These are reviews of Mishka's Cafe from 2007. For more current reviews, visit the entry.

2007-03-10 13:31:39   I love the Mishka's vibe and I think their coffee is the best in town. But is it me, or are the drinks never hot enough? —BriannaBetancourt

Actually a common problem with many coffee places is that they make it too hot... Espresso is supposed to be brewed at a particular temperature to maximize flavor and minimize burnt flavor. A certain national chain is the worst of them all and their espresso is always hot (sugar greatly needed). —WesHardaker

2007-03-10 19:11:34   Mishkas always plays the same music. They also have a problem with their WiFi router cutting out all the time. Kill two birds with one stone: play internet radio that relies on the wifi. That way, if the internet goes down or some jerk starts torrenting massive amounts of porn, everyone will know. —ArlenAbraham

2007-04-26 01:09:15   AA wins, I will be sure to tell Sinisa about that as it's a good idea =D —StevenDaubert

2007-05-14 22:16:00   As a former employee I second the prior claim of the filthy mats, the old ice and the ice scoop container that gets filled algae There is a distinctive difference between being “business minded” and being a cutthroat penny- pincher. The bathroom and mop room have COCKROACHES that the owner dismisses as “water bugs” the cakes at the top of the case sit in their for weeks. The floors behind the counter are filthy; at the end of a shift my ankles would be black form the filth below the counter. The place is just waiting for a sexual harassment suit, the owner left his wife for one of his 20 something employees. in the mornings the milk sits out for hours,


2007-05-14 22:16:14   and sinisa is too cheap to buy temperature gauges so watch out for burnt milk! Every evening the scones and croissants are laid on metal sheets in office in racks, NOT COVERED cockroaches enjoy them at night. The owner doesn't supply enough glasses, sometimes when busy the glasses reused WITHOUT going through the sanitizer. Yeah it may be “free trade coffee” but what is more immoral than these conditions?


2007-05-15 02:49:12   achilipepper's exposé makes me sad. A dingy cafe doesn't bother me, but the idea that the food I ingest there is almost penicillin makes queasy. Between this and the departed Roma, it's getting hard to even want to support local coffee shops. —JesseSingh

2007-05-16 23:26:15   Despite all its apparent flaws, I honestly will still go to Mishka's. There may be roaches on the food that I don't eat, burnt milk for the mochas I rarely drink, but honestly, it will still have tables open to Eleven on the clock. I think that this expose should be a chance for greater communication, leading to solutions and thusly a better coffee shop for the community. So suchly, does anyone want to try to talk to the owner? maybe ask him for his input on the situation? —DavidPoole

2007-05-20 14:49:24   I have BIG issues with this whole "rule" BS about not being able to use the front tables for studying. Since when should coffee shops dictate what people in their coffee shop do?! I'm guessing the "rule" was instituted because someone wanted to bitch about all the students everywhere - I doubt that those STUDENTS would complain about people CHATTING. We're paying customers, too. CHATTERS can go to the Starbucks in downtown Davis with only ONE outlet. I resent the fact that I have to take my business elsewhere because the 4+ EMPTY tables in the front are reserved for NON-students, which I have had to do when the place is full. That's obnoxious to me. —joeistheish

