Baristas taking orders; espresso machines churning; people conversing. The distant sound of the wind and cars make up the perfect white noise at cafes. These sounds somehow create the most peaceful environment for me to focus in. Maybe it’s the coffee aroma, the caffeine from my drink or the act of simply forcing myself to sit up and look like I’m studying that make cafes my go-to study spots. If that’s also the case for you, here are some aesthetic cafes to study at within walking distance around UC Berkeley.
Cafenated Coffee Company
Located in Nosh just a few blocks northwest of campus, Cafenated Coffee Company is a picturesque cafe with a mission to support women coffee farmers. Although there are plenty of tables in the back outdoor seating area, they usually get full on weekends and peak times. Make sure to find the right time to go, and bring your laptop fully charged. Fortunately, Cafenated plans to open another location on College Avenue in June — keep an eye out!
Sodoi Coffee Tasting House
This cafe is named in response to the Martin Luther King Jr. quote: “I want to make the world a better place” — “So do I.” It was founded with the hope to inspire its visitors to love life and never give up. While the interior is a little dark due to it being in the middle of Telegraph-Channing Garage, it nevertheless embraces a cozy, motivating atmosphere to study in. Along with plenty of outlets, it provides a variety of drinks, pastries and dessert options on its menu.
My Coffee Roastery
I discovered this cafe recently and was surprised I hadn’t known about it sooner. It’s located two blocks west of the Downtown BART station and is furnished with cute indoor and outdoor seats, although limited. The place is small, simple and quiet, which gives off a cozy cottage vibe and places its focus on serving quality coffee. My Coffee Roastery is a great place to visit to get work done and reflect on life.
The Hidden Cafe
The location of this cafe is, indeed, hidden; you have to walk a bit inward from the big street to find the entrance. However, once you enter its enclave, you find yourself standing in between a big green lawn and a brown brick building with a small window where the barista takes orders. Although there are limited seats inside its picture-perfect interior, don’t worry. There is plenty of room outside — tables, benches and the grass — to enjoy a cup of coffee and a book on a warm, sunny day. While it is a little farther from campus — about a 30-minute walk west of campus — we have AC Transit at our convenience.
Way Station Brew
Sitting on the wooden deck patio lit with fairy lights alongside a cup of iced americano makes the perfect environment for writing essays. Way Station Brew is a small cafe located on Dwight Way and Shattuck Avenue with great seats for studying and food options for grabbing a bite. On top of the coffee, it sometimes hosts pop-up restaurants to serve meals in the afternoon. If you go around opening time, you can enjoy the warm and crispy, blueberry scones right out of the oven.
Here are some tips for studying in cafes. Bring your laptop fully charged in case there are no outlets; bring water to frequently rinse your mouth to keep your teeth from staining; bring earphones with a study playlist ready to go in case you need a break from the noise around you. It often helps productivity to come with a goal for what you want to get done — but even without, don’t feel guilty to allow yourself to simply sit and enjoy your cup of coffee and the cafe aesthetic.