I’m not going to lie, I pretty much drove six hours for great coffee. Jordan had the pleasure of a 4-day weekend so we planned a little road trip for an early anniversary celebration, and so I could show him around that great city! I planned every part around where I wanted to stop in for coffee - no word of a lie. Luckily, he loves coffee too so we were all good. Although I didn’t get to all of the places I wanted to, I did hit a lot of my favorites, and a new place, thanks to the recommendation of my brother.
Ritual Coffee Roasters- I bought two bags of their coffee, one for us and one for my other brother, who shares my obsession and went on a coffee pilgrimage with me in SanFran last year. I enjoyed their cold brew when I popped in this time, and the whole bean made for some excellent French press when I got home! They have several locations, but we visited the one in the Mission.
Sightglass - In terms of atmosphere, their shop on 20th is my favorite of all the coffee shops I have visited. I love the records they play and their loft-style seating area and Top Bar upstairs. I went to their shop on 7th this time and tried the vanilla toddy and I was in heaven. As someone who drinks her coffee black, I only dabble in the flavors or creams when it comes highly recommended and this one hit the mark was totally worth it.
FourBarrel- I have only been to the Valencia St location and only tasted the iced coffee (I am always walking a ton when there and craving iced!) but it was great, rich and bold and served from a seemingly endless jug. Also, some of the nicest people in the coffee business working there! You’ll know this place when you see it - there is a great iron structure out front that is a combination bike rack/seating area and the perfect place to enjoy your brew.
Blue Bottle Coffee - A favorite from New York that we miss dearly and it got two visits from us in SF, one at the Ferry Building and the other in SoMa. The lines are always crazy, but it’s always worth it, from the pour-over to the New Orleans iced. And some fabulous news, a location just moved into the Arts district in LA!!
Our last stop was Front Cafe, and we hit it on our way out of the city. We were quite taken with the interior, branding, and the nondescript location, so my husband snapped a few shots to share.
They share the space with artists who create the glassware that is used for serving and displays and sell it too. Very, very cool and excellent coffee.
We had the cold brew to go - and got it in a mason jar - which locals bring back for a refill, but we got to keep since we were headed back to LA. I never would have found it just wandering the streets in my go-to areas, so do yourself a favor and make the trip over!
Next time you are in San Francisco, or are in a city that one of these shops has a location, check them out; you will not regret it. Not only is the coffee phenomenal, but each location has it’s own special features that make it memorable. Happy caffinating!
With a full heart and an empty plate,