Updated: Jan 1st, 2022
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It wasn’t until I started traveling more that I realized how good the San Francisco coffee shops were. I remember the first time I went to Florence, Italy, and dreamed of sipping an espresso by the Arno River. It actually made me miss coffee in SF!
After digging a bit further, San Francisco isn’t the birthplace to dozens of amazing coffee roasters for no reason. Folgers Coffee was founded in San Francisco in 1850 (although initially under a different name), and is now a household coffee name brand. The city has a deep history of coffee making and new roasters continue to set up shop in the foggy city.
Using this map and the detailed guide below, you can see where my favorite coffee shops are neighborhood by neighborhood. Happy coffee shop exploring.
Coffee Shops in Russian Hill
1. Saint Frank Coffee
2340 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Saint Frank Coffee is near and dear to my heart since it was only 3 blocks away from where I lived in San Francisco. It was the perfect place to stop after a workout at Crunch Gym on Polk Street, or a run along the Marina Green. While Saint Frank has some of the best seasonable beverages such as the Spiced Caramel Apple Latte and the Lavender Honey Latte, they are most known for their Almond Macadamia Milk Latte.
The roasting company not only makes a fine latte, it also has direct relationships with small coffee farmers around the world. Saint Frank’s responsible sourcing methods makes me the $6 I spend on a cup of jo there all the more worth it.
After moving to New York, I was happy to discover that Saint Frank coffee beans are used at Bird & Branch. It’s one of my favorite coffee shops to go to in the city now!
2. The Soapbox Cafe
1800 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Soapbox Cafe opened only a few years ago, but it’s already become a favorite of the Russian Hill locals, including myself. Their coffee is solid, and they also have a full breakfast menu and serve delicious Vietnamese food.
Coffee Shops in Haight-Ashbury
3. Ritual Coffee Roasters
1300 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
I always preferred cappuccinos over other kinds of coffee, but Ritual made me appreciate a simple black drip coffee. Their coffee is so good by itself I don’t need to add anything to enjoy it. I also appreciate that I feel the caffeine buzz every single time. Their coffee is strong!
Ritual also takes a lot of care in their sourcing and trading practices. Similar to Saint Frank Coffee, they source their beans from small farms all around the world. One thing that stood out to me is that they pay above fair trade prices to makes sure farmers are compensated fairly for their harvests.
4. Philz Coffee
3101 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Philz is a quintessential San Francisco coffee shop. The very first Philz opened on 24th Street in the Mission District and is still standing to this day.
Visiting a Philz is like having coffee at a friend’s. Each Philz, and especially the original one in the Mission, has so much character that you have to spend a few moments enjoying your coffee in their space.
What’s also special about Philz’s coffee is that their cream is heavenly! For starters, order the Ecstatic or the Mint Mojito.
Coffee Shops in Union Square and FiDi
5. Iron Horse Coffee
25 Maiden Ln, San Francisco, CA 94108
If you searched Iron Horse Coffee and found Iron Horse Cocktails located at the exact same spot, you’ve found the right place.
Iron Horse is a coffee shop by day and cocktail bar by night. I haven’t been for the cocktails yet, but I can tell you the coffee is really yummy! It’s a favorite of mine because of how close it is to my old office but also how tucked away it is in Maiden Lane – an adorable street that reminds me of areas like SOHO in New York City. I recommend popping by if you’re ever in the area.
6. Mazarine Coffee
720 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Mazarine Coffee made it onto my list of Best Coffee Shops in San Francisco not only because it serves good coffee, but also because the food is oh-so-drool-worthy. The taste of their Avocado Toast and Fig Jam & Ricotta Toast is still vivid in my mind. It’s near many offices so naturally a busy spot.
If you’re in the area, stop by to support them during this time when not many people are spending time in the area!
7. Coffee Bar
101 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94104
Similar to Iron Horse, I fell in love with Coffee Bar due to its proximity to work. It helped me get by the worst and the best days in the office.
I first learned about the drink London Fog (Earl Grey Tea with steamed milk and vanilla) at Coffee Bar and haven’t looked back since. The drink is still one of my go-tos when I want to take a break from coffee.
Aside from the London Fog, they also make a delicious Horchata coffee drink.
Coffee Shops in SOMA
8. Blue Bottle Coffee
1 Ferry Building, 7, San Francisco, CA 94111
The fact that I’ve moved all the way from San Francisco to New York City and the Blue Bottle two blocks away from me is still one of my favorite coffee shops is testament to how consistently good Blue Bottle’s coffee is.
The coffee roaster was founded in Oakland in the early 2000’s and now has locations in New York, Chicago, and internationally in places like Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Despite its many locations, my favorite Blue Bottle is the one at the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero. The reason? The amazing views of the bay that go along with my steamy hot cappuccino.
9. Sightglass Coffee
270 7th St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Sometimes it’s about the coffee and sometimes it’s about the coffee shop’s atmosphere. At Sightlgass, it’s both.
One of my favorite coffee shops in San Francisco, the SOMA location has a gorgeous, two-level interior that’s perfect for meeting friends or doing some work (although you’ll need to BYO WiFI!).
They also use Aesop’s hand soap in their bathrooms. Did I convince you to visit yet?
Coffee Shops in Outer Sunset
10. Home Coffee Roasters
1222 Noriega St San Francisco, CA 94122
Last but not least, if you’re looking for the most instagrammable coffee shop in San Francisco, Home is the spot to be. Home’s baristas will turn your coffee into a work of art by doing insane designs such as a bear and adding loads of color to your coffee it makes you wonder how much sugar is in that thing. Their creations are not only a work of art – they also taste heavenly!
For more tips on instagrammable coffee shops in SF, check out this list by Palm Trees & Pellegrino.
Best Cafes in San Francisco for Non-Coffee Drinkers
11. David Rio Chai Bar
1019 Market St San Francisco, CA 94103
This is an honorable mention because it’s not coffee but it is royalty in its own category: Chai. I don’t usually go for Chai, but the Chai at David Rio Chai Bar is so delicious it’s great for beginner Chai drinkers to give the drink a go.
12. Stonemill Matcha
561 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Stonemill Matcha is THE PLACE to get matcha in San Francisco. Since Stonemill opened in San Francisco a few years ago, it has been super popular with the locals and the line will easily get long during peak hours.
They have a wide selection of matcha drinks, and I’m a big fan of the Sparkling Matcha when it’s hot out or the Matcha Latte for cooler days. Their food is also TOP NOTCH.
Visit San Francisco for the Coffee
Next time someone asks what city has the best coffee, I hope you think of San Francisco. After all, there are some very talented coffee roasters in this town and having a cup of Blue Bottle coffee while taking in views of the Bay is arguably just as cool as sipping on a cup of espresso along the Amalfi Coast.
For more San Francisco travel tips, check out some of these posts below:
- 11 Romantic Things to Do in San Francisco
- 8 Fantastic Road Trips from San Francisco
- 10 Unique Spots to Get Boba in San Francisco
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