These are reviews of Mishka's Cafe from 2006. For more current reviews, visit the entry.

You would think that the linkage between the janitor's room and the bathroom would imply a clean bathroom, but think again! The bathroom is very high on the ICK!! factor... Actually, the broom cupboard is seldom locked and, frankly, it's just an ordinary broom cupbaord, not a portal to Narnia or anything.Liam Creighton

If you are looking to absorb some intelligence floating in the atmosphere, try here.- ScottBiggart

The cappuccinos are heavenly. The froth is thick and creamy, the taste is delicious, the cup is precious, and you even get a delightful little dark chocolate-covered espresso bean. - HilarieLloyd

2006-01-06 00:22:34   I go here far too often (at least once per week - usually more), and 90% of the time I've found the staff to be the best of any of the many dozens of cafes I've spent time in. Maybe you were rude? Just remember that they're people, not "the help", and you'll be fine. —GrahamFreeman —Um, yeah, Graham, I realize that. People can be rude without your first being rude. But thanks for the tip about getting along with others. —DavisLurker

2006-01-08 16:12:22   Ug, why must this place—among others—refuse to lower prices for 8 oz. versions of 12 oz. drinks, such as a double-shot latte? The workers are required by management (and I've tested this assumption multiple times) to charge the same price for an 8 oz. drink as a 12 oz. drink, so it's clearly a top-down decision designed to avoid losses to penny-pinching consumers like myself. It's not that I can't afford it, it's that I refuse to pay more for less, and this is why, when I'm in the mood for a steamed-milk drink rather than espresso alone, I go to other coffee shops, such as Roma's, that at least give you longer shots and are willing to approximate the difference of cost between 8 oz. and 12 oz. of milk. It may seem a trifling thing, and ultimately it is, but insofar as coffee shops are concerned, it's worth reporting. So, my recommendation is this: if you go to Mishka's (and there are many reasons to go there besides coffee), stick to espresso/Americano options—on principle, of course!—and try the dolmathes, which are tasty and cheap. That way, at least you get your money's worth (as far as money is worth at a coffee shop, which isn't much). Update: they now offer 8 oz. take-away cups (*clap*), but the price is the same as 12 oz. —ZN

  • Are you one of the people that buys one drink and nurses it for 8 hours, working, chatting with friends, using the free wireless and dirtying up the bathroom, sneaking food bought down the street, and then gets in a huff because you won't get a 25 cent discount on a cup of coffee? Just asking... —HT
    • I realize this q was meant to be satirical, but . . . here's my belated answer: generally, no. I go for two hour reading sessions, at most, and am always mindful of bathroom hygiene. I have eaten a sandwich from Zia's in Mishka's once — it wasn't a calculated decision, just a happenstance one-off occurrence (purchased it before deciding to go with a friend). To make my response somewhat worthwhile, here's my view on Mishka's espresso: even with less milk (8 oz. w/ double shots) and Illy brand shots, my lattes are invariably weak. My palate screams 'Starbucks'. From now on—or until they train their baristas to pull strong shots—I'll stick to their regular coffee. I give up. UPDATE: Double cappuccinos are reliably good. Illy's porcelain cup has a nice feel to it, too. —ZN
      • Wait... I thought they roasted their own beans. Aren't the Illy cans just for decoration? Besides, Illy is a terrible roaster to be going with in North America anyway, it's near impossible to get fresh roasted Illy. Anyway, you can't find good espresso anywhere in Davis, not sure what you're complaining about. Please don't tell them to pull "strong" shots, tell them to use the correct amount of beans, fresh roasted beans, the correct grind, and the correct tamping technique to pull a "good" shot. Of course, that will never happen unless someone with actual espresso knowledge starts working the bar since they obviously are not trained for it. Visit Temple Coffee and Tea in Sacramento for the closest good espresso.
        • I agree with your shot commentary—that's all I ever mean by "pull strong shots" (which is also why I despise automatic espresso machines). And no, the Illy cans are not just for looks. In a taste test, the Illy shots were stronger than the regular alternative, so even though I'd rather not have to choose Illy, it came down to the 'lesser of two weak shots.' See for yourself if this is so. Mishka's is still my preferred coffee joint, but the strength of their shots is on par with Starbucks (with the occasional exception, like today's 8 oz. latte made strong by the young man working the noon shift). Perhaps all that's needed is using a fixed size of coffee for each pull, assuming shot length is fixed? *shrug* —ZN

2006-01-08 19:29:39   Mishkas is the place to go if you want to study in a pretentious furnace. —KaiTing

2006-01-18 12:38:33   the vanilla latte tastes like candy! delicious! —AhuShahrabani

2006-01-19 07:38:24   this place's chai totally sucks —ApolloStumpy

  • Seconded.

