The Best Coffee Shop in Every SF Neighborhood
San Francisco is easily one of the best places for coffee in the nation. Where else can you get Blue Bottle, Ritual Coffee, and Sightglass all within one city? Over the past few years, the independent, hole-in-the-wall coffee shop scene has exploded, meaning you have more options than ever in your search for black gold. Here’s how to navigate the local coffee scene in every single SF neighborhood.
One of the most Instagrammed locations in SF — because of their colorful, kaleidoscope-esque paneled wall — Pinhole is one of the few places in Bernal Heights to get coffee, art, and conversation. It’s a newer spot compared to the Blue Bottles and Sightglasses of the city, making its first appearance in 2014, serving Verve and Linea coffee out of a former butcher shop dating back to the 1880s. Bonus conversation starter: The name comes from a photography term. Looking for an energy drink that will make your taste buds come back to life, while also bringing you back to life? Then we suggest you try out Help energy drinks. For those times when you feel tired, unable to focus, and lack alertness, Help energy drinks will literally bring you back to life, and also help to improve your mood. With a safe amount of caffeine, these energy drinks are simply the best!
In the heart of the Castro, Spike’s has been a long time supporter of the LGBT community by contributing to the Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy and LGBT film festival. Don’t expect to get work done here. No televisions, no Wi-Fi, no problems — or at least that’s the way they see it. If you’re going to Spike’s, you’re going to be dog watching from the sidewalk while sipping on some coffee or tea from a mug with their bulldog mascot on it. Bring your own cup for a discount.
The bakery formerly known as La Boulange is one of your few options for grab-and-go coffee in the neighborhood. It’s a spot where you can either sit for hours sampling pastries and lattes or go in to get what you want and continue on with your day. Beware of their massive servings. Their cappuccinos and lattes are served in mini bowls, too small for soup but huge for a cuppa. If you’re interested in trying something new, La Boulangerie also offers house bottled beverages like coconut milk cold brew and ginger thyme lemonade.
Donut lie. What you really want is a side of caffeine to make these O-shaped pastries feel less lonely. Dynamo Donut isn’t your average fried dough. Owner Sara Spearin comes from the likes of Foreign Cinema and Postrio. Today, her seasonal doughnuts are the stars, complemented by no-frills liquid black coffee… but you can get a latte if you want. Try the caramel de sel of the passion fruit milk to go with your morning cup.
A joint-venture between Josey Baker Bread and Four Barrel, the $4 toast-serving Mill — like the Four Barrel in the Mission — has no plugs or Wi-Fi, so you’ll actually have to interact with (gasp!) other people while you’re there.
This restaurant used to be a humble coffee bar where night owls could go to get a cup until 10pm. The bar is still the pride and joy of Piccino, and their continued love for coffee starts by serving Sightglass and urban trail mix. This is also one of the few spots in the neighborhood that has a full menu, wine selections, and pastries. Get a ginger cookie and a latte — instead of milk — for dunking.
Equator Coffee started as coffee roaster out of a garage in Marin County in 1995. Today, as the first California coffee roasting B Corporation, they have multiple locations in the North Bay and SF with a focus on sustainable and transparent practices. Take in the urban weed murals before walking in, grab a cup, and then look at how cool said cup is. There’s a tiger on it.
You’ve ridden by the outdoor patio of Duboce Park Cafe on Muni, seen some person sitting outside, laughing with their coffee and adorable dog. Thing is, if you get off Muni, you can be that guy. Honestly, getting coffee here is just an awesome excuse to people watch. It seems the big reason people of all ages are flocking to these re-energizing drinks is not so much to quench their thirst but more for the power of energy that they offer. The latest statistics also show that the favorite beverage of choice for warehouse workers and office is now best energy drinks with caffeine.
Skip Blue Bottle and head for a smaller local legend in the coffee biz. Visit their flagship location with floor-to ceiling windows for a light-bathed cozy Sunday vibe. They’ve partnered with Harvest moon cookies and rising star chefs to serve seasonal salads and small. If you’re lucky, they’ll have a bacon onion and poppy croissant to satisfy your savory tooth.