Best Walnut Creek cafes for reading, working, socializing, chilling?

I stopped in the other morning at Caffe La Scala, across North Main Street from City Hall, to pick up some coffee and noticed they had a library filled with lots of current magazines, including New Yorkers.

I was awfully tempted to sit down with my coffee, be late for work, and read the December 14 issue with an article by their legal writer, Jeffrey Toobin, about Roman Polanski and The Celebrity Defense. Or, I could have been a bit more serious and picked up the December 21 issue, with an article by the esteemed and always controversial Seymour M. Hersch: In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?

I was just dazzled and delighted by such available reading material.

Usually, if I get the chance to go sit in a cafe, I’ll bring my laptop and do you know what, get Crazy. Or, I’ll bring my own book or magazine. I’ve done this at Saxbys Coffee, across the street from Caffe La Scala. They have a little sofa you can sit on, and cozy area in back.
Pacific Bay Coffee Company, across from Kaiser hospital, is also a bustling hang-out with good coffee. It’s also supposed to be a second office for some self-employed acquaintances of mine.

I also stop in at the different Starbucks and Peet’s around town. Those chain coffee houses have more familiar selections of drinks and snacks, and Peetsheads swear by Peet’s coffee. But these places are not necessarily the most relaxing spots. They tend to be crowded. However, they can be the place to see and be scene. One morning, in Peet’s on Locust, I saw several neighbors, a couple people who go to my gym, a City Council member, and someone I had recently had some pleasant work dealings…
Where do you like to go? For coffee? Or to hang out, on your own or with friends? Where is a good place for a work-related meeting? And which place has the best selection of free reading material?

8 thoughts on “Best Walnut Creek cafes for reading, working, socializing, chilling?

  1. Pacific Bay is my second office when my internet connection goes down. If I need to meet a client for a cup of coffee I usually suggest Peets on Locust.

    For socializing I like the Peets at Ygnacio Plaza although not as much since Diablo Books closed. I'm still mad about that and Bonanza Books. Independent book stores are by far the best places to go for reading and chilling. Walnut Creek has lost a lot since those fine establishments closed.

    On nice days my son and I take the bike trails to Countrywood and spend the afternoon mother-son bonding at Jamba Juice, Noahs, or Starbucks.


  2. I know what my least favorite place is: Whole Foods. They have WiFi and I don't think they should, since they have such limited seating, and those of us who would like to eat, get faced with lap top hogs spread out all over a booth and not willing to share or realize others would like to eat at a table.
    It's OK if it is off peak time perhaps, but I'm a daily customer, and I feel that these people just camp out there for hours and don't budge!!!


  3. I like both Peet's and Pacific Bay. I support Pacific Bay as it's a local business. They have nice local at times. Good coffee too!


  4. Pacific Bay is overpriced and parking sucks. I like Barnes and Nobles upstairs. Comfy and cozy, with “free” reading material and free wifi. I wonder if the library when open will take lots of business away from B&N?


  5. I like La Scala because it appeals to all ages. Little kids love sitting outside by the fountain when it's warm. Older kids can hang out in the evenings and get a snack while the rest of us go any time and enjoy the food with a glass of bubbly or a cup of tea. A very comfortable and inviting place


  6. I love all the coffee shops in Walnut creek! I've only been home in England for a few days and I already look forward to renewing my daily routine upon my next visit in June.


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