San Francisco was one of the first cities in the world where third-wave coffee took off, and it continues to maintain its reputation for delivering world-class coffee. You’ll find techies and hipsters alike lining up for their morning (or afternoon) espresso. If you visit, you’ll never need to worry about being under-caffeinated; there’s almost always a good coffee shop every second block in the city.

Blue Bottle Coffee

This wildly successful coffee roaster, which originated just across the Bay Bridge in Oakland, has several shops in SF for those who prefer to have their coffee brewed on the spot instead of shipped to their homes. Pour-overs are king here, but grab a latte or a New Orleans iced coffee if you’re in a rush.


With multiple locations throughout the city, including Mission Bay, Lower Haight, and the Castro, Réveille is there for you when you need your coffee-fix. The North Beach location is our favorite as it has this stunning circular counter from which you order your coffee. If you’re looking for more of a unique experience, check out the first ever Réveille, a coffee truck now permanently stationed on Pacific Street.


Even though Sightglass has five locations throughout the city, for the best experience we suggest heading to the flagship in SoMa. It’s spacious, comfortable and even includes an affogato bar on the mezzanine floor for those days when calories don’t count and you’re looking to sweeten things up with a hefty scoop of ice cream.

Caffe Trieste

Long before third-wave coffee became mainstream, Caffe Trieste was serving espressos to loyal regulars. Live music and good conversations revolving around art and politics are common here, so drop by if you’re looking for something more than your typical iced latte to-go.

Ritual Coffee Roasters

Another SF success story, Ritual Coffee Roasters boasts six outlets. The Hayes Valley store is good not only for those who only have a couple of minutes to hop in and out, but it also offers tastings for those who are lucky enough to enjoy their coffee at a more leisurely pace.

Linea Caffe

This small coffee shop in the Mission has been known to make the “it” coffee ever since it was featured in the Barista documentary. The beans here are roasted in-house, and Linea Caffe’s founder, Andrew Barnett, was the judge for the World Barista Championships. Only for the serious coffee lover.