This guide was originally published in 2015. Since that time some of these shops have shuttered while others have opened. Please visit our updated “third wave coffee shop” post.

Third Wave Coffee shops are standard practice here in San Francisco; we’ve got some major players in the roasting scene who you’ll see over and over again in cafes throughout the city. But, if we’re being totally honest, it can still be frustrating to find quality espresso in certain neighborhoods, so we decided to create a comprehensive guide to solve all your coffee desires.

Sometimes, it can even be a task to just order your drink — which Everything But the News perfectly portrays in this video.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=nfuX1rypN4Y%3Frel%3D0%26showinfo%3D0

So, here you go SFers: a neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of roasters and brewers in San Francisco.

NEIGHBORHOODS:

Outer Richmond

Central Richmond

Inner Richmond

Hayes Valley

Western Addition/NOPA/Panhandle

Pac Heights

Marina

Fisherman’s Wharf

North Beach

Embarcadero

FIDI

Tenderloin

Nob Hill

SOMA

Potrero Hill

Dogpatch

Mission

Bernal Heights

Noe Valley

Castro

Haight Ashbury

Divis

Inner Sunset

Outer Sunset

Parkside

The New Outside Lands: Excelsior, Visitacion Valley, Ocean View, & Lake Merced

 

OUTER RICHMOND

Cassava, brewing Ritual Coffee

3519 Balboa St @ 36th Ave

oKai Y. via Yelp
Stop by during weekday mornings to indulge in their specialty Bourbon Mocha made with one of SF’s favorite roasters — Ritual Coffee. This place operates during weekday mornings as a kitschy cool little cafe, but at night the menu transforms to a romantic restaurant. Make sure to grab a reservation if you’re catching the dinner specials.

Simple Pleasures Cafe

3434 Balboa St @ 36th Ave

simple pleasures cafeEvonne W. via Foursquare
Anyone living amidst the fog and sand dunes of the Richmond District has probably heard of this place; they’re been roasting up their own blends since ’78. Who says the Richmond has never been cool? We had a third wave coffee shop before third wave coffee shops were a thing! If you happen to visit while the sun is out, be sure to take advantage of their brand spankin’ new parklet right outside.

CENTRAL RICHMOND

Angelina’s Cafe & Deli, brewing Mr. Espresso

6000 California St @ 22nd Ave

angelina's cafevia Angelina's Deli-Cafe Facebook
Another stalwart of the Richmond, Angie’s Cafe & Deli! They may not roast their own beans, but they offer a no-frills approach to your morning cup of Joe.

INNER RICHMOND

Velo Rouge Cafe, brewing Blue Bottle Coffee

798 Arguello Blvd @ McAllister

velo1Naomi M. via Foursquare
This bicycle themed bar on the edge of the Richmond serves up Oakland’s Blue Bottle Coffee.

HAYES VALLEY

Ritual Coffee Roasters

432b Octavia St inside of Patricia’s Green

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 2.53.01 PMHanne V via Yelp

This cute little outpost of Ritual Coffee is nestled into that tiny park across from the flash-frozen ice cream haven Smitten Ice Cream in Patricia’s Green. If you’re not a fan of Ritual then be sure to visit Blue Bottle Coffee a block away on Octavia and Gough.

 

WESTERN ADDITION/NOPA/PANHANDLE

Matching Half Cafe, serving Sightglass Coffee

1799 McAllister St @ Baker St

7966409994_e374525b2c_bJoel Bez via Flickr

No matter what you call this neighborhood, there is still good coffee to be found here.

 

PAC HEIGHTS

b. Patissere, brewing Four Barrel Coffee

2821 California St. @ Divisadero St.

b pat3Trin A. via Foursquare
Okay, so they are known for their incredible pastries — but what goes better with a pâtisserie than SF’s Four Barrel?

MARINA

Chestnut Street Coffee Roastery 

2331 Chestnut St @ Scott St

chestagainPamela R. via Foursquare
If you’re taking a stroll through Restaurant Row, aka Chestnut Street, you’ll have to be sure to take a visit to these roasters. They’re rather modest looking compared to the rest of the Marina, which makes them one of the most welcoming coffee spots in the neighborhood.

