Studying at your desk all the time gets boring, but luckily Berkeley is home to numerous coffee shops both on and around the campus that can satisfy your craving for a warm vanilla latte and provide a cozy corner for you to finish the last 20 pages of your reading. Here’s a list of my favorite spots to study and sip around campus:
Located next to the stadium, I-House is situated at the top of Bancroft Avenue, which is a convenient location for students who live on the south side of campus. In addition to it’s array of expresso beverages, I-House cafe has a full breakfast and lunch menu. The best feature of I-House cafe is the window seating, which has an amazing view of the bay and, on a clear day, the Golden Gate Bridge.
Outdoor seating with outlets?! Need I say more? Caffe Strada, located on the corner of Bancroft Way and College Ave., is the quaint college coffee shop I always imagined. Since I finish class at 9 a.m. on Mondays after my Spanish recitation, I always stop by Strada on my way home to work on homework and catch up on readings, while sipping on an iced coffee. Many professors and GSIs (Cal’s version of teaching assistants) also hold office hours here! Although Strada has some indoor seating, most of the seating is outdoors. When it’s cold out, they use heat lamps to keep the patio at a comfortable temperature. In addition, if you specify that an order is to-go, they’ll send you off with a compostable coffee cup.
Cafe Milano is a bit further down Bancroft Way than Caffe Strada and I-House and offers two levels of indoor seating. It’s usually pretty easy to push some tables together here, which makes it a nice spot to bring friends to work on a project or study for a midterm. In my opinion, Cafe Milano has the best vanilla latte near campus.
The Free Speech Movement Cafe was designed to honor the Free Speech Movement that occurred on campus in the 1960s. In addition to being home to my favorite warm apple cider and expresso brownies, FSM’s walls are home to images and history from the Free Speech Movement. It offers both indoor and outdoor seating, but I usually prefer to study outdoors and take advantage of our beautiful California weather. Because of its central location on campus, its an easy spot to meet friends; one of my sorority sisters and I meet here every Tuesday mornings at 9 a.m. to chat between our classes.
5. Golden Bear Cafe (GBC)
The Golden Bear Cafe is actually a mini grocery store on campus where everything can be purchased with meal points, including the Peet’s Coffee! Although there isn’t any indoor seating, you can sit on the patio and observe the hustle of Sproul on a sunny Tuesday morning or grab a snack between classes. There are three other locations on campus, and one off the central campus by Crossroad dining hall, that offer Peet’s Coffee for meal points as well.