There’s no travel without a proper Coffee Tour when I visit new cities. I was excited to come to San Francisco and see what’s waiting for me there. What I found was refreshing – coffee culture is smaller there than in London. Blue Bottle has eight spots in the city, but it’s not all of the coffee shops in San Francisco. I wanted to try something else, and here’s what I did!
I found this coffee shop not so far from where I stayed – in the Mission District. Sightglass Coffee can proudly say they serve artisan coffee, plus they have their own roastery inside the shop and a good selection of cakes and snacks. The coffee shop welcomes local hipsters and freelancers who like to come and work on their Macs. The interior looked welcoming to me, reminding me of my favourite coffee shops – with clean design, wooden counters and white cups. If I were a San Francisco resident, Sightglass Coffee is where you’d find me almost every day.
Dynamo Donut & Coffee
This doughnut place is not your usual coffee shop, but their coffee happens to be spectacular. No wonder, they own a La Marzocco coffee machine that matches their yellow-and-green brand colours. (Or perhaps just brand colours adapted from the colour of the house they reside.) I had an Americano with a gluten-free pistachio-lemon doughnut and it’s hard to pick which one was better! However, that wasn’t the only thing I loved about Dynamo Donut. The art on the walls made me smile – a new take on Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks painting – displaying robots sitting in the famous diner. You just can’t go wrong with some humour in a doughnut place.
Réveille Coffee Co.
I found Réveille Coffee Co. on an early morning when I was heading to the Beat Museum. Unfortunately, I found the museum still closed and I still didn’t have my morning coffee. The choice was clear. I went for a single espresso. Thick, hot, sharp enough to get me going through emails that piled up as I went on holidays. I wasn’t the only one taking out my laptop – just like Sightglass Coffee, Réveille, too, attracts freelancers of all kinds. I was the only one not wearing something cool. In fact, I was wearing a New York t-shirt – maybe a little insulting considering I was in San Francisco. But staff and visitors didn’t seem to mind and they were all smiles like I was their good friend.
Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters
A coffee shop with an attitude – that’s Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters! Me and my young friend Elizabeth were passing by from the Chronicle Bookstore and decided to stop by for hot chocolate and iced coffee (respectively). The place was a hybrid of minimal and Hawaii design enhanced by metal music. Baristas had tattoos and piercings and ninja coffee skills. We chatted for a while, shared details about our London and San Francisco lives, and then we left. Now, I don’t know what Elizabeth thought, but I left with an impression that I’ve been to the coolest, strangest, oddest and nicest coffee shop in San Francisco.