Need a boost before class? Give one of these student favorites a try.
Is Starbucks just not cutting it anymore? Do you need a place to sit down and finish that paper you have been putting off for the past week? Or do you simply want to go out into the magical city of San Francisco and taste all of what it has to offer? Well, look no further! Here is the best coffee in SF: each location is an easy walk or bus ride from campus.
1. Cinderella Bakery and Café – 436 Balboa Street:
This hidden delicacy is every sweet tooth’s dream. It is only a short walk down Turk Street or a quick ride on the 31. The bakery itself is of Russian origin, so the menu has traditional desserts and pastries in addition to eclectic Russian dishes you could enjoy for lunch or dinner. Among the classic coffee options of lattes, macchiatos, and espresso, Cinderella Bakery also offers Ritual Coffee, a strong drip coffee with a deliciously smokey taste. Originally introduced by the Ritual Coffee Roasters Company, the popular blend has mass produced its way into Cinderella Bakery, and definitely for the better. If you are a bit of a coffee snob (which I admit I am), Ritual Coffee will not disappoint; it has a strong, smooth taste that will easily get you through the day. If you’re not into strong coffee, I would recommend sampling one of the sweeter espresso options, possibly a vanilla latte. It is perfect for people looking for a caffeine boost which also pleases their sweet tooth. You can easily add a pastry or dessert along with your beverage to make it an even sweeter experience.
Drip Ritual cdoffee with the apricot tart.
2. Coffee to the People – 1206 Masonic Avenue:
Coffee to the People is the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee, while also watching tourists walking around Haight Street. This coffee shop is spacious with plenty of seating ranging from booths to tables, to comfortable sofas. The beverage menu offers a wide variety of coffee plus smoothies, teas, and sweeter non caffeinated options. They brew fair trade and organic coffee, meaning each farmer in charge of the coffee beans will get an equal amount of profits made by the distribution of the coffee. Coffee to the People serves their own signature drinks – including a mint matcha mocha, which I highly recommend to coffee and chocolate lovers. Their espresso drinks already come with four espresso shots, so simply getting an average latte, iced or hot, will give you the perfect boost to get work done. Plus, there’s free wifi, so studying has never been more easy!
Iced latte with a cranberry-orange loaf.
3. Flywheel Coffee Roasters – 672 Stanyan Street:
This sophisticated coffee shop is great for getting some work done while enjoying a cup of coffee. Flywheel Coffee Roasters is a large, spacious coffee shop with plenty of seating inside and outside. The ambience definitely gives off a more serious work vibe, with lots of people swiftly typing on their computers to the calming, background indie music. Possibly the best aspect of this coffee shop is its diverse variety of drip coffee. Flywheel Coffee brews their own blends and sells them based on the month. They offer six drip coffee blends a month. You can see the different blends offered on their website, and each coffee has its own taste for each preference. My personal favorite of this month is the “Kenya KWA Matingi Co-Op” blend, which combines the sweetness of mangoes but also the sharp acidity of lemon. Every drip blend, such as the “Costa Rica Tarrazu” and the “Ethiopian Amaro Guayo,” originates from overseas. They each have their own unique taste. If the immense amount of drip coffee options doesn’t appeal to you, Flywheel also offers espresso options – including lattes, cappuccinos, and matcha. I recommend the cappuccino because it is delicious and has a strong kick.
Cappuccino with the almond croissant.
4. Blue Danube Coffee House – 306 Clement Street:
On quiet Clement Street, there is a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop full of comfortable couches and studious hipsters. Blue Danube offers a large variety of drinks and food, making it easy for you to spend the whole day studying while also enjoying a nice cup of coffee and some delicious food. The menu has a large assortment of beverages, including Italian soda and hot tea. The most unique option on the menu would be the Mexican hot chocolate with cayenne pepper sprinkled on top. Their most popular item would be the macchiato, one of the espresso options. Another popular and delicious option is a white mocha. However, my personal favorite would be the Vietnamese drip coffee. It is smooth and rich, with a sweet aftertaste. Blue Danube also offers a mint mocha which is perfect for someone looking for a sweeter espresso. Be mindful: this is a cash-only place.
Vietnamese drip and a double grilled cheese.