Check Out These Savory Study Spots

Samantha Zulch

Autumn is here and it’s the season to pull those sweaters out of the closet and turn the heater on. Although it may not be as nice sitting outside without the summer sun, why not embrace the harsh weather and head indoors for some quality study sessions. While not usually considered the definition of “fun,” hitting the books in a cozy coffee shop can actually be an enjoyable way to get out of the house and to get your work done. Here are a few reasonably close spots that Mirador recommends tucking away into this fall.

1. Geppetto’s (Orinda Village)

Geppetto’s is located in the Orinda Village, hidden next to the OCC golf course off of Camino Pablo. Arguably the best coffee shop in Orinda, Geppetto’s offers a variety of coffee drinks and teas.  If you’re hungry there are bagels,  pastries and baked goods, sandwiches, and salads. Mirador recommends the Tandoori chicken sandwich if you’re looking for lunch. Geppetto’s has ample indoor seating with tables that are quite convenient to work on. The atmosphere is friendly, spacious, and screams “Old Orinda.” While you could opt for Peet’s or Starbuck’s five minutes away, Geppetto’s is a much more inviting and locally run alternative.

2.    Bittersweet Café (College Avenue, Oakland)

Chocolate lovers: don’t hesitate to make the trip to Bittersweet Café in Rockridge. They offer practically every type of gourmet chocolate bar on the market and really any other chocolate product you could think of. Mirador recommends ordering old school hot chocolate, but don’t expect the “just-add-water” drink your mom made when you were younger. Bittersweet’s hot chocolate is rich and creamy and delicious. They also make coffee (or why not combine the best of both worlds and go with a mocha!) and milkshakes (with an inviting advertisement of “our milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard…” who could resist!?).

3.    Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Café (Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek)

While Boudin doesn’t necessarily fit into the category of coffee study spots, it is a prime destination on a cold or rainy day. Their fabulous bread bowl clam chowder is a hearty classic of the season and is definitely worth a trip to Walnut Creek. Boudin offers both indoor and outdoor seating, depending on the forecast, and features very efficient service even if you’re not getting your food to go. For any unfathomable individuals who are not fans of chowder, you can also order sandwiches, other soups, or baked goods.

4.    La Scala (North Main St., Walnut Creek)

La Scala is an ideal café for studying, providing free Wi-Fi and numerous tables indoors or in their outdoor atrium. Inside is a cozy, but slightly crowded atmosphere à la a French Café.  It’s common to be surrounded by a number of students and adults escaping the cold with their laptops opened. La Scala is slightly pricier than alternative coffee shops, but is also a bit fancier. All typical coffee and tea drinks are on the menu. Indulge in your sweet tooth by ordering desserts such as tiramisu or their chocolate covered macaroons (recommended!). The café is also open until 11 p.m. so after dinner studying and coffee is always an option.

5.    Gaylord’s (Piedmont Avenue, Oakland)

Gaylord’s is another coffee shop that caters perfectly to the homework heavy high school student. Service is quick (though not always friendly from the slightly standoffish and oh-so-hip workers) and there are plenty of indoor tables as well as a counter where you can plug in your computer as you enjoy your drink. There is unlimited water and cups, which is always a plus. Mirador also recommends trying L’Amyx Tea Bar right across the street that is also very hospitable to studying. They make the ever-popular bubble tea as well standard hot teas. If you’ve got a few extra dollars in your wallet you my consider indulging in one of their heavenly looking dessert items.

6.    Sisi’s Café (Moraga)

Sisi’s is by the far the closest study spot to Miramonte, hidden across the street behind the Moraga post office and bordering MCC. Sisi’s workers are very friendly though rather leisurely in their drink preparation. They offer a number of different variations of chai tea among other drinks like coffee or smoothies, but Mirador recommends a chai latté to fight off the nip of the autumn wind. Sisi’s has great back patio seating, but if it’s just too cold there are a couple tables big enough to work at inside the small café. An additional plus to Sisi’s café is that it’s connected to Sisi’s salon, so if you ever need an eyebrow wax along with your single latté, you’re all set!