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ALL THE BEST COFFEE SHOPS IN SAN FRANCISCO

18 PLACES

UPDATED NOV 11, 2019

If you need a nice space to settle in and get some work done or are just on the hunt for the best latte, look no further than this guide to San Francisco's best coffee shops!

author

LARISSA RUNKLE

FITT SAN-FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTOR

Start your Sunday morning with a coffee from The Interval at Long Now before hitting up the Fort Mason Farmers Market in the Marina. They’re also a great option for an intimate coffee date spot if that’s your thing.

The coffee king of San Francisco (they’ve got 15 locations around the Bay Area) still makes our list for their consistency in deliciousness. Head to their Ferry Building shop for the perfect end to a walk on the Embarcadero, or stop by the one in Mint Plaza for a low-key brew. Looking to buy some beans? Good news — this is the place to get ’em. Bella Donovan or Three Africans are always solid choices. And if you’re just in need of a coffee to-go — try the New Orleans: a perfectly sweetened and punchy iced coffee that will make any day in SF a little zingier.

If you’re in SoMa and happen to have cash (always a good idea in this city) then head to Cento. Filled with quirky band relics, this cafe is decorated like your cool older sister’s closet, plus a few coffee geniuses making you the perfect drip behind a bar. Stop in for a serious caffeine dose before conquering the rest of your agenda. Cento is also opening a new spot in North Beach (taking over the old Fora Think Space coffee shop!) in the coming months. So, if you love their coffee but avoid SoMa at all costs — keep an eye out!

Coffee, tea, and homemade granola — yes, please. Perfectly positioned mid-Market St., this local chain serves up amazing Scratch Caramel Lattes (with caramel made from scratch, of course) and other coffee-sweet pairings. Make a stop after your next meeting or errand and watch the comings and goings of SF’s busiest street. If you can’t make it to this location, but love their coffee, there are tons of others around the city (and outside!). Our favorite? On your way to a hike in Mill Valley.

As the French say, “Wake up!”, or as the San Franciscans say, “go here for some strong coffee”. With four full-time locations (including one nearby tourist fave, City Lights Bookstore) and a wandering truck, Réveille’s delicious coffee can be found in all corners of the city. So there’s really no excuse not to try it. Fitt Tip: they are also one of the few coffee locations in SF that offer Wi-Fi and a full-service menu, so settle here when you need a work spot.

This bright pink, woman-owned and operated coffee truck is situated smack dab in the middle of Alamo Square Park Friday through Monday afternoon. Their coffee is delicious and locally-roasted (and not to mention, a perfect spot for a picture!). Fitt Tip: if you buy a bag of beans, your coffee is free!

This coffee shop is a little Parisian haven on Market St. — perfect for an afternoon pit stop or out-of-office meeting. Try their nitro cold brew or sparkling sodas for a much needed pick-me-up. They also have tons of seating, both outside and inside, for meet-ups or alone time.

Ever wonder what that red hammer and sickle symbol is on some cafes in the city? Don’t worry — it’s not a call for Russian Communists. It’s just Ritual Coffee being their ultra-hip selves. With five locations in the city, there’s no excuse not to try this strong, delicious, and locally-brewed coffee at least once. So skip the beer garden in Hayes and enjoy a coffee from one of the cafes that’s as cool as they come. Fitt Tip: since there’s no seating at this location, grab your coffee and enjoy it at Patricia’s Green before heading on your way.

Santa Cruz-based Verve Coffee’s outpost in The Castro is your go-to for coffee delicious and all the modern, cool vibes. Seriously, the interior is stunning — it’s a nod to the breezy style of Northern California in the 1960s. Don’t let their eye for design and attention to detail turn you away — the staff is all super-welcoming.

One word: Atmosphere. This cafe (there are two locations actually, but the Mission one is our preferred spot) is about as charming as it gets. From their copper ceilings to their delectable (and overpriced) pastry, this is one of the places to go for an expertly-crafted latte. Word to the wise: you may’ve caught on that many SF cafes (like this one) are sans Wi-Fi — just something to keep in mind if your date is a laptop. P.S. you’ll also find that many of your favorite restaurants and shops brew Sightglass coffee, too — so you can get your fix no matter where you are!

Some will call this the best coffee in the city. And there’s no doubt that they’re pretty damn good. Nestled between chic vintage clothing stores on Valencia St., this cafe is about as San Francisco as it gets. Case in point: they have a separate drip coffee bar. And when you go in, be sure to admire the boar heads and antler chandeliers before choosing the espresso line or the drip bar. If you’re craving something sweet, try the donuts. They also have an awesome outdoor seating set up, so you can get some fresh air while you sip your brew.

You may think you’ve entered a modern minimalist furniture gallery, but in fact, you’re just in Russian Hill’s Saint Frank. Take a break from your Polk St. shopping for a coffee, latte, or cold brew that’s guaranteed to be amazing. And for a true show of java passion, order a drip, and watch as these baristas make something so simple seem more complex than a middle school science project. We laugh, but it’s damn good coffee.

Hidden in Cow Hollow on the less-trafficked side of Union St. is some of the city’s best house-roasted coffee. They pride themselves on scientifically perfect pour overs and espresso drinks. So kick back, relax, and taste the science.

A joint venture between Four Barrel coffee and a top bakery? Say no more. If you want that upscale drip you’ve come to rely on but also some mouth-watering carbs, skip the normal Four Barrel locations and head to this spot on Divisadero. Still as chic inside, plus a better menu of snacks for your every craving.

Opened in 1988, this cafe has been a staple of the Potrero Hill neighborhood ever since. And they offer up more than just fancy brews. With a full menu of breakfast and lunch eats, they’re a solid choice for a mid-day getaway or your next breakfast date.

Latte art is next-level at Home Cafe in The Sunset. Try the Birthday Latte (and prepare to get all the Instagram likes) and pair it with one of their creative and innovative toast options. You can thank us later.

It might be cold in the Outer Sunset but go for the Snowy Plover, named after the bird that can be found all along Ocean Beach. Andytown’s Snowy Plover is a cold drink composed of Pellegrino, espresso, house-made brown sugar syrup, and—best of all—topped with homemade whipped cream. You can also get this creative concoction at their cafe on Taraval St. Fitt Tip: if their corn muffins are fresh out of the oven, be sure to grab one of those, too.

This Australian coffee shop that’s made waves on the East Coast finally made their way to San Francisco. No matter if you’re craving a flat white, avocado toast, or some much needed relaxing vibes, Bluestone Lane is your spot.

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