food & drink ·
Published January 9, 2024
San Francisco's Best Cafes
A curated list of our favorite SF spots for hot bean juice ☕️.
by San Francisco Bucket List
If you ask us, few things are better in life than a really great cup of coffee, and luckily in San Francisco, you can hardly go a block without finding some sort of coffee joint. With everything from hole-in-the-walls serving fastidious pour-overs, warehouse work spaces serving chain roasts, and rustic joints that ban the use of laptops—the range is epic.
Below, we’ve listed cafes that will inspire your creative side and provide full-bodied, high-quality, and unique flavors. While some are brand new to the scene, sporting nitro-powered brews or a complete matcha focus, others have earned their prominence with consistent quality over time. Pour yourself a cup and take a look.
19 Cafes in San Francisco for a Great Cup of Coffee
The Interval at Long Now
This combination cocktail bar-cafe may be one of the most elegant cafes in San Francisco. Located in Fort Mason, overlooking the bay, the Interval contains walls lined with bookshelves, clear glass community tables, and a working planetary art installation. The space is nearly a museum in itself, with art that continually evolves and a time-inspired menu of artisan drinks.
Where: Landmark Building A, 2 Marina Boulevard
Flywheel Coffee Roaster
Owner Aquiles Guerrero brings his personal origin story of coffee to Flywheel. Today Guerrero’s Haight street cafe serves exotic brews sourced from Ethiopia, Honduras, Kenya, and Guatemala in trendy mason jars. Matching their stripped-down, clean, and wooden aesthetic, Flywheel is no-frills and doesn’t do flavored lattes, it’s straight drip coffees.
Where: 672 Stanyan St.
Wi-Fi: Yes, 2 hours free
Beloved Sightglass has an impressive five locations in San Francisco alone, including its flagship SoMa location that triples as a production roastery and HQ. The industrial, bi-level space also offers tastings and brewing classes in addition to its usual servings. The sweetest treat, though? The top level hosts a Salt & Straw-partnered affogato bar, which pairs your espresso with a flavor-complimenting ice cream.
Where: 270 7th St.
For more information.
Beacon Coffee and Pantry
The white-bricked, brightly-lit Beacon Coffee & Pantry in North Beach boosts your mood on entry. Plenty of counter seats and tables line the shop, in addition to a long reclaimed wooden table in the center. But, since you’ll be steps away from the well-trafficked Coit Tower and Washington Square Park, we recommend a seat by the window for prime people-watching.
Where: 805 Columbus Ave.
Ritual Coffee Roasters
Ritual has six locations in SF and Napa, having grown to fame for its sommelier approach to coffee, personal relationships with growers, and on-site bean roasting. Visitors can expect highly specific tasting notes and five pour-over flavors daily at any of the locations—but we're partial to the OG location in the Mission, which is self-described as "a coffee church with gardens, sunken ship parklets, and custom everything."
Where: 1026 Valencia Street
Ah, The Mill, where San Franciscans gladly pay $6 for toast. To be fair, by toast, we mean thick, cake-sized slabs of freshly in-house baked bread topped with seasonal ingredients, like orchard almond butter or chocolate hazelnut spread—all well worth the hype and the cash. The joint venture by Four Barrel Coffee and Josey Baker Bread serves a delicious and direct brew menu, with a few surprises like “Hemp Mylk” and Nitro brew, along with pizza pies each weeknight from 6–9 PM.
Where: 736 Divisadero
Trouble Coffee Co. (Ocean Beach location)
This teeny Outer Sunset joint may be decorated in a chaotic fashion, but its coffee is sharp-quality goodness. As the first of three locations, this Trouble Coffee is designed to evoke the memory of the owner’s earnest roots, put together with eclectic decor and various wood found on Ocean Beach. It's best known for selling strong espresso drinks, fresh coconuts, and its super popular artisanal cinnamon toast. With your order in tow, head to their back patio to enjoy, or walk 5 minutes to reach Ocean Beach itself.
Where: 4033 Judah St.
For more information.
The beloved LA coffee spot has opened its first Bay Area location in the Line Hotel San Francisco. Come in for a quick cup of joe on your way to the office, or stay and take advantage of the ample seating and free wifi. Sample delicious pastries and small plates from the breakfast menu, and order the world-famous Iced Vanilla Latte to get the full Alfred experience.
Where: 33 Turk St.
This serene, beautiful space is an homage to the Japanese ingredient appearing more and more frequently on American menus: matcha. For the uninitiated, matcha is high-grade green tea ground into powder, then whisked into hot water to form a frothy drink.