FISHERMAN’S WHARF

Buena Vista Cafe, brewing Peerless Coffee

2765 Hyde St @ Beach St

2446128840_5da5757a2c_bJeremy Marshall via Flickr
Okay, let’s be honest. No one comes here for the coffee. Irish Coffee or bust! Have to play tour guide to visiting friends/family/old college buddies? Go ahead and grab a cable car and ride into Buena Vista in style, and then be sure to catch the crazy Dolphin Club swimming in Aquatic Park without any wetsuits.

NORTH BEACH

Cavalli Cafe, brewing Danesi Coffee imported from Rome

1441 Stockton St @ Columbus

5033545937_de52a9b0b2_bEmily Leung via Flickr
People say there aren’t any Italians left in North Beach, but if you visit Santo over at Cavalli Cafe you’ll see he’s keeping the culture strong. Santo rescued this former Italian printing press almost a decade ago — you know, when internet killed the bookstore. Santo imports his glorious espresso all the way from Roma and offers a no-frills coffee experience. Looking for latte art? Then go ahead and look elsewhere, cause Cavalli only offers one shape: “clouds.”

EMBARCADERO

Sightglass Coffee Stand

Ferry Building

13888916314_9d27dca822_bRena Tom via Flickr
If you pick a random group of San Franciscans walking around and asked them who roasts the best coffee in the city, Sightglass is sure to be name-dropped. Don’t spend much time in the Mission? Then go ahead and grab a cup from their stand in the Ferry Building!

FIDI

Strand Theater Cafe, brewing Artis Coffee

1127 Market St @ 7th

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 3.20.00 PMStrand Theater Cafe via Twitter
The American Conservatory Theater (ACT) finished renovations on the historic Strand Theater in June — along with the new theater space, they opened this minimalistic cafe in the lobby serving up Artis Coffee.

TENDERLOIN

Hooker’s Sweet Treats, brewing Sightglass Coffee

442 Hyde St @ O’Farrell

hooker'sNorbet H. via Foursquare
With a name like Hooker’s, what’s not to love? This TL spot serves up some of the yummiest baked goods and compliments the dishes with our very own Sightglass.

NOB HILL

Contraband Coffee Bar

1415 Larkin St @ Sacramento St

6461893847_010593963b_bmarkheybo via Flickr
Beans roasted on-site and donuts imported from Dynamo Donuts — yum!

SOMA

Cento, brewing Blue Bottle Coffee

372 Rich St @ Townsend St

centoChris B. via Foursquare
If you’re living/working/hanging out in SOMA (I’m looking at you techies), then you’ll have to stop by this alleyway cafe for a brief reprieve from the hustle and bustle of downtown.

Sextant Coffee Roasters

1415 Folsom St @ 10th St

sextant2Maki J. via Flickr
In SOMA and prefer beans roasted onsite? Take a trip over to Sextant!

Sightglass Coffee HQ

270 7th St @

14054922001_4284148316_kScott Schiller via Flickr
Seventh Street is home to the flagship location of Sightglass Coffee. Ask any local for the top coffee roasters in the city, and Sightglass will almost always be mentioned. We love their taste — not just in coffee, but in music too! Every Sightglass location comes fully equipped with an impressive LP collection. Why? Because, this is San Francisco, damnit!

POTRERO HILL

Front Cafe

150 Mississippi St @ 17th St

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 9.57.53 AMFront Cafe
Front Cafe operates from an old industrial loading dock in Potrero Hill and roasts their ingle origin coffee beans on site — the cafe actually a front for their makers space in the back.

DOGPATCH

Dignita

2225 3rd St @ 19th St

1503825_783944301653412_4234169969073743740_nvia Dignita Facebook
Are you a fan of house-roasted beans? Who am I kidding, everyone in San Francisco is! Don’t forget to add Dignita to your list.

MISSION

The Mission. The Gourmet Ghetto. The Mecca of Artsinal Coffee. You couldn’t get me to pick just one roaster here even if my life depended on it!

Ritual Coffee

1026 Valencia St @ 21st St

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https://vimeo.com/52368308
Ritual has been roasting up some killer beans since 2005. Most people considering these guys the heavyweight champs of the third wave coffee in the Mission and, depending on who you talk to, the ones who kickstarted this craze in the first.

Sightglass Coffee

3014 20th St @ Alabama St

https://vimeo.com/63212928
You might have noticed we really like Sightglass — they’re monopolizing this list!

