Coffee shops are a dime-a-dozen in San Francisco.
Seriously, there are over 300 coffee shops throughout the City – that’s about 6 per square mile!
Why are there so many? SF is a global leader in the progressive, third-wave coffee movement – a movement that aims to produce high-quality coffee as an artisanal product, like craft beer or wine.
This is great news for us, as San Franciscans love their coffee. We narrowed down our list to the best, and then the best of the best to bring you this list of coffee shops you have to visit before you die.
Réveille Coffee/Cafe Réveille
Réveille Coffee began in 2010 when brothers Thomas and Christopher Newbury began selling coffee out of a repurposed delivery truck. Six years and four locations later, Réveille serving up some of San Francisco’s tastiest coffee and espresso drinks. After moving into Mission Bay just six weeks ago, Cafe Réveille is already generating tons of buzz on Yelp and social media. With bright colors combined with modest, artsy decor, Cafe Réveille is a great spot to grab coffee, breakfast/lunch or spend a little bit of time telecommuting. (Note: Cafe Réveille is also open for dinner and drinks every night.) All beans are roasted in-house, and their mocha is one of the most popular items on the menu. Réveille Coffee has other locations in Jackson Square, The Castro and North Beach.
Cafe Réveille (Mission Bay) – 610 Long Bridge Street, San Francisco, CA
Golden Bear Trading Company
Right down the street from UCSF’s Parnassus Medical Center is Golden Bear Trading Company. This unassuming coffee shop sells breakfast food, spirits and coffee-snob approved beverages. This small cafe is a must-go for coffee lovers in the City, and was featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat. Sam, the passionate owner of Golden Bear, has been known to say that if you don’t think his coffee is the best, he’ll give you another cup for free. Challenge accepted, Sam!
Golden Bear Trading Company – 1401 6th Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Andytown Coffee Roasters
On quiet Lawton Street in the Outer Sunset lies Andytown Coffee Roasters, known for their Snowy Plover iced expresso drink. It’s a concoction of iced espresso, sparkling water and brown sugar syrup, topped off with delicious house-made whipped cream that gives Cool Whip a run for their money. This drink is just one of the reasons for the long lines that often file out the door. (That, and the fact that Andytown packs in a coffee shop, roastery and bakery all within its 600 square foot shop!) Don’t skip on the Northern Irish soda bread and scones. Added bonus: it’s just a few blocks from Ocean Beach.
Andytown Coffee Roasters – 3655 Lawton Street, San Francisco, CA
Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company
Founded in 1935, Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company is one of North America’s oldest artisan coffee roasters. You’ll find Graffeo just up the street from Washington Square Park in the heart of North Beach, San Francisco’s famed Italian grotto. Graffeo isn’t actually a cafe; it’s a roaster. You can only buy their deliciously roasted beans or grounds. Totally worth it.
Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company – 735 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Papa November is a coffee truck permanently at the corner of 15th Street and Kansas in San Francisco’s Design District, across the street from the Design Center and Design Within Reach. While there’s no seating, the coffee makes up for it. Serving Stumptown coffee, the truck rotates a selection of beans each week. They also sell homemade baked goods which change daily. What should you order at Papa November? The Claris – cold milk cream with espresso. Obviously, there’s no seating at Papa November’s coffee truck, so grab a cup to go on your way to the office or to get you ready for a day of furniture shopping.
Papa November – 215 15th Street, San Francisco, CA
Ritual Coffee Roasters
Ritual Coffee Roasters sparked a coffee renaissance in San Francisco after opening in 2005. Based out of The Mission, Ritual has expanded to include four locations including Bayview’s Flora Grubb Gardens and Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. Our favorite is the outpost at Hayes Valley’s PROXY – a modified shipping container that’s positively hipsteriffic. Get caffeinated with their delicious Gibraltar Coffee, San Francisco’s version of a Cortado, and head over to Chantal Guillon to pick up a sweet pairing.
