San Francisco—the City by the Bay—is renowned for its many sights, attractions and amenities. And among these great places are the scores of wonderful coffee houses and cafes serving up the very best in caffeinated brews and tasty fare. Throughout its many districts, communities and neighborhoods—the Embarcadero, Union Square, China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Mission District, etc.—San Francisco is one of the greatest cities in the world and a great destination for those who enjoy a hot cup of Joe. From take-out places, to elaborate coffee bars, to establishments that offer craft beer and outstanding grub in addition to their coffee drinks, San Francisco is definitely one of the best cities in the world for those enjoy a rich, frothy cup of coffee.
In the following article we will highlight several of these superb coffee destinations, including a brief description of their interior and exterior qualities of each shop, the many methods employed to make their delicious coffee drinks, and the wonderful, friendly servers who consistently bring these scrumptious creations to life day after day.
The Four Barrel
Located at 375 Valencia Street, in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, the Four Barrel coffee house is definitely the place to be in this area of town, not only for coffee lovers, but also for those interested in the often complicated coffee making process.
Staffed by baristas who would gladly self identify as “coffee nerds,” the Four Barrel is a fantastic café for anyone who wants to receive a four-star lesson on the various origins of coffee and coffee beans, the different types of roasts and the many choices available to them in terms of brewing methods. These coffee-obsessed baristas and servers are always happy to divulge their knowledge and secrets regarding this caffeinated brew, with smiles on their faces that consistently demonstrate their friendliness and job satisfaction. Whether you’re looking for a great cappuccino, espresso or pour-over, the Four Barrel has just what you’re looking for—and the baristas even teach classes on how to get the most of your own homemade brew.
The Blue Bottle
If you’re looking for a coffee house with true flair, style and panache, the Blue Bottle just might be the perfect café for you. The staff at the Blue Bottle Café might be considered a bit “geeky,” but they happily own that title and even celebrate their knowledge when it comes to the coffee-making process. With several locations around the San Francisco Bay Area, it would be easy to make each of these locations a cookie cutter copy of the other, but that is simply not the case. In fact, every Blue Bottle Café has its very own personality, from the display area surrounding the five burner siphon station at the Mint Plaza location, to the customer-friendly pour-over drip bar at their alleyway kiosk on Linden Street. However, what is standard at every Blue Bottle location are the highly skilled baristas, each with an eager and precise eye for coffee quality and the processes for making the perfect cup. All of the coffees at these cafes are excellent to say the least, and if you’re in to making your own caffeinated brew at home, simply sign up for one of their fun, informative and interactive classes, where you’ll learn everything from how to pick the perfect coffee beans to the ideal brewing method for your own particular home set up.
Café La Boheme
As its name suggests, the Café La Boheme is a Bohemian, hippie-styled coffee house that lures an interesting—and often entertaining—mix of clientele. Situated at 3318 4th Street in the always-happening Mission District, this pleasant neighborhood café, which has been serving its customers since 1975, offers an eclectic menu of various coffees, espressos and lattes, and an equally diverse menu of snacks and morning goodies.
Along with its amazing coffee and friendly, laidback atmosphere, the Café La Boheme is also a perfect spot for wine, beer and relaxing after a hard day’s work; and their free Wi-Fi connection service will ensure you can always stay connected with your favorite devices throughout the day
If a hole-in-the wall coffee joint is more up your alley, than the Grand Coffee spot is a must-visit location when visiting San Francisco and the overall Bay Area. Located at 2663 Mission Street, Grand Coffee is a wonderful spot at which to stop in the morning for a great cup of Joe on the go, along with some friendly conversation with the down-to-earth baristas and servers.
Situated in the former concessions area of the neighboring Grand Theater, what the Grand Coffee café lacks in total space, it more than makes up for in flavor and comfort. Offering Four Barrel espresso drinks—served, on request, with a palate-cleansing side of seltzer water—the Grand Coffee shop hits it out of the park with their tasty coffee drinks and cushy seating. Here you can also order up refreshing, summer-style drinks such as their popular egg cream soda, along with delectable snacks from local vendors that include Fearless Chocolate, Bike Basket Pies and Knead Patisserie.
Dynamo Donut and Coffee
Donuts and coffee go together like milk and cookies, and when you are craving this double dose of delicious there is no better place in the city than Dynamo Donut and Coffee. Situated at 2760 24th Street in downtown San Francisco, Dynamo Donut and Coffee is one of the most popular donut haunts in the city—a place where you can find all of your old favorites, such as glazed donuts, chocolate bars, bear claws and more, as well as some special creations, like their signature menu featuring molasses, Guinness, pear, Campari and grapefruit donuts. However, Dynamo Donut and Coffee is much more than a mere donut shop. The joint also offers up some of the best coffee in the city, including Four Barrel coffee and espresso, frothy lattes and iced coffee drinks that are ideal during the warmer summer months.