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.
So, here you go SFers: a neighborhood-by-neighborhood breakdown of roasters and brewers in San Francisco.
Cassava, brewing Ritual Coffee
3519 Balboa St @ 36th Ave
3434 Balboa St @ 36th Ave
Angelina’s Cafe & Deli, brewing Mr. Espresso
6000 California St @ 22nd Ave
Velo Rouge Cafe, brewing Blue Bottle Coffee
798 Arguello Blvd @ McAllister
432b Octavia St inside of Patricia’s Green
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.
Matching Half Cafe, serving Sightglass Coffee
1799 McAllister St @ Baker St
No matter what you call this neighborhood, there is still good coffee to be found here.
b. Patissere, brewing Four Barrel Coffee
2821 California St. @ Divisadero St.
2331 Chestnut St @ Scott St
Buena Vista Cafe, brewing Peerless Coffee
2765 Hyde St @ Beach StDolphin Club swimming in Aquatic Park without any wetsuits.
Cavalli Cafe, brewing Danesi Coffee imported from Rome
1441 Stockton St @ Columbus
Sightglass Coffee Stand
Strand Theater Cafe, brewing Artis Coffee
1127 Market St @ 7thAmerican 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.
Hooker’s Sweet Treats, brewing Sightglass Coffee
442 Hyde St @ O’Farrell
1415 Larkin St @ Sacramento St
Cento, brewing Blue Bottle Coffee
372 Rich St @ Townsend St
1415 Folsom St @ 10th St
270 7th St @
150 Mississippi St @ 17th St
2225 3rd St @ 19th St
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!
1026 Valencia St @ 21st St
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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.
3014 20th St @ Alabama St
You might have noticed we really like Sightglass — they’re monopolizing this list!
3101 24th St @ Folsom St
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!
375 Valencia St @ 15th St
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.
Pinhole Coffee, brewing Verve Coffee for espresso and Linea Caffee for drip
231 Cortland Ave @ Bonview St
3868 24th St @ Sanchez St
Spike’s Coffee & Teas, roasted in South San Francisco
4117 29th St @ Castro St
Andra Piroshki, brewing Blue Bottle Coffee
1227 Haight St @ Shrader St
The Mill, brewing & owned by Four Barrel
736 Divisadero St @ Fulton St
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!
3655 Lawton St @ 43rd Ave
1131 Taraval St @ 21st AveThee 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
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]