Coffee is central to the lives of students, working professionals, and hipsters alike. Whether you’re looking to fuel up for a day of work or relax and catch up with a friend, a cup of coffee is great company no matter what your agenda looks like. Berkeley, being a city full of college students and young self-starters, is the perfect place to explore with a great caffeinated beverage. I’m going to break down my favorite coffee shops on and around campus, and encourage you to use this as a mini coffee guide for the Berkeley area!
To start, I am not someone with a strong opinion, especially on food and drinks. Everything just kinda blends together, so it’s really hard to impress me. If it’s cold and refreshing then it’s probably a decent boba drink. Why am I ranking drink places if I don’t have strong opinions, you ask? Well, I don’t know honestly. My housemate gave me the idea and promptly ranked everything on the spot, so I was like why not. Besides, I’m also curious as to how this goes.
Disclaimer: I am only ranking places that I have tried which is, fortunately, a whole lot. Yes, I say boba and not bubble tea, sue me. This list is completely in my opinion, so there may not be a whole lot of critical thinking when it comes to why I like one more than the other. It’s truly just a feeling. In the words of Eugene Lee Yang from the Try Guys, “I’m right, you’re wrong. Shut up.”
Being a live music junkie is easy in Berkeley, almost too easy. Being located in the Bay Area, a favorite spot for many artists, makes this the perfect city for concert lovers of all types. Whether you want to attend a small show at Cornerstone, conveniently located right off Shattuck, or you want to Bart over to the Civic Center in San Francisco for a rave at Bill Graham, the opportunities are virtually endless!
Being able to buy a ticket for a friend and I to see one of our favorite artists and know that, one way or another—bus, Uber, or Bart—we’ll get there and have the time of our lives is one of the best feelings! Some of my favorite memories of my college experience thus far have been at concerts with my closest friends.
One of the best benefits of going to a school like Berkeley, is not just what happens in school, but what happens outside of it. The Bay Area is a diverse area, full of options, from the beaches bordering the chilly northern Pacific, to cities with major metropolitan offerings, to even mountains and beautiful California scenery. With so many different adventures to choose from, I’m here to share my favorite memories.
I’m a big foodie, and I love to try new cuisines from different places. One of the places I love to go with my friends is Fruitvale, a neighborhood in south Oakland that’s home to a large Latinx population, where I often to go a restaurant called Aguachiles el Tamarindo. Located in a stationary food truck with a large outdoor seating area, Aguachiles offers a large selection of Sinaloan dishes, from traditional entrees to newer, more popular food trends. It’s one of the many amazing restaurants and food trucks located in Fruitvale, and in the larger Oakland area.
Life at Cal can be rather stressful at times, and what better way to cope than with retail therapy? Lucky for the fashion forward student body, there are so many places to go and find a new favorite item. Or, better yet, a renewed favorite item! Consider this a go-to guide to all of the vintage, thrift, and small-business clothing stores around campus.
Indigo Vintage Located down Telegraph, this is one of my personal favorite stops. I will admit that it is one of the pricier options, but if you only go when you want to treat yourself, it is definitely worth it. The employees are always so kind and ready to help you find everything you need and make you feel SO good about yourself! Also, if you’re for any reason looking specifically for Harley Davidson, Disney, or wolf shirts, this is the place!
When you first come to Berkeley, you might be bombarded by how much there is to do and see here. From the quirky bookstores to the vegan cupcakes, the city of Berkeley is teeming with unique and cultivated experiences. Working as the lead business and economy reporter for the Daily Californian has allowed me to have the opportunity to get to know some of the really amazing small businesses here in Berkeley! My name is Dina and I’m going to be your virtual tour guide through some of the best small businesses in Berkeley!