  • Even though I go to Mishka's fairly regularly to study, I can see the owner's point in regards to The Rule. Sure, I get frustrated when every other table is full, forcing me to go to any one of the few other cafes in Davis (I mean, other than Mishka's, there's only Seattle's Best, two Starbucks, Crepeville, two Peet's, Chamonix, Ciocolat, Common Grounds, Delta of Venus...). But really I'm more frustrated with the moochers who buy one drink and "nurture" it for four hours while using the free internet. That's the reason it stays full, not "The Rule". I personally would rather have the option of sitting at one of those tables reading a newspaper whilst waiting for a studying-table to open up. Maybe once in the past 3 years have I actually had to go home because nobody was giving up the goods. Honestly, I think complaining about people chatting in cafes is a wakeup call, my friend. It's a social spot, not a friggin' library. You've forgotten that there's a customer base who don't see cafes as study spots. And those people also tend to be more loyal to a cafe. Look at Java California, John sold that because he wasn't making enough money. I think he was a little too liberal with the amenities, personally, and that did him in in the end (He did send notices out warning people he may have to add his own "rules"). All that said, I have also seen The Rule enforced in silly situations. Like it being less than 30 minutes to closing. Maybe he should time that shit like the "Diamond Lane" or something..—JesseSingh
  • A few things to note. Firstly said front tables are not reserved for non-students, they are reserved for people who are using the cafe to meet, read a paper, and chat, generally things you used to do in a cafe before wireless Internet and away from college towns. I as a student have never had a problem in this cafe, the rule isn't directed against students, it is trying to create a compromise to ensure there are tables for all members of the community. Many of the folk sitting there with their wifi laptops are not students, though I may not be the best judge, there are times when it seems there are no students present at most cafes, yet still people are there with wi-fi working on something or the other. As far as the chatting folk. You seem to say that students would not complain about people chatting in the cafes, yet you seem to be doing that by your choice in formatting. I am assuming you are a student. Generally I go to a cafe for the business they offer, not a free wi-fi connection, not a table inside (it is really nice out actually), not to study, but to get a nice cup of coffee, or tea (I recommend the 'tea of inquiry'). If you really wish to have a wi-fi connection and some water, to study and the like, why not stay at home? If you wanted it to be quiet, there are several nice places to study around the campus, most with internet and power. ~DavePoole (I feel trolled)
  • Funny, I didn't expect such a response. I will digress to an EXTENT, and accept the fact that the coffee shop may have issues with the SQUATTERS that buy a $1.75 tea and then KICK IT for hours and hours, using the "free internet". While I'm not condoning that, I'm also sure that most coffee shops don't get the majority of their revenue in the evenings ANYWAYS; it's the morning rushes that keep these places alive and well. Jesse - you make good points, but I shouldn't have to go on a HUNT for an open table at other coffee shops when there are open tables HERE. And DavePoole I'll have to completely disagree with the fact that this is not directed towards studens - it ABSOLUTELY IS!!! If you go to a coffee shop in San Francisco in the middle of the Financial District, you will surely find consultants and other people who may need to use the internet access, and they will sometimes stay there for hours and hours doing what they need to do. I have never, (other than in Davis at Mishka's), seen limitations to the patrons' activity. I lived in Elk Grove before I moved to Davis, and I constantly saw people in the coffee shops for hours and hours - on laptops - and not once did I see that one was "booted" for staying too long. This is only an issue because Davis is, indeed, a college town. Therefore - it IS about the students. I'm not complaining about chatters, either. I'm complaining about "the rule". If there were people chatting, then I would have no issues with them. But there WERENT. THAT'S MY PROBLEM lol. In addition, I moved to Davis as a transfer in the Fall 2007, and still had classes that I was taking in the Sacramento area this past spring. SO - I don't have the option of going onto campus to the oh-so-infamous "24 hour room" at the library. In addition, I don't like to study at home. Believe it or not - I can focus better in an environment of other studious individuals in a coffee shop. And also - I would have LOVED to sit outside (and I actually tried), but my laptop battery wouldn't last long enough. So! That hopeless night at Mishka's, I ended up taking my mint tea and walking back to my car, and driving BACK to my apartment, and studying there. (By the way - I have WIFI at home; I wouldn't make the assumption that the students at Mishka's are taking advantage of the free internet. In fact, I doubt that's the case; AT&T's lowest internet pan is 14.99 and a latte can cost 3 or 4 bucks. I think they're just there because they want to be in a coffee shop to study. PERIOD.) - Joe
    • Actually, there have been a lot of news articles about this recently, across the country (do a search on Google and you'll see what I mean). It's a very widespread problem — that is, how coffee shops can stay in business when people only buy one cup of coffee (or latte or whatever) and then sit all day. Some of them have taken to requiring regular purchases in order to stay afloat financially. So, here, the issue applies to students, because there are a lot of students in Davis, but in Silicon Valley, for example, the issue is people trying to run their "home businesses" out of a coffee shop. (As you say, not necessarily for the free internet, but because they like having other people around when they work). —CovertProfessor
    • Hey Joe — get a life. You have no "rights" in a coffee shop. Sinisha is the owner, and he makes the rules. You may have "needs" and so do babies — go complain to your mom. If you want to drink coffee and read a paper (like some do), Mishkas is a great place for it. If you want a library, go to the Davis public library. —DavidZetland

on a random note Joe, I can assure you that the owner does not and will not care about your plight, the rule was made to combat a verifed problem, end of discussion. If you were to run into him at miskas I'm sure he would happily explain to you why HE chose to run HIS business that way, he will go in depth on why they have the rule —StevenDaubert p.s. Owner was a grad student at UCD before he opened the cafe, I'm sure he can empathize with the student POV...

