It feels like spring is here with flowers blooming on the streets and the sun coming out to play (at least until the rain arrives again). It’s the perfect time to stroll around and meet up with friends.

Today, I want to tell you about a charming café-bistro: The Musical Offering. A friend recently introduced me to this place while we were catching up after a couple of years of not being able to see each other. Located in downtown Berkeley, it’s a great place to stop by if you’re walking or shopping around the city.

Downtown can be a little chaotic with so many UC Berkeley students roaming around, but the vibe inside was very chill. It felt really Berkeley, if you know what I mean – relaxed and artsy. The front of the store features the cafe area where people sit down to eat their scrumptious sandwiches (the eggplant/caramelized onion, $8.50, was amazing). In the back, they have a good selection of classical music CD’s, DVD’s and records! You won’t find the latest pop, rock, and hip-hop here, but you will find marvelous recordings of symphonies, quartets, and concertos!

The clientele was a good mix of younger folks and older folks (think students studying, professionals lunching and professors chilling/grading) and was neither too loud nor too quiet. It was empty when we got there around 11 am (on a Monday), but quickly filled up as noon rolled around for the lunchtime crowd.

Bonus: Right next door to the café-bistro is the University Press Bookstore, and it has a satisfying number of shelves of academic and non-academic books. It seemed like they have a quiet study/reading area in the back, too, if that’s your kind of thing!

Happy eating, shopping, and reading!