Four Barrel Coffee
A quintessential modern craft coffee roaster, with only a few locations but a lot of wholesale distribution across the region and beyond. The beans are directly sourced, then blended, roasted and served as pour-overs and espresso-based drinks. The long-time Mission operation also has a roasting area in the back, parklet with bike racks out front, and the sort of wood paneling and fine pastries inside that you tend to find in leading coffee shops today.
One of the first third-wave coffee shops in a city that helped define the movement, Ritual has slowly grown to six locations over the years. Its recently-remodeled flagship on Valencia Street features rotating seasonal espresso and “sweet tooth” specials in additional to the mainstay pour-overs, batches and blended drinks, plus a minimalist interior, a parklet out front, and a cool cactus garden in the back.
The defining coffee shop of the city’s tech-heavy former industrial neighborhood, Sightglass has slowly grown its retail presence to include a few other spots around the city. The simple menu focuses on single-sourced espressos, pour-overs, and a range of affogatto options. You’ll also find its beans sold far and wide across by other establishments, grocery stores, and online.
The first espresso coffee shop on the West Coast planted the seeds of the modern coffee scene by introducing Italian techniques to the city in 1956. Along the way, the North Beach location became a haven for generations of artists, writers and intellectuals. Head there today and you can still meet original Beat poets, catch live music sessions, and drink the espressos that have fueled the city for decades.
Andytown Coffee Roasters
One of the newer local coffee roasters, Andytown has won over its beachside neighborhood and well beyond through a streamlined menu of espresso drinks, including its specialty, the Snowy Plover. Named after a water-loving local species of bird, the drink includes espresso, Pellegrino, and a large dollop of homemade whipped cream.