2007-06-24 13:58:24  

Joe, I think you're being unreasonable.

Mishka's offers service to the public, but it is not a public service. It is a private business that can, within the constraints of the law, operate as its management sees fit. While I've personally been inconvenienced by the lack of available "laptop-OK" tables, I've also found it possible to actually sit and talk with a friend or colleague at the no-laptops tables when the cafe surely would've otherwise been full if not for The Rules.

Also, I sometimes consult in San Francisco's financial district, and I almost always tote a laptop around with me. I can assure you that there aren't any cafes in that area where you can sit and work on your laptop for hours on end without making commensurate purchases. The same is true, if to a lesser extent, at other cafes in San Francisco such as the iconic Ritual Roasters cafe.

"Covert Professor", you might be interested in reading about the Coworking movement: . Basically, it's a great way for work-at-home types to establish intentional workplace communities - similar to cohousing, but for work. It's pretty nifty.


2007-06-28 11:45:27   As someone who also used to work at Mishka's & who happily returns whenever I'm in town, I'd like to comment on some of the rumors and factually inaccurate statements (achilipepper: can you spell libel?) made by other people who claim to be former employees. (As a side note, I'd actually like to know under what circumstances they left their employment—how many of them were the rude and incompetent servers that people sometimes complain about here?). Here are some facts. When I worked there, employees who did their jobs well were rewarded. We were paid well above minimum wage (with tips, I often walked away with more than $12 an hour, and this was several years ago—for someone in college, this was a lot of money for relatively easy work in food service) and got regular raises. It's also the case that when I worked there, there was a fairly regular stream of people who were terrible employees—they slacked off as much as possible, and made the rest of us work that much harder. The owner was sometimes blunt, but was never mean to me. I did see him get angry at other employees, but only when they weren’t doing their job (talking to their friends in the kitchen when we had a line of ten customers or standing around doing nothing when the cafe needed to be cleaned). When I was there, health inspectors made regular, unannounced inspections, and the cafe was not cited for violations; to the best of my knowledge, it has never been cited. We were regularly told to keep the place clean: regular & thorough cleaning of all of the cases, tables, counters and floors, including in the kitchen and behind the counter. Of course, some of the above-mentioned employees refused to touch a mop, which made it more difficult. Finally, while I think that this is not the place to discuss anyone's private life, I would like to point out that, as anyone who knows him can tell you, it is absolutely untrue that Sinisa left his wife to have an affair with an employee, and achilipepper's claim that he did makes me question the validity of (and the motive behind) all of his/her comments. —DavisExile

2007-08-04 12:44:37   Mishka's has a great tea selection. They have nice tea-pots too. I think this is the best cafe in Davis for tea-drinkers. The "Prince Vladimir" is nice, especially with an apricot oat cake. I've gotten a lot of work done in Mishka's and I'm glad it exists. —ChristianAnderson

2007-08-18 17:04:16   I really wish they'd clean the light fixtures...gross. —TeeDoe

2007-08-26 14:20:27   I've been a regular at Mishka's for 4 years and have NEVER had a problem with the staff being rude, with a dirty environment (except the bathroom —yuck), roaches, etc. In August the flies drive me crazy, but fortunately they stopped leaving the back door open, which was the flies' main entry point. [They were "face flies," the kind that prefers to buzz around your face (quite annoying). I have left several times because I was being attacked!]. Anyway, I am glad Mishka's is here because there is no other environment in town that approximates it. The rule does have the effect of making me feel unwelcome, though, and I feel bad for the employees when they have to enforce it, even when it's not very busy (they hate asking people to move). I've also seen them tell more non-students to move than students, so at least on the level enforcement the rule isn't restricted to students. I do think Sinisa should chill with the rules though. I'd rather be required to buy a drink every hour than sit in certain areas of the restaurant. Rules counteract the relaxing appeal of a coffee shop. —JessicaRabbit

2007-08-26 14:49:15   PS If Mishka's accepted credit cards, they would make a lot more $ off of me. If I don't plan ahead, I'm scrounging for change when I get there, and my large soy latte turns into a tea. When I get hungry, I have to go somewhere that takes cards instead of buying a bagel or cinnamon roll there in the cafe. I shouldn't complain, though, because it does save me $ in the long run. —JessicaRabbit

