When In San Francisco, Here’s Where To Find The Very Best Coffee Shops
This frequent visitor (and coffee addict) shares three special spots for a superior cup of joe in the Bay Area
Regardless if you’re a social coffee drinker or, like me, you prefer your coffee in IV form, when you take a trip to the San Francisco Bay Area, you may be looking for the perfect cuppa joe. In between treks to the Golden Gate Bridge for obvious photo ops or on a road trip to Napa Valley, here are three coffee shops you can swing by that are distinctly San Franciscan and will give you the perfect pick-me-up.
From the San Francisco Airport to the downtown area, Peet’s Coffee is hard to miss. This comes as no surprise since the founder, Alfred Peet, opened the first location in nearby Berkeley way back in 1966. Peet grew up in the Netherlands and in the coffee trade, so when he came to America, he was shocked at the poor quality of coffee that Americans were drinking. (As an American who grew up with brew coffee that was nothing short of weak coffee-flavored-water polluted with sugary creamers, I can empathize with his sentiment.) The coffee is strong, the quality is top notch, and the customers seem to keep coming back for another taste.
Now before you correct me, Blue Bottle Coffee Co. does have hundreds of locations across the world now including the United States, Japan, and Korea. However, the roots of Blue Bottle Coffee Co. can be traced right back to Oakland, California. Back in the early 2000s, Blue Bottle’s founder endeavored to roast and sell coffee with this philosophy in mind: “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my guests, so they may enjoy coffee at peak flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious, and responsibly sourced beans.” Given Blue Bottle’s success, his plan worked out quite well and coffee lovers (like me) often swing by with intentions to hoard. I always grab a bag of beans and tuck them away in my suitcase before heading back to Manila.
It would be a disservice to locals not to include a coffee shop that’s less mainstream and has a brand story as pleasantly aromatic as the coffee they serve. Trouble Coffee Co.’s headquarters’ location was built as a home using scrap wood from Ocean Beach and a refurbished espresso machine that came from a junk yard. If you stop by China Beach, which I highly recommend for a windy stroll and Instagrammable moment, head to Trouble Coffee Co. for a no-fuss legit cup of coffee—there’s nothing junk about it. If you’re collecting acorns for winter, I also recommend that you grab a bag of beans for the road from Trouble Coffee Co.!
The author is a food and travel blogger; founder of Naked Patisserie, a bakeshop specializing in wedding and bespoke cakes; and the creator of NakedFoodie.TV, a food and travel blog. With a tasting palate that people can trust, a short attention span, and never-ending wanderlust, The Naked Foodie breaks down his favorite recipes for his fellow foodies around the world.