I recently took my car in for service in the weirdly industrial northern part of Walnut Creek, California.
Unwilling to drink the dealership’s low-rent pod coffee, I searched for a nearby coffee shop, not expecting to find much.
Surprisingly, I found that there was a nice-looking coffee shop just two blocks away. It’s apparently been there for six years. Sandwiched between a JiffyLube and a tire recycler, it definitely qualifies as a hidden gem.
I bet you can’t even come close to pronouncing its name on the first try. Its Bondadoso.
A Strange Coffee Oasis
While the nearby car places drain oil and antifreeze, Bondadoso has been quietly serving excellent coffee and pastries in a charming, eclectic space.
Bondadoso skews towards hipster in its aesthetic and its menu. The menu is divided into two broad categories: White (lattes and other milk-based drinks) and Black (pour-over coffees, cold brew, etc.)
The coffee shop is a collective, much like Berkeley’s famed Cheese Board, and the interior walls are covered in motivational slogans about humanity and kindness.
There are plenty of tables, as well as a dog-friendly porch that’s open during the dry season.
The Coffee and Food
The coffee and food at Bondadoso are top-knotch. I had a flat white, which arrived in a ceramic mug with lovely latte art.
I paired that with a morning bun (healthy choices, I know) that was light, perfectly sweet, and just the right amount of gooey.
The shop also has a wide selection of teas and other pastries. Sitting in its comfy interior was a fantastic way to wile away the time during an oil change.
Bondadoso is physically a nice place to work, but the outlets are limited; make sure to charge your devices in advance. The vibe was friendly, if a bit curt. Signs around the shop are a bit brusque, warning visitors not to ask the staff to dry tables during the rainy season and otherwise laying out ground rules.
Signs aside, though, this was a lovely spot to enjoy some artisan coffee, in a part of town that otherwise skews bleak. I’ll definitely be back—I may even visit without needing the corresponding oil change!