Philz HQ

3101 24th St @ Folsom St

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0epgbhW-QU

You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone in this city who doesn’t enjoy a specially brewed cup from Philz. Phil began roasting in his garage and has been on a mission ever since to “reinvent the coffee experience.” In a world where coffee orders are getting more complex by the minute, Philz stands out for having a general rule of thumb: you gotta taste your drink before you pay for it!

Four Barrel HQ

375 Valencia St @ 15th St

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnhNtzbxGp4

Even the owner Jeremy Tooker knows that when most people take a look at their extensive tasting set-up, they will think to themselves, “stupid hipsters.” But don’t let that scare you away! At Four Barrel’s flagship location, you’ll find a Slow Bar for drip coffee, a Main Bar with an espresso machine, and a roastery with four barrels. They’re not your run-of-the-mill pretentious coffee snobs — they even offer 2-hour home barista classes.

BERNAL HEIGHTS

Pinhole Coffee, brewing Verve Coffee for espresso and Linea Caffee for drip

231 Cortland Ave @ Bonview St

43341__zIxYBRvcFlCA7dzFV0vQszg_JaZt1DOQYoKNmpHxuIJoshua N. via Foursquare
This whimsical cafe boasts a bright airy space with lots of natural lighting, tree stumps for stools and kitschy murals.

NOE VALLEY

Martha & Brother’s Coffee 

3868 24th St @ Sanchez St

san franciscoMartha Heinemann Bixby via Flickr
This original location has been in Noe Valley roasting their own specialty blends since 1987.

CASTRO

Spike’s Coffee & Teas, roasted in South San Francisco

4117 29th St @ Castro St

oJenny H. via Yelp
No WiFi. No phones. No TV. Lots of dogs.

HAIGHT ASHBURY

Andra Piroshki, brewing Blue Bottle Coffee

1227 Haight St @ Shrader St

416988327_d867c5ca8e_bNiall Kennedy via Flickr
Are we really sending you to a Russian piroshki place for a cup of coffee? Yes. To be fair, the Haight is a little late to the artisanal coffee scene. Be prepared, there aren’t any espresso machines — just drip coffees. Be sure to pick up a freshly-baked breakfast piroshki to accompany that coffee!

DIVIS

The Mill, brewing & owned by Four Barrel

736 Divisadero St @ Fulton St

14800973016_21e100b941_hChristopher Michel via Flickr
This place is so big and spacious, the first time I walked in here I had to do a double-take to make sure I didn’t accidentally wander into a bar at 10am! It should come as no surprise that the OG’s of artisanal coffee, Four Barrel, also bring us the most expensive toast in the city. The Mill is — you guessed it — a working mill serving up some of the best bread the city has to offer.

INNER SUNSET

Snowbird Coffee

1352a 9th Avenue @ Irving St

I bet you still think that there’s nothing in the Sunset except wind and fog. Okay, well, there’s still that, but now there are coffee roasters too!

OUTER SUNSET

Andytown Coffee Roasters

3655 Lawton St @ 43rd Ave

andytownMeaghan B. via Foursquare
I grew up in the Sunset’s microdistrict the Parkside, and if you would have asked me a few years ago if the Sunset would ever be home to its own roastery I would have laughed until my stomach hurt. Now if you asked me that same question today, I would just race you down Lawton to get in line at Andytown before you.

PARKSIDE

Antigua Coffee

1131 Taraval St @ 21st Ave

antigua coffee shopJoan T. via Yelp
The Parkside, not to be confused with Thee Parkside in Potrero Hill, is one of those microdistricts that you really only know of if you live there. And since I grew up in this notoriously un-hip area, I’ll be the first to praise Antigua and their roasting prowess!

THE NEW OUTSIDE LANDS: Excelsior, Visitacion Valley, Ocean View & Lake Merced

Piccolo Petes Cafe, brewing Henry’s House of Coffee

piccolo petesAndrew P. via Yelp
Piccolo Petes are the new kids on the block and have already made a name for themselves in Visitacion Valley. Now I bet you’re wondering one thing: where the hell is this neighborhood?! It’s on the southern outskirts of the city, hence New Outside Lands. Okay, so this nickname hasn’t caught on yet. But, come on, it totally works!

There you have it — one of the most complete guides to drinking coffee in San Francisco! This city has an overwhelming and delicious coffee scene, so of course not everyone made the cut. Who do you think deserves a spot?

[Featured Image: Ian Whalen via Flickr]


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