Ahh... Au Coquelet, the welcoming Berkeley cafe where you can get a cup of coffee at the crack of dawn and come back after midnight for another cup with an Irish kick, indulge in a fresh fruit torte or any of the homemade desserts. No matter what time of day you opt to sit for a spell in the brick-walled Berkeley institution, the tables are sure to be dotted with people typing at laptops, thumbing through books, or just shooting the breeze.
With ample elbow room, abundant light, an amiable languor, and a head-scratchingly wide array of well-cooked, hefty-portioned, affordable food and drinks — from breakfast burritos to rainbow trout to burgers to cappuccino to exotic cocktails such as Moscow Mules — Au Coquelet is the primordial cafe. It's how cafes were meant to be. The dining room is perfect for meetings, given its convenient location and widely spaced tables. In the front room, facing onto University Avenue, elephantine coffee drinks accompany house-baked pastries: Croissants are never more than one hour out of the oven, and the big, chunky brownies might just be Berkeley's best.
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