The Chocolate Dragon Bittersweet Café & Bakery – Rockridge
5427 College Avenue, Oakland
UPDATE October 2016: Bittersweet Café is now The Chocolate Dragon Bittersweet Café & Bakery.
The Chocolate Dragon Bittersweet Café was established in 2004, and they have done everything from bean-to-bar to grinding their hot chocolate mixes to roasting their own coffees and making their own baked goods. The café on College Ave. was their first one. It opened in 2005.
Their do-it-yourself philosophy extends to the café space itself. The interior uses reclaimed wood for the counter and old mismatched tables and chairs for seating. Chocolate and coffee displays are on old buffet tables.
We recommend going to Bittersweet for their hot chocolate drinks, especially the Spicy Hot Chocolate (the ingredient list includes rose water-?), which has a nice warmth from cayenne and white pepper, and the Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate, which has a nice balance between peanut butter and the chocolate. Plus, if you avoid hot chocolate because that shot of liquid sugar can make you feel ill, the peanut butter fat seems to slow down that sugar metabolism so you don’t get sick.
Bittersweet carries some artisan chocolate from around the world and a little local chocolate.
Don’t be put off by the baristas’ attitude. They might not be the friendliest, most helpful servers, but they make a good cup of hot chocolate.