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June 2, 2015

Seven San Francisco Coffee Places Not to Miss

San Francisco is a coffee town. A major coffee town, in fact. If you want to spark a heated debate, ask some San Franciscans their favorite place for coffee, sit back, and watch the opinions fly. While you’re here, we’d certainly suggest checking out some of our finest coffee spots. Most of them feature beautiful interior design and architecture, as well as delicious pastries and baked goods—perfect for an afternoon or morning pick-me-up. Enjoy!

Ritual Coffee Roasters (1026 Valencia St.)
Ritual Roasters sources their coffee beans directly from small producers throughout the world, and then roasts them lightly to maximize their delicate flavors and sweetness. Their beans can be found in cafés throughout the Bay Area, but a visit to their stylish Valencia Street flagship is well worth it, with cupping (tasting) opportunities and brewing demonstrations offered daily. 

Four Barrel (375 Valencia St. and 736 Divisadero St.)
For some excellent coffee and the best hipster/people watching in town, you’ll want to head to Four Barrel. The Mission location on Valencia Street location boasts taxidermy, exposed wood, ample bicycle parking, and a parklet out front. You can also check out The Mill on Divisadero, where Josey Baker Bread has partnered with Four Barrel and sells delicious, hearty toast with interesting, seasonal toppings.

Sightglass Coffee (270 7th St. and 3014 20th St.)
Most of the coffee shops in San Francisco boast chic style, but the Mission location of Sightglass Coffee takes it to another level. The Art Deco-inspired space is elegant, comfortable, and in one of the sunniest pockets of town. Their spacious South of Market location has a more industrial vibe, but is an equally pleasant hot spot for enjoying a perfectly executed espresso or pour-over. That location has also recently launched an affogato bar upstairs, with ice cream from Portland’s famed Salt & Straw.

Linea Caffe (3417 18th St.)
Tiny little Linea Caffe sits behind a grocery on a funky corner in the Mission, with sidewalk tables, big open windows, and some of the best espresso in town (in our opinion). It’s a passion project from owner Andrew Barnett (who founded Ecco Caffe) and Anthony Myint (of Mission Street Food). Get an espresso, and perhaps one of the superlative waffles from Lt. Waffle, and enjoy it on the sunny sidewalk.  

Saint Frank (2340 Polk St.)
On Polk Street in Russian Hill you’ll find Saint Frank, a stylish, sleek café that partners with Ritual Roasters for their exclusive beans. They get three roasts a week, which you can order from their uniquely designed counter (it feels very modern Italian).

Blue Bottle (66 Mint Plaza)
One of the biggest names in Third Wave coffee in San Francisco is Blue Bottle, and deservedly so. The company has been offering excellent single-origin and blended beans for years, and their baristas know how to pull a great shot. Try the Gibraltar, one of their signature drinks named after the glass it’s poured into. There are multiple locations throughout San Francisco, but our favorite is Mint Plaza, where the larger space allows for more food options and space for enjoying your cuppa.  

Mavelous (1408 Market St.)
Coffee and wine bar Mavelous offers all of their coffees prepared using your choice of six different methods, including espresso, multiple pour-over styles, and the Kyoto cold slow drip from Japan. The baristas will work you through each method, so that you can taste your coffee’s different flavors profiles and the best way to enhance them. 

Dana Eastland is the associate editor for

Marcia Gagliardi is the creator of, a popular insider weekly e-column about the SF dining scene; subscribe for more news, tips, and updates. Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper

Photo by Max Braun / CC BY-SA

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