My favorite "splurge" stop in the East Bay is the Rockridge BART station. Right there is a fabulous market with amazing cheese, wine, meat, etc. I am looking to move to the East Bay and am hoping to be near Rockridge just because it is so close to Trader Joe's and a Safeway as well. It is a great little neighborhood.
In case this wasn't clear to the OP, the neighborhood Carolyn mentions is the same one where the daughter will be studying (or very near). CCAC (I didn't realize its name had changed!) is near where College Ave. meets Broadway. A little north, toward the Berkeley border, is the College/Claremont intersection near Rockridge BART station. A little farther north is the College/Alcatraz intersection. They're all full of small neighborhood businesses; first two in particular are commonly called the Rockridge area. This are became known over the 1980s for little independent restaurants of various kinds.
Students with "almost no income" are not exactly unusual at CCAC, and the diversity of cafés around there -- unless this has changed since I hung out there some years back -- serves a range of budgets.
One caution simply to be aware of, which some people gloss over, is the presence of a housing project not far from College and Rockridge, which has long been associated with a higher than usual crime rate in the neighborhood.
(By the way, Carolyn, I've spent some time on and in the Bay Area Pacific and measured surface temps. between 48 and, after unusual hot spells, 60 F. Pleasant places to visit the Pacific -- more inviting, generally, than SF's Ocean Beach -- are Stinson Beach to the north of the Golden Gate and the whole series of state beaches from Santa Cruz south, including one of the largest beaches, called Manresa. Visitors should be aware that none of these places is very near North Oakland, the area we're discussing. The nearest is probably SF's sometimes bleak-looking Ocean Beach which shares SF's near-perpetual fog. That's around a half hour drive in moderate traffic.)