Although Seattle is widely considered America’s coffee capital, if there’s any city that gives it a run for its money it’s San Francisco. The City by the Bay has been known for locally roasted coffee at least since Peet’s introduced European espresso culture in the 1960s. Today, the number of coffee roasters is staggering, and that’s without even counting Oakland. It could take weeks of intentional effort to get to every good café in the city. Here’s three of our favorites.
Andytown Coffee Roasters
Most tourists don’t make it to San Francisco’s Sunset neighborhood, but the low (for SF) rents make it an attractive neighborhood for budget conscious baristas/software engineers who don’t want to commute in from Oakland. Perhaps the best reason to live in the Sunset is Andytown Coffee Roaster’s newest retail location. We always enjoy the espresso here, but the real star is the Snowy Plover, a slightly-sweet espresso float made with a generous scoop of Andytown’s house-made whipped cream. Throw in one of Andytown’s gluten-free cornbread muffins– ours was still hot from the oven — and you’ve got a breakfast dreams are made of. There’s not much in the way of seating, so we recommend taking that coffee to nearby Ocean Beach.
There’s perhaps no more iconic symbol of San Francisco coffee than Ritual’s bold red, Soviet-inspired logo. Ritual Coffee was an early third-wave pioneer, but has managed to stay on the bleeding edge with an array of trendy retail spaces in some of the city’s hottest neighborhoods. We grabbed a pour-over of their Ethiopia, Duromina at their Hayes Valley location. This repurposed shipping container is located next to Patricia’s Green, a popular park and art space, which makes for some prime people watching on those rare sunny days.
Saint Frank Coffee
Saint Frank, like San Francisco, is named for Saint Francis of Assisi. Taking a queue from the 13th century friar, Saint Frank has a penchant for roasting coffees that have a social impact on the communities that produced them. Whether or not you believe in altruistic capitalism, you can believe you’ll be served some delicious coffee with some of the best service we’ve had in the city. Coffee nerds can skip straight to the tasting flight, which features an espresso, cortado, filter coffee, and iced coffee. We took our drinks to the second floor, where we admired the baristas’ clean and efficient bar flow.