As the birthplace of Java (the programming language), one would only expect San Franciscans to have a plethora of top notch coffeehouses to frequent. From the most dedicated localvores to those who demand the exotic beans from across the globe, San Francisco provides excellent access to a perfectly brewed cup. Here are the top 5 places:
222 Sansome St
Silks at the Mandarin Oriental
Famed for the $40 cup of Kopi Luwak, Silks houses the perfectly plush setting to enjoy such an exotic indulgence. Silks is decorated with delicate orchids, pressed linens and ambient lighting. A jewel offering refuge from the hustle of the Financial District. Kopi Luwak, also known as civet coffee, is derived from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet. This extremely expensive coffee is known for its lack of bitterness. Enjoy the lightly roasted flavor without any additions except with perhaps Silks’ rich banana cake.
151 3rd St
66 Mint St
1 Ferry Bldg
Blue Bottle Coffee Company
Blending meticulously sourced beans from all over the world with a staunch microroaster approach, Blue Bottle Coffee Company has become the Bay Area’s flagship coffee purveyor. The beans are shipped all over the United States with coffee snobs from New York demanding a cup from their local shop. With outposts located in Haight, SoMa and the Ferrybuilding, each coffee shop follows Blue Bottle’s minimalist interior decorations. Simple stools, white porcelain and blonde wooden bars highlight how it’s the cup of coffee that should be the focal point. Each cup is hand poured with simmering boiling spring water into an individually measured amount to create the perfect cup of drip coffee. Fear not those who require a bit more foam and fluff, Blue Bottle’s menu includes all the requisite lattes, cappuccinos and espressos.
1026 Valencia Street
Ritual Coffee Roasters
Brave the unwashed hair, Macbook toting Hipster crowd and grab a cup of specialty seasonal espresso (harvested within an year) at Ritual. Located in a coffee lovers enclave of the Mission District, it’s quite the “authentic” stereotypical coffee scene. The baristas are probably philosophy majors who feel the need to impart all their useless knowledge on to a latte loving customer. Nonetheless, this is what one would imagine in to be seen in San Francisco: Lots of low-key independents who want their eco-friendly, super authentic, micro roasted, drip coffee in a local artist decorated, free WiFi enabled coffee shop.
352 Grant Avenue
De La Presse
De La Presse is a wonderful café in Union Square where you can enjoy a properly made macciato and macaron, while sitting outside and people watching. On cloudy days, feel free to peruse and purchase one of the many international magazines available inside (hence the name, de la presse!) The bistro oozes with French Savior fare, from the classic posters to the woven chairs, and many of the European tourists find sanctuary in this French owned establishment.
201 Berry Street
4023 18th Street
Despite the silly dated name, Philz Coffee has been delivering high quality micro roasted, well blended coffee to San Franciscians since the early 2000s. They have outposts in Mission and the tenderloin area, but their establishments in SoMa and Mission are the best outfitted for a nice afternoon meeting with their outdoor seating and vivdly bright decorations. They have the stand-by Jamacian Blue Mountain coffee at a reasonable $7 per drip cup and a menu of frothy items that also include a delicious iced mint mojito coffee.