2007-09-04 22:08:25   The baked goods here are quite yummy (hearty, tasty, down-to-earth but not boring), e.g., lemon bars, morning bread, oatmeal-apricot cookies... —CovertProfessor

2007-09-14 11:04:11   I'm incredibly shocked by all the negative attitudes toward people who like to work on their laptops in cafes. I thought this was a college town. Davis is well-known for having the most highly educated population in Northern California, if not the entire state. And what do highly educated people do? Work! And some of us like to work in the company of others like us. Knowledge workers, professors, graduate students—we make this town what it is, like it or not. Most other college towns have a vibrant cafe culture, where people gather, drink coffee, talk, and, yes, WORK. Mishka's is the only place in town that even comes close to the cafe culture I've experienced in other college towns, and still people complain about "lurkers" who "nurse their drinks" and "abuse" the free WiFi. Crazy. —CynthiaCCC

  • Cafe Roma use to have that with a fraction of the posing and with fewer of the portable computer brigade, but to each their own.

2007-09-14 22:17:54   I'm guilty of using my laptop at this cafe for long stretches of time. In fact, I'm here right now. I'd like to continue doing so in the future, and so I also am critical of people who just buy one drink and squat at a table for hours. I'd hate for the cafe to have to remove some of these accommodations, raise prices, or even board up because of that. Therefore, I think it's our responsibility to buy more than one drink if you're going to do that. Personally, I think one drink/hour is a fair trade. —JesseSingh

2007-09-16 18:08:43   I generally like Mishka's and go there frequently but it can sometimes be too noisy for studying. I think students don't (just) hang out for the free wireless internet because most (like me) have some sort of internet access at home, and besides, there's free access at the UCD library. I think many students, including me go to mishka's to avoid "working" (i.e., napping, cleaning) at home. The only downside to Mishka's is that it can be very, very noisey. Something else to ponder: I always order drinks to go. I don't do this to save a few cents ... but to save a few "scents." The glassware stinks like breath. I can't stand to drink out of the glass cups. To end on a positive note, as someone here has already said, their white mocha's are delish... —AnnieSirrah

2007-10-12 20:33:51   Oh, how I really WANTED to love Mishka's. I work/study best at coffee shops. Usually in places that are frequented by laptop-users, I'm happy to order a coffee and blend in with the crowd for a few hours. But, here, the word crowd takes on every one of its nuances. I went on an evening during the week, before the start of the Fall quarter, and it was packed! I'd already read about the "Rule," which I think is great, because I don't have to worry about whether or not I'm welcome to study there. I know I can, and I know where. Perfect. So, I barely glanced at the front of the cafe and started searching for a place to sit in the back. All of the tables were occupied, so I had to squeeze in along the back wall. I hated the back wall. I felt like I was sitting in a noisy library. I like noise, but I don't like libraries. I am honestly still trying to sort out what I didn't like so much about the experience, but I didn't like it. The coffee, I thought was REALLY good. A couple of weeks later, I went back. I needed a place to work on a presentation. It was late on a Saturday afternoon. I went there because I didn't know where else to go, and I knew it would be open and I could work there. I had an identical experience as the first time. Great coffee. Crappy atmosphere. I can't blame the establishment, though. In my ideal world they would remove some tables/chairs, but then they couldn't make as much money, so it's a trade-off, I know. I'll be back there because it suits my needs, but I don't like it. —EvoDiva

2007-11-03 14:15:01   A nice alternative to places like Starbucks and Peets. However, I cannot help but feel unwelcome whenever I visit. The place is a bit small, so I would look elsewhere if you need a quiet place to study. —at86

2007-11-29 18:05:50   Probably the noisest coffee house in Davis...unfortunately, it also stays open the latest —AnnieSirrah

  • Nope, Chamonix is open till midnight, but is much smaller.

Mishka's is hands-down my favorite cafe in Davis. The quality of the drinks, the music choices, the multiple AC outlets and (in my experience) the quick and courteous staff make Mishka's a pleasant and welcoming place to chat with friends or to catch up on email. Where else can one feel so good about steeping one's self in liquid culture while avoiding the corporate alternatives? —DrandyJones