Stonemill Matcha—which is curated by a master blender from a traditional teahouse in Kyoto—provides an entire line of matcha-infused pastries and drinks, including Matchacanos and Mizudashi (Cold Brew), along with a “slow bar” in the center of the cafe where guests can watch their drinks be whisked by hand.
Where: 561 Valencia Street
Jane on Fillmore
The posh and printed Jane on Fillmore prefers their drinks on the dark side. They brew just so to bring out a signature rich, chocolatey flavor in each cup while still staying sweet and approachable. They also religiously blend their beans and teas in-house, leading to a signature beverage menu alongside their all-day breakfast pastries and hearty paninis. The full-bodied, fresh menu is complemented perfectly by their detailed digs, featuring cushioned seats against various patterned wallpaper—and an always bustling crowd.
Where: 2123 Fillmore St.
SPRO Coffee Lab
The newly opened white and rocket-red cafe SPRO is serving up decorative and experimental coffee and mocktails—with exceedingly clever concoctions like the rose-y strawberry field coffees and the “Cold Fashioned.” But, for the most stylish of them all: we recommend the charcoal-infused “Black Swan” espresso, for obvious reasons 🦢.
Where: 601 Mission Bay Blvd North
The Coffee Movement
The Coffee Movement was started with the intent of bringing the communal vibe of cafes from Australia to the streets of SF. Focused on serving high-quality coffees made one-by-one to clamoring guests, the small shop has no room for indoor seating (but there are some benches and stools outside). Along with seasonal options, the menu includes dark chocolate cappuccinos, orange cream lattes, and even tasting flights of featured coffees.
Where: 1030 Washington Street / 1737 Balboa Street
Experience SF’s first Yemeni coffee house at Delah, serving sustainably sourced Arabian coffee roasted to perfection. Their space is equal parts patterned, intricate and warm lighting, and modern black and white stone, creating an energizing, artsy space people spend hours in. Make sure to try their cinnamon and cardamom-scented Yemeni latte—the menu signature.
Where: 370 4th St.
Abanico Coffee Roasters
Sip a Salvadoran “cafecito” in this warm and welcoming shop in The Mission. You'll find espresso drinks and pour-overs, along with cafe con leche sweetened with condensed milk and cinnamon, Salvadoran horchata, and much more.
Where: 2121 Mission St.
Hey Neighbor Cafe
Enter the Black and queer-owned secret garden-esque cafe for a magical experience. Hey Neighbor Cafe not only serves high-quality coffee and lattes, but they also participate in regular food collaborations with local favorites like Rize Up Sourdough and Rozmary Kitchen. They also host a variety of social events, including art shows and skate parties, often set within their charming patio garden area.
Where: 2 Burrows St.
Made to feel like you're visiting your grandmother’s kitchen, Andytown is a bright, welcoming cafe and bakery serving artisanal lattes. The bakery is known for its Northern Ireland-inspired breads and house-made jams—plus scones, muffins, cookies, and donuts. But the real star of the show is their signature beverage: the Snowy Plover, described as a sparkling espresso cream soda. Try one out in the Taraval Street location’s backyard for a breezy, laidback coffee hang.
Where: 3016 Taraval St.
Round House Cafe
Round House Cafe is perched at the crossroads of SF's most iconic landmark—the Golden Gate Bridge. The Art Deco building offers 360-degree views of the Bay and the Bridge, and we haven't even talked about the coffee yet. Offering locally sourced, sustainable, and ethically produced coffee from Equator Coffees, this location serves a complete espresso menu starring pour-overs and single-origin espresso shots. Find other Equator locations (with equally delicious coffee) here.
Where: Golden Gate Bridge Plaza
For an award-winning cup, Linea is a must. Coffee legend Andrew Barnett, a judge at the World Barista Championship, launched this espresso bar and coffee roasting company in 2013. The company has since partnered with the world’s most progressive organic coffee farmers and serves certified organic, biodynamic, and natural coffees. So you can feel good about enjoying a cup of joe in this warm, industrial-chic cafe (with outdoor seating).
Where: 3417 18th St.
Saint Frank Coffee
Indulge in the art of coffee at Saint Frank Coffee. The clean, minimal cafe highlights its excellent coffee, living up to its mantra of making the seemingly everyday things extraordinary. Saint Frank focuses on sourcing from small-scale farmers, as they’ve found them to consistently offer complex and incredible coffee blends. Stop into their sunny Polk Street shop to test this theory yourself.
Where: 2340 Polk St.
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