A decade ago, Starbucks was opening a coffee shop at the rate of 3.5 coffee shops per day worldwide. But even with the ability to find a coffee franchise on practically every street corner, independent and local coffee roasters continue to thrive. Whether it’s the artsy vibe of the shop or the promise of high-end beans, many coffee drinkers choose to forgo the convenience of coffee shop drive-thrus and online ordering. These customers opt to instead trek across town for the best-tasting cup of artisan coffee they can find. Coffee is just that important.
For those of us who love great coffee or who prefer to support locally-based roasters, Richmond has several great options. Here are just a few options, in no particular order of preference:
- Catahoula Coffee: Located off of San Pablo Avenue, Catahoula Coffee won the San Francisco Chronicle Baylist’s “Best of the Bay” for coffee in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014. This company sources their coffee beans responsibly, while also proudly giving back to the local community. For instance, Catahoula Coffee donates coffee for fundraising, with proceeds going to schools and local charities. The company also pours free coffee for Tent Cities and neighborhood council meetings.
- Kaleidoscope Coffee: This coffee shop on Park Place offers a full-on cafe menu with interesting options. They serve up Wrecking Ball Coffee, alongside organic ice cream, beet hummus, and blueberry salsa, and locally-crafted beer and pastries. Kaleidoscope Coffee’s owner, Cassie Cushing, used to be a barista herself, and simply seeks to provide a space for good food, drinks, and story telling.
- East Bay Coffee-San Pablo: While technically in San Pablo, coffee lovers from all over the East Bay (and Richmond) flock to this shop if they want an excellent cup of gourmet coffee. East Bay Coffee exclusively serves fair trade and/or organic coffee and offers seasonal gourmet blends. They additionally serve organic juice and locally-made desserts, and will soon be adding savory food menu items.
- Eunice Cafe 2: Located on 46th Street at the UC Berkeley Global Campus, this local shop is more known for their sandwiches than their coffee. This cafe offers a basic coffee drink menu, alongside gelato and awesomely delicious-looking sandwiches. Options include hot sandwiches like pastrami and swiss and falafel, as well as vegetarian options like the French brie with sun-dried tomatoes.
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