School is over, and summer has begun. I planned a trip to San Francisco in early May! It was my first time in the west coast of USA, and I have fallen in love with the city (except its extremely strong wind). Anyways, before visiting, I’ve already seen and heard a lot of good cafes in San Francisco.
Here is a list of my favorite cafes in San Francisco! (Yes, San Francisco has more than just Blue Bottle Coffee…) Four Barrel Coffee
375 Vaencia St., San Francisco (multiple locations) I visited the Four Barrel Coffee on Valencia St, and it was sort of a coincidence. At the back of the cafe, you can see them roasting the beans in store! The beans are roasted on a hulking beast of a vintage German roaster (made to hold consistent heat and let air flow through in simple ways, which is controlled manually). I ordered a small latte, and I loved it! The espresso was strong enough for my taste. It was mild and smooth.
1435 Irving St. @ 16th Avenue
Locating in the inner sunset, Hollow is a small, cute, cozy, and intimate cafe. It was the one and only spot that I could have cortado. However, I strongly recommend to try their matcha chai latte! The chai latte was flavorful, and with a layer of matcha foam with a bit of bitterness. Perfect balance with the sweetness from chai latte. In addition, the color of the matcha was a bit dull, which made me believed that the quality of the matcha powder they used is pretty good. At least it didn’t turn out to be those artificial bright green color.
20th Century Cafe
198 Gough St.
This little Vienna/Prague-liked cafe is located in the Hayes Valley. It was voted as one of the most photogenic cafes in San Francisco! I opted for drip coffee, and it was light and mild in taste. However, their lunch menu seems to be more popular than their coffees (especially their soup!). I would definitely go back to try their lunch items if I ever visit San Francisco again.
Trouble Coffee Co.
4033 Judah St.
It is also a small cafe with only few seats, which is located in the outer sunset. Most of the people have the coffee to-go. They are known for their cinnamon toast (toast/sourdough is a huge thing in San Francisco!). However, I didn’t try it because I was going to Outerlands for breakfast, which is just right next door. The latte was hot that I burnt my tongue. Otherwise, the taste is good. NOTE: No photos are allowed in the cafe!
3014 20th St. (multiple locations)
Sightglass is one of the best coffees I had in San Francisco. They have their own coffee roaster in store for the green coffee they sourced. The coffee was not as strong as Four Barrel, but the aftertaste wasn’t bitter. It was still smooth and mild even when it’s cold.
Saint Frank Coffee
2340 Polk St.
Located in Russian Hill, Saint Frank Coffee is one of the most talked cafes on Instagram. The bright, spacious, and high-ceiling space is a perfect stop to do some quick work (especially the 2nd floor!). They partner with one of the well-known coffee roasters in San Francisco, Ritual Roaster, for the freshest flavors. I had a pour over instead of latte. I ordered “Rwanda Cyimbili”, which is supposed to have a strawberry jam, fruit punch, and juicy taste (according to the menu description). However, the taste was milder than I was expected, since I thought it would be more sour for its fruity taste. Moreover, I really want to try their almond macadamia latte! The barista said that it’s made with their homemade almond-macadamia milk. Let me know how it’s like if you’ve had it!
736 Divisadero St.
My favorite cafe in San Francisco! They source their coffee from Four Barrel, and make their own sour dough bread on site! Absolutely loved their country toast with butter and cinnamon sugar (salivating while thinking about it now…). The toasts are definitely a must-try. A lot of customers are there to buy breads only. I also left with a jar of their homemade almond butter too!
During my 6 days there, I have fallen in love with the city that I’m even considering to move there! Though I know that Blue Bottle Coffee is a must in San Francisco, I didn’t visit it just because I’ve had it when I was in New York (see my NY Cafes post). Moreover, I believe there are more cafes that are as good as Blue Bottle Coffee, and deserve our attentions!
There are definitely still a lot more to explore in San Francisco, and I can’t wait for my next trip there! Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions/recommendations of cafes or where to eat, feel free to leave it in the comment below! It’s never too early to start planning for future trips ;)