415) 240-7377
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-5pm; Sun 9am-3pm
Facebook: Coloso Coffee
Twitter: @ColosoCoffee
Price range: $ (Entrees $10 and under)

This post was updated on September 9, 2015. The listings previously included in this post, Monkey Forest Road and Barkada, are now closed.


Jenny Oh

Jenny is a long-time contributor to Bay Area Bites, KQED's popular food blog. She formerly worked as an Interactive Producer for the Science & Environment unit. Jenny graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Film and Television program and has worked for WNET/PBS, The Learning Channel, Sundance Channel, HBO and the University of California.

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