Cuba Libre

A new Cuban café brings a taste of the island to Oakland

Caña, a new Cuban café in Oakland's Grand Lake neighborhood, starts slinging Blue Bottle coffee and homemade pastries just after sunrise.

With a café con leche in hand, linger over a tangy guava tart called pastel de guayaba ($4.50), or the pan de diplomatico (pictured; $4.50), a butter-rich bread pudding studded with currants and drizzled with caramel and crème anglaise. (The time-pressed can swing by Caña's mobile coffee cart in the casual carpool lot across the street for a commuter special: $3 for both a coffee and the pastry of the day).

Come lunch, the menu expands to include flaky empanadas: Choose either vegetarian, filled with grilled eggplant, squash, zucchini, and goat cheese or one with picadillo (two per order; $8), paired with a vibrant salsa verde.

There are sandwiches, too, including a textbook Cubano on crunchy, house-made Cuban-style bread ($8.50), and another that combines grilled beef with cilantro aioli, caramelized onions and Manchego cheese. Add an order of tostones or fried yucca, Cuba's signature starch (both $4).

Full dinner service is forthcoming, once construction on the adjacent dining room is completed next month. With that in place, you'll have access to what, in the Bay Area at least, is something of an impossible find: Havana-worthy Cuban grub, all day long.

Caña, 530 & 532 Lake Park Ave. (at Lakeshore Ave.), Oakland; 510-832-1515 or canaoakland.com