There is no shortage of coffee shops in downtown Oakland. In fact, there are often two coffee shops within the same block (not a problem, just a point of fact!). With such high quantity and quality, it can be hard to decide where to grab your avocado toast or morning cuppa joe. While you’ll be hard-pressed to find a bad café in the area, we’ve selected six local coffee shops that we think you absolutely can’t miss.
With a mission to bring people together, Awaken Café & Roasting has been a staple of downtown Oakland since 2008. At Awaken, Oaklanders of all shapes and sizes gather for work meetings, lunch dates with friends, and community organizing – all over a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Within this Wi-Fi free zone, patrons gather to admire the local art hung on the walls, enjoy the large sandwiches full of fresh ingredients, or drink a craft beer at happy hour. Don’t miss the avocado toast (once voted the East Bay’s best toast), best paired with a vanilla latte and a good book.
Luckyduck Bicycle Cafe
Located on 12th Street and Harrison, Luckyduck is a magical hybrid of café and bike shop. With open and sunny quarters, Luckyduck features ample seating, free Wi-Fi, and walls lined with bicycles, art, and lots of cycling gear. Alongside their extensive menu of coffee drinks, sandwiches, and beer, Luckyduck also offer bicycle repair services, community events, and group bike rides. Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or just looking for a spacious café to grab a coffee and get some work done, Luckyduck is a can’t miss Oakland establishment.
302 12th St
Slojoy Coffee Roasters
Slojoy Coffee is a walk-up window nestled between buildings on Webster Street, and though there are a handful of outdoor seats available, if you aren’t paying attention you could very well miss it. Though their drinks are of the highest quality – options including pour-over and mint julep lattes – it’s their handwritten notes on the to-go cups that they’re most well-known for. With a desire to spread joy across Oakland, staff handwrite original and encouraging notes on each cup of coffee, like “be patient,” and “you don’t have to have it all together.”
1528 Webster St
Red Bay Coffee
In Uptown Oakland, Red Bay Coffee offers another stylish coffee to-go option, this time in the form of a converted shipping container. Founded in 2014, Red Bay Coffee has made it their mission to create unity, among both their customers and the staff. According to their website, Red Bay, “strives to be diverse and inclusive of those who have traditionally been left out of the specialty coffee industry, especially people of color, the formerly incarcerated, women and people with disabilities.” Grab one of the best iced coffees in town, play the life-size chess game in the plaza, and treat yourself to some ice cream from neighboring Humphry Slocombe
(Outside Impact Hub Oakland)
Wooden Table Café
Wooden Table Café is an Immigrant owned Argentine bakery and café that opened on Broadway in 2017. Head Baker and co-owner Andreas brings recipes learned from growing up in Buenos Aires to life. Using only local ingredients, Wooden Table offers empanadas, alfajores (shortbread cookies with dulce de leche inside), and conitos (chocolate cookies topped with dulce de leche and covered in dark chocolate). In addition to the coffee roasted by Due Torri Coffee, Wooden Table also serves top-of-the-line Yerba Mate. The establishment also hosts many local events in its small but colorful space, including live music and dance classes.
Hidden on Clay Street in the middle of Old Oakland sits Oeste Café. Oeste opened both a café and an adjacent bar in 2018 with a mission to celebrate Oakland’s rich history and culture. Oeste Cafe features thoughtfully crafted espresso drinks, pastries and homemade Spanish tortillas, and perhaps most importantly, a rooftop. A favorite among locals, Oeste is a perfect place to grab your morning coffee, unwind over a slow brunch, or to enjoy a cappuccino and warm tortilla on the rooftop on a sunny day.
722 Clay Street