Ritual Coffee at PROXY – 432b Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA
No listicle of San Francisco coffee shops would be complete without Philz Coffee. Scratch that. San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without Philz! Phil Jaber was the owner of a mini supermarket in The Mission District and wanted to leave behind a greater legacy for his son, Jacob. In his quest to create the perfect coffee, it took seven years to get his first coffee blend, Tesoro, just right. Philz is a San Francisco staple with 14 locations in the City and 15 others throughout the Bay Area. (Philz has also expanded to Los Angeles, and he has his eyes set on Washington, DC – we’d say he’s going to leave behind a great legacy.) The Mint Mojito Iced Coffee is one of the most popular items, along with the Mocha Tesora – but you really cannot go wrong with anything here.
Philz Coffee – 3101 24th Street, San Francisco, CA
This trendy, modern coffee shop located just off of 19th Avenue & Noriega is known for its communal tables, comfortable environment and eclectic espresso creations. Popular with students and a hipster crown, the menu is written on giant pieces of paper on the wall. What should you order at Home? No doubt: the lavender latte. If lavender’s not your thing (or you’re afraid your coffee will taste like soap – a valid concern, even though it’s capital-D Delicious), try the sea salt caramel and coconut vanilla coffee.
Home – 1222 Noriega Street, San Francisco, CA
The Mill is the love child of Four Barrel Coffee and Josey Baker Bread on the buzzing Divisadero Street corridor between NoPa and Alamo Square. The Mill serves up delicious, velvety espresso drinks, coffees, artisanal toasts and granola (change seasonally and feature weekly specials) baked by Josey Baker Bread, pastries from Neighbor Bakehouse, cookies from Anthony’s and donuts from Dynamo Donuts. If your taste buds haven’t already exploded while dreaming about the goodness that is The Mill, prepare for it: The Mill has Pizza Night every Monday from 6:00-9:00PM and a Grilled Cheese & Soup Night on Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00PM. Seriously, is this place heaven-in-SF? Yes, yes it is. We recommend ordering an espresso drink with a Pistachio Blackberry Croissant.
The Mill – 736 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA
Blue Bottle Coffee
Another Bay Area original (Oakland, to be precise), you can never go wrong at Blue Bottle Coffee. With unique locations around the world (Blue Bottle recently opened shop in Tokyo), coffee lovers everywhere flock to Blue Bottle for delicious, handcrafted beverages – especially their famous iced coffee drinks: the chicory-flavored New Orleans Iced Coffee and creamy Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Our favorite Blue Bottle outpost is without a doubt the semi-hidden Linden Alley shop in Hayes Valley which operates out of a garage, and surrounded by graffiti art. A perfect pit stop before or after a day of shopping Hayes Valley’s many boutiques.
Blue Bottle Coffee – 315 Linden Street, San Francisco, CA
Fog Lifter Cafe
Fog Lifter Cafe is a small, quaint coffee shop located in the heart of Ingleside. This unpretentious hangout – popular with neighborhood residents and SFSU and CCSF students – serves delicious coffee roasted by Blue Bottle and Sightglass, as well as smoothies, pastries, breakfast scrambles, panini sandwiches and more. This shop specializes in pour-over coffee.
Fog Lifter Cafe – 1901 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Trouble Coffee Company
Trouble Coffee Co. is the little coffee shop that could. With its original location based out of a tiny shop in the far reaches of the Outer Sunset, Trouble Coffee sparked San Francisco’s artisanal toast craze with $4.00 cinnamon-sugar toast on thick bread. (Hey, the name just started to make sense to us – because you’ll be in trouble with their bread – calorie-wise, and possibly financially, too.) Founded by Giulietta Carrelli, Trouble has expanded its little coffeehouse’s (and coconut club) reach with two new locations in Bayview and Oakland – along with its toast offerings.
Trouble Coffee Co. & Coconut Club – 4033 Judah Street, San Francisco, CA
Saint Frank Coffee
This hipster-chic cafe is located on upper Polk Street in Russian Hill. With soaring ceilings, abundant natural lighting, clean lines and minimalistic, white and oak interior, Saint Frank will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Copenhagen. As you might have guessed, Saint Frank is named after our beloved City. The menu is small, and the coffee is on the lighter side (in true Scandinavian form). Our favorite creation at Saint Frank is the Almond Macadamia Latte.
Saint Frank Coffee – 2340 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA