This Walnut Creek Coffee Gem is Sandwiched Between a JiffyLube and a Tire Recycler

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.

Interior of Bondadoso
Interior of 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.

The author at Bondadoso

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.

Flat white with 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.

Morning bun

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!

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Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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