San Francisco

San Francisco Cafe Crawl

It finally happened! I was able to take a small break from working my own cafe and I was invited to visit San Francisco and explore its vibrant coffee scene with my friends. We embarked on a 5-day walking tour of the city, hitting up some of the most popular and beloved cafes along the way.

Our first stop was The Mill, a bustling bakery and coffee shop in the vibrant neighborhood of Alamo Square. The Mill is famous for its toast, which is made from freshly baked bread and topped with a variety of delicious spreads. We ordered the classic avocado toast and paired it with a creamy latte. The vibe at The Mill was cozy and welcoming, and we felt right at home.

Next, we headed to Blue Bottle Coffee in Hayes Valley, where we indulged in a pour-over coffee and a warm croissant. The cafe had a minimalist design, with sleek wooden countertops and an open floor plan. The baristas were incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, and they even gave us some tips on other must-visit cafes in the city. My boyfriend was enthralled by their business' expansion and hopes I one day find that level of success. 

We continued our tour at Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission District, a cafe known for its rustic charm and artisanal coffee blends. We ordered a pour-over and a cappuccino and savored every sip. The highlight of our visit was chatting with the friendly baristas and learning about the unique roasting process used to create Four Barrel's signature coffee flavors.

Another highlight of our tour was Trouble Coffee in the Outer Sunset neighborhood. This quirky cafe is famous for its coconut toast, which is made from freshly toasted bread slathered with butter and topped with sweetened coconut flakes. We paired the toast with a rich latte, and the combination was divine. The staff at Trouble Coffee were some of the friendliest we encountered on our tour, and we felt like part of the family.

We couldn't leave San Francisco without visiting Sightglass Coffee in SoMa, a spacious and modern cafe with a sleek industrial design. The cafe's signature drink is the Gibraltar, a smooth and creamy espresso drink served in a small glass. We also tried the cortado, which was equally delicious. The baristas at Sightglass were friendly and approachable, and we enjoyed learning about their coffee-making techniques. Their location is also so well designed and it gave me lots of inspiration for how to setup my own roasting when I find a warehouse space and expand.

We continued our tour at Ritual Coffee Roasters in the Mission District, a cafe known for its sustainable and ethically sourced coffee beans. We ordered a pour-over and an iced latte and were impressed by the bold and complex flavors. The cafe had a cozy and intimate vibe, and we chatted with the baristas about the importance of supporting fair trade coffee producers. They also gave me great suggestions on where to go next and snuck into some of my photos.

Another standout on our tour was Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters in Cow Hollow, a hip and trendy cafe known for its inventive coffee drinks and artisanal pastries. We tried the cortado and the pour-over and were blown away by the bold and rich flavors. The staff at Wrecking Ball were some of the friendliest we encountered, and we left feeling energized and inspired.

We continued our tour at Andytown Coffee Roasters in the Outer Sunset neighborhood, a cozy and inviting cafe known for its Irish soda bread and strong coffee blends. We tried the famous Snowy Plover, a sweet and creamy espresso drink topped with homemade whipped cream. The staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming, and we felt like we were part of the neighborhood.

Our tour concluded at Saint Frank Coffee in Russian Hill, a bright and airy cafe with a minimalist design. We tried the pour-over and the latte and were impressed by the smooth and balanced flavors. The baristas were friendly and attentive, and we left feeling satisfied and inspired.

Overall, our walking tour of San Francisco's cafes was a highlight of our trip. We were blown away by the variety of coffee flavors and blends, as well as the warmth and hospitality of the city's baristas.

Blue Bottle Coffee: This cafe has become synonymous with the San Francisco coffee scene, known for its high-quality coffee and minimalist aesthetic. Founded in Oakland in 2002, Blue Bottle has since expanded to several locations throughout the Bay Area.

Philz Coffee: Another Bay Area favorite, Philz is known for its handcrafted, personalized coffee blends. With more than 20 locations throughout the city, Philz is a popular choice for coffee aficionados looking for something unique.

Sightglass Coffee: This trendy cafe in the SoMa neighborhood roasts its own beans and offers a rotating selection of single-origin coffees. The spacious, industrial-chic interior makes it a popular spot for laptop workers and casual coffee drinkers alike.

Ritual Coffee Roasters: Founded in 2005, Ritual Coffee has since expanded to six locations throughout the city. The cafe prides itself on its direct-trade coffee, which is roasted in-house and served alongside a variety of pastries and light bites.

Four Barrel: This coffee shop roasts their own coffee and is known for their dedication to sustainability and ethical sourcing. They have a range of coffee drinks, including espresso and pour-over, as well as a small selection of pastries.

Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters: Founded by two former Blue Bottle employees, Wrecking Ball is known for its expertly roasted coffee and inventive drink menu. The cafe's airy, minimalist interior is a popular spot for studying or catching up with friends.

The Mill: Part cafe, part bakery, The Mill is a collaboration between Josey Baker Bread and Four Barrel Coffee. The cafe serves a selection of pastries and breads alongside expertly crafted coffee drinks.

Andytown Coffee Roasters: This Outer Sunset cafe is known for its signature Snowy Plover, a latte-like drink made with espresso, sparkling water, and house-made whipped cream. The spacious, sunny interior is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

Duboce Park Cafe: This little cozy, casual cafe is located in the heart of San Francisco's Duboce Triangle neighborhood. The cafe is known for its friendly atmosphere, welcoming staff, and quality food and drinks. The menu features a variety of coffee drinks, smoothies, pastries, and sandwiches, with vegan and gluten-free options available. 

Saint Frank Coffee: This Hayes Valley cafe is known for its expertly crafted coffee and sleek, minimalist interior. Saint Frank roasts its own beans and offers a variety of espresso-based drinks, pour-overs, and more.

Arsicault: This bakery is a must-visit for any pastry lover. They are famous for their croissants, which have been ranked the best in the country by the New York Times. They also offer other delicious pastries and coffee drinks.

Stone Mill Matcha: This Japanese-style cafe specializes in matcha, a finely ground green tea powder. They offer a variety of matcha drinks and pastries, as well as savory dishes. The space is beautifully designed and has a calm, peaceful ambiance.

La Boulangerie San Francisco: This French-inspired bakery has several locations throughout the city. They offer a range of pastries, breads, and desserts, as well as coffee drinks and savory items like quiches and sandwiches.

With a goregous view of the Golden Gate bridge, they serve a range of espresso drinks and pour-over coffee, as well as pastries and light breakfast items. Best know for their Habibi Latte, they're a perfect spot to check out as you explore the golden gate bridge.

Simple Pleasures Cafe: This cozy neighborhood cafe offers a range of coffee drinks, teas, and pastries. They also have a small selection of breakfast and lunch items, including sandwiches and salads. The space is inviting and has a laid-back, community vibe. 

San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden: This beautiful garden is a popular tourist attraction in Golden Gate Park. Visitors can take a peaceful stroll through the gardens, and then stop by the tea house for a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and snacks.

Cafe X: This cafe in the Financial District and at SF international airport takes a modern approach to coffee-making with their robotic baristas. Order your coffee through a touchscreen kiosk and watch as a robot prepares your drink. 

Caffe Greco: Located in the heart of North Beach, Caffe Greco has been serving up delicious coffee since 1975. This cozy cafe has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and serves a variety of coffee drinks, pastries, and sandwiches. They also have outdoor seating, making it a great spot to people-watch while enjoying your coffee.