Zocalo Coffee House


Zocalo is a large, 16-year-old coffee shop in San Leandro, one of the quite appealing little cities in the East Bay just south of Oakland. The shop feels very welcoming with a friendly, smiling staff and a mix of families and laptop junkies like myself on a weekday afternoon. Ye olde local art on the walls and a mix of hanging curtains and dark-amber lighting fixtures give the cavernous open room a touch of personality.


Plenty of places to sit, and there are outlets to be found against the walls and free Wi-Fi. They have pretty much every type of seating you could want including a children’s play area in back.

There’s a small selection of baked goods, but that doesn’t mean an uninteresting one. I had a bacon-scallion scone, which bore a lot of resemblance to a cheddar biscuit both texturally and in flavor.


It was very fluffy, and much like a quiche, the fillings travelled to the bottom of the scone except for the thick layer of cheddar, bacon, and scallions sprinkled on top. That made for a good mix of ingredients without feeling too heavy. There was a lot of cheese throughout the treat.

The coffee menu is simple: drip or hand-presses for brew, cappuccinos and lattes for espresso, iced tea and coffee, and Italian sodas. My iced coffee was robust with a pleasant mesquite taste on the back end.


It gave me enough confidence to purchase a pound to take home. I am always excited to find a new-to-me place for getting freshly roasted beans. Zocalo has several varieties of whole beans including a few blends, which was even more exciting to find for me. I appreciate single-origin beans and the sustainability practices used to source those beans in today’s more responsible shops, but I often find the earthier flavors of a blended roast more to my liking, and there’s nothing stopping a blend from being sustainably sourced either—though I must confess, I have no idea if Zocalo’s are.


The Cobra blend kept my husband and me quite happy for the past month of coffee drinking at home. I’ll be back to spend a working afternoon at Zocalo’s, no question. The only thing that would make them more appealing to me is evening hours.


Zocalo Coffee House
645 Bancroft
San Leandro
Coffee Drinks: $2–$4

Zocalo Coffeehouse & Roastery on Urbanspoon

Zocalo Coffeehouse on Foodio54

Reviewed 23 April 14.

2 comments for “Zocalo Coffee House

  1. Leslie Donoviel
    29 June 2014 at 9:43 pm

    I also agree that Zocalo’s hours should be changed to accommodate those that can’t get there that early, or those who wish to stay longer. Thank you for coming to one of the little gems of our city. Leslie

    • 29 June 2014 at 11:05 pm

      Would be awesome if they did! Of course, I understand why businesses don’t always have late hours–paying someone to work them can be hard to afford!–but I am so happy when they do.

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