Visit Local Coffee Shops for a Break From Chain Stores

When traveling, I always prefer to visit the local coffee shops to get a sense of the local community and the uniqueness of each city. While the national chains, such as Starbucks, offers consistency no matter where you go, the local mom & pop shops offers a little more personal touch. Below are two of my favorite coffee shops in the Bay Area.

Awaken Cafe

414 14 Street
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 836-2058


Awaken Cafe is a local East Bay favorite in downtown Oakland. It offers art, community, and sustainable coffee. They have a variety of organic, fair trade coffee that they freshly grind on site. Rather than plain brewed coffee, they use a French Press, giving their regular coffee a grittier hearty taste. Enjoy your coffee, knowing that Awaken uses 100% recycled cups that are fully compostable and lids that are made from potatoes and break down in 30 to 45 days. If you’re around, you can toss your cup away in their composting bin. While you’re waiting for your coffee to be made, also check out the ever changing artwork hung up in gallery style from local artists.

Philz Coffee

3101 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 875-9370

Philz Coffee

Philz Coffee has over 25 different roasts and each cup of coffee is hand made, meaning it’s brewed specifically for you. While a typical “brewed” coffee comes out to be $3 for a small cup, the quality and freshness can’t be beat. After you pick from the huge range of available coffee, even Jamaican Blue Mountain ($7  a cup!), you order your size and how you want your coffee: plain, cream, sugar, in addition to traditional espresso styles. The barista carefully grinds your coffee, loads up the coffee filter, gently fills it with hot water, and with care, slightly shakes the filter around to get an optimal brew. When it’s done, she’ll pour it out into a cup, back into the container, and back into your cup again, filling your cup with air and goodness.

Published by Daniel Hoang

Daniel Hoang is a visual leader, storyteller, and creative thinker. As an experienced management consultant, he believes in a big picture approach that includes strong project leadership, creative methods, change management, and strategic visioning. He uses a range of visual tools to communicate business challenges, solutions, and goals. His change strategy is to build "tribes" of supporters and evangelists to drive change in culture and organization. Daniel is an avid technologist and futurist and early adopter.