San Francisco is home to excellent coffee, and it's hard to choose just six places with the best beans. As a San Francisco-based company, we have a lot of choices in our neighborhood when it comes to coffee. After a lot of consideration for flavor, texture, aroma, and atmosphere, we chose these six places as our all-time favorites.
Our Six Favorite Coffee Shops In San Francisco
Taking its name from the place where coffee thrives and grows best, Equator takes sustainability, quality, and social responsibility to the next level. Owners Brooke and Helen pay quality incentives to farmers, provide micro-loan credits, and support farming community initiatives in locations around the world where their coffee is grown. The coffee company’s Tiger Trust program provides resources needed to support the work of conserving Sumatran Tigers, and has partnered with Chico Govero, a young Zimbabwean woman who has dedicated her life to social change, and donates $2.00 of every bag of Chido’s Blend sold to Chido’s work. Get a delicious coffee and contribute to social change? You can do both at Equator. We love the SOMA location, which is right near our office!
2. Blue Bottle
If you’ve ever been to the City by the Bay, you’ve seen Blue Bottle shops in nearly every neighborhood (including the nearest one to us, at Mint Plaza). What makes this such a beloved shop in San Francisco might be the care taken to ensure that each coffee sold is made from beans that have come out of the roaster within the last 48 hours so customers can enjoy their coffee at its peak flavor. They go a step further and offer a variety of coffee brewing methods that customers can choose from when deciding how they want their coffee. Have your coffee prepared in a siphon which produces a delicate, tea-like cup of joe, or in the Italian-made Bialetti Moka pot which can create incredible, dense espressos with no electricity. At Blue Bottle, you’ll get to choose the exact type of coffee you’re looking for.
A Mint Mojito at 8 a.m.? As long as you’re in San Francisco, we aren’t talking about the classic cocktail. At Philz, a cold brewed coffee with cream, sugar, and fresh mint leaves make up this Mint Mojito. This drink and their other specialty drip coffees have been waking up patrons since 2003 when owner Phil Jaber converted his corner store into a coffee shop and made it into the original Philz. The shop’s house-roasted coffee range from blends made with 7 different beans, so you’ll definitely find a flavor and roast you like.
This sibling-owned, independent coffee company has come a long way since its 2009 establishment as a rickety push cart in San Francisco’s SoMa district. The company now roasts its own coffee beans and sources green coffee beans from their origins. Sightglass boasts beans grown in Colombia, Ethiopia, and Guatemala and flavors like fresh melon balanced by a deep clover honey and brown sugar sweetness. What other local coffee shop actually visits Ecuador and Colombia to meet the farmers who make those delicious cups of coffee you’re getting? Sightglass is truly unique.
Some coffee shops are ideal for grabbing a quick cup of joe and others, like Fora Think Space, offer an atmosphere you want to sit and enjoy. Their hot chocolate, made from real chocolate chips and hand ground spices slowly infused with hot milk, is some of the best in the city. Have a meeting you need to hold? Fora Think Space provides beautifully decorated meeting rooms complete with plants, modern décor, and glass walls for writing. You can rent the rooms by the hour, or get 2 hours free if you purchase a certain amount in food and drink. The shop has their own food menu with lunch items like tri-tip sandwiches, salads, and soba noodle bowls. Fora Think Space is not your average coffee shop, so check it out and see what makes it so different.
If you find yourself in the Mission and want the perfect cup of coffee, try Four Barrel. This shop has an open, warehouse-style atmosphere and a roasting area for the beans in the back. The service here is fast and efficient and they have a separate slow coffee bar with pour over options, drip coffee, and a few other options. Four Barrel also offers a different batch of fresh beans every week from countries all over the globe. If you’re looking for unique flavors, this shop probably has what you want. Hints of pear, pineapple, and shortbread? Check. Stone fruit, nutmeg, and papaya? Double check. Four Barrel’s bean flavors are seemingly endless, so you’ll definitely be coming back after your first visit.
You might also want to check out our favorite rooftop bars in San Francisco, if cocktails are your thing.
This article was written by Julianne Aiello.