Exploring San Francisco, Part 1: Coffee

January 16, 2016

I refuse to believe Winter Break is over. Thus, I will likely be reminiscing about my break for the next few posts, starting with San Francisco. This was my third visit to San Francisco, so I skipped the major touristy places and had the chance to explore other parts of the city.

I think my favorite part was just walking through the streets of San Francisco, whether it was seeing the indoor marketplace in the Ferry Building or Valencia Street in the Mission District. Valencia Street had no shortage of great restaurants and bars dotting every block. There were even street vendors selling purses and shoes who reminded me of the more chaotic streets of Mumbai. Valencia Street is home to many tiny boutiques, great for souvenir shopping, and a couple independent bookstores as well. Of course, it also has one of the most popular coffee roasters in San Fran – Ritual Coffee.

If you didn’t know, San Franciscans consider themselves to be coffee aficionados a.k.a. (also known as) coffee snobs. Here are three recommended to me by friends that I enjoyed:

  • Blue Bottle Coffee Co (pictured above)– Named in honor of the heroic Viennese emissary who opened a coffee shop after the Viennese defeated the Turks in the late 1600s, this hole-in-the-wall shop with a line out the door has a cozy, warm vibe (in part due to lack of seating space). They offer a variety of great coffee and tea. Their Kyoto-style iced coffee apparatus, used for slow-drip coffee, resembles a still, enhancing the notion of scientific precision in the creation of their coffee wonders.
  • Ritual Coffee Roasters – they consider themselves leaders of the gourmet coffee revolution, thus the sickle and star logo borrowed from the Soviet Republic (it’s true, I asked).  It’s truly worth it for those who like their black coffee and want something high quality. The shop itself has an industrial, modern vibe, with large areas of empty space for mingling as well as plenty of seating arrangements for long, intellectual chats. The sometimes thought-provoking, mostly confusing abstract art completes the experience.
  • Philz Coffee – This is a popular Bay Area chain that people swear by. They’re famous for their iced mint Mojito coffee. I tried their half green, half black tea and was pleasantly surprised. If you want to blend in with other San Franciscans, skip the Starbucks and grab Philz.

My Future Coffee Shops

Below are a couple coffee recommendations I received– for next time!

  • Frank’s Coffee
  • Fourbarrel Coffee

Published on January 16th, 2016

Last updated on August 28th, 2017