Cozy Cottage epitomizes the friendly neighborhood café -- the place you can walk right in, grab a complimentary cup of coffee and see the same grandmotherly servers on every visit. It's charming -- the kind of place you hope opens next door. With the Tennyson dining scene blowing up, Cozy Cottage has become a staple of the quirky neighborhood, settling into its current location nearly four years after outgrowing its original space on South Downing Street.
Open from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every day for breakfast and lunch, Cozy Cottage is set in an adorable yellow bungalow across the street from a vibrant multicolored house and one door down from a boutique painted in leopard print -- there's definitely no shortage of personality in Berkeley. The wait is almost never more than 20 minutes, if there is one at all.
The ambiance is similar to Sassafras in Jefferson Park, only a little more low-key, with an amazing wrap around patio offering plenty of outdoor seating. After you been once, you'll want to take everyone you know: your visiting relatives, kids and friends -- without pretension or judgment. We enjoyed watching the passersby -- runners, baby carriers, dogs, and even a unicyclist making the rounds -- while listening to a relaxing mix of wind chimes and quiet jazz. It was a stark contrast to this week's arctic blast, but the interior space is just as cozy as the name suggests, in case you're planning a visit this weekend.
There's no alcohol on the menu, but plenty of teas and coffees will give your body a jolt if need be. I opted for an iced tea, which came in a carafe, a better option for the wait staff than stopping at the table every few minutes for refills, while Jeff went with a cappuccino and eventually helped me out with the tea.
The breakfast menu is an extensive three-pager, including an impressive list of crepes and pancakes, but I wanted something savory, so opted for the veggie skillet. Not actually served in a skillet, the dish was more of an artistic presentation of colorful sliced and diced veggies under eggs. Bright green peas called attention to half-melted, orange cheddar, the hues intensified by the falling leaves around us. The chalkboard pork chop special sounded really great and seasonally appropriate, but it turned out to be just a tease from last month that hadn't been updated yet. Instead, Jeff went with the steak and eggs, which came out more well than medium, with the same orange cheese, green peas and well-seasoned potatoes. While the food is pretty basic -- simple diner meat and eggs, it's what you would expect from the place down the street - perfect if you're too lazy to cook yourself and need an excuse to grab some fresh air.