2006-04-09 20:43:48   The foam on the cappucinos here is the thickest —DavisHo

2006-04-17 21:43:25   I really like the ginger cookies but its always hot inside and the baristas aren't always the nicest. The tables are rickity and I feel that my lovely Blackberry Sage tea is going to spill on me one day. —JackieCaro

2006-05-09 19:48:14   This place's internet goes down more than I do —DavisHo

2006-05-23 09:43:55   I'd be really cautious. The owner is a jerk to his own employees and really makes me sad. The food is not only sometimes old as mentioned above, but the casing itself is moldy and dirty, just wiped down without being cleaned. The ice in the back is really gross, there is occasionally bacterial mats of some sort and particulates in scoops of it. It's also not cleaned out, just dumped and refilled. Really unsanitary, if there was an inspection check I wouldnt be surpised if they get in trouble and fined. —DavisWikiGnome

  • I work for Sinisa, and I have never had any problems with him being a jerk, I would say he is a business minded person, and expects you to conform to a certain amount of professionalism, but hes actually a really nice guy.
    • You sir, are a guy, and I believe are/were in high school?. It was a friend of mine who left the above comment anonymously on my advice, and she was there for many months and more than a few of the female employees over the years would likely attest to the statement, as did achilepepper many comments below. -ES

2006-06-06 18:21:23   I want to like Mishka's. I really do. And I'd rather not visit Big Green as much as I am forced to. But unfortunately, Mishka's is of the variety of coffee shop that doesn't "get it", and only survives on the student crowd that mainly shows up for the Wi-Fi. As someone who works in the industry, I'll share a little secret. It's not rocket science. A good location, a good product, and prompt yet personal and friendly customer service is all it takes to succeed. Mishka's has a good location. Theirs is a decent product, but has room for improvement. Customer service, like so many other locations that cater to and are mostly run by students, is lacking. Speed of service almost doesn't exist, particularly when it matters most (in the morning). I used to go every day, but now I'm lucky if I make it once a month. —DjzayValenta

2006-07-02 21:29:00   The baristas are very rude. One of them was talking to a friend while I was waiting to get coffee. He glanced over at me a few times and continued his conversation with his friend. Then after a 5 minutes or so (yeah, i waited that long) I asked, "Can I get a coffee please" he gave me the snake eyes, talked to his friend a little longer, then got me my coffee without asking what kind or what size. Ranged me up without a word. What a meanie. The morning people aren't so nice either, but I sort of expect that. Can't resist their coffee though —PattyLouieJunior

2006-09-13 09:02:28   Does anybody else find Mishka's really loud? The roaster, the lack of carpeting, dishes being thrown around....even moving a chair or a table seems to make an inordinate amount of noise. —AmyGoogenspa

2006-09-14 04:59:29   Mishka's Cafe is one of the reasons I love living in Davis. Mishka's is unique, organic, and a local business. I always get a capuccino, and I am never disappointed. Sure, the workers are not robots — sure, the bathroom is a bit dingy — but its a fabulous atmosphere, and the capuccinos are heavenly. The froth is thick and creamy, the taste is delicious, the cup is precious, and you even get a delightful little dark chocolate-covered espresso bean. =) —HilarieLloyd

2006-09-14 13:01:03   Oh, and we need more photos of Mishka's in the sunlight!! These photos look too cloudy. —HilarieLloyd

2006-09-14 10:16:03   Baristas are great. I didn't consider myself a regular but one day I walked in and as soon as I ordered my usual, it was already on the counter. They had started it when they saw me walk in the door. A diverse crowd, not just pre-med students from Orange County, working people, struggling artists, grad students. Plus the guy who gives chess lessons (haven't seen him in a while, tho). —HughToppe

2006-10-06 09:19:32   Then there are probably a lot of people wanting to be seen, and nobody doing the seeing. At least the mirror looks back. Seriously. —KaiTing

  • Yes, I am hideous. *sob* —KaiTing

2006-10-21 13:21:06   Their cappuccinos were glorious, the best in Davis. An excellent espresso shot under a thick mass of foam. I spent my summer studying and sipping in cafe, and it was awesome. Crepeville be damned; Mishka's had won my loyalty (despite poor internet, poor lighting, and tight confines). However, the cappuccinos are now pitiful, milky wet things with about half a cm of foam, even when I ask for them to be "super dry". At first I thought it was just a new barista at the beginning of her learning curve. Then a month later she hadn't improved. Then a different barista gave me the same sort of coffeeish milk with a tiny froth layer: a latte in a teacup. Has anyone been made a cappuccino the old, thick-foamy-mass way within the last couple of weeks? Is there hope, or are my favorite cappuccinos gone? —MorganKanninen

  • i'd recommend being more direct/specific in ordering. instead of requesting a "dry" cappuccino, just ask for plenty 'o foam and confirm that you are both envisioning the same drink. not all baristas are familiar with this terminology, use, or understand it. each coffee shop, girl, and boy executes their own interpretation of espresso. my guess is that miscommunication of some sort is causing your cappuccino woes. it is very likely that either they don't quite know what a cappuccino is, received lack luster training, or think that "dry" means barren foam-wise whereas "wet" = fooooooooam. —Frenchie

2006-10-25 00:57:15   mmmm... apricot oatcakes. Nice owner/staff person. —ChristyMarsden

2006-11-18 22:40:05   Really good White Mochas (no whip). Probably best I've ever had. I dont get anything else from here. —GunIk

2006-12-13 12:40:28   Really good place to work/relax, but they need to add another restroom. —AvitalBinshtock