Author: Julie Terebkov
Welcome back Lincoln groupies, and perfect timing because we're about to talk about one of the coolest places in California (let's be real though... California's pretty damn rad, we have a lot of cool places). Our team went out to San Francisco a while back and took a trip through the foggy city (thanks Karl), and compiled a list of fun little stops for a great time in the Bay. Let's start out with some rad coffee spots! Fun little fact, the Bay Area is a hub for coffee purveyors since it has access to the ocean, making it a great spot to buy and sell coffee.
3655 Lawton St
San Francisco, CA 94122
This particular shop is a bit small but, has some outside seating and is a short walk away from Ocean Beach. There's a few other locations but, I personally love this one because, it's close to a food spot I'll talk about later. It’s also just my favorite thing to do; grab a coffee, go over to the beach and enjoy the drink with the best scenery (the ocean and people watching… duh). We loved the different drink options here which are very unique and exciting on the pallet. There's a drink called the "snowy plover" which comes either as a matcha concoction or a coffee tonic with a generous dollop of their house-made whipped cream. It's absolutely delicious and although San Francisco is normally cold and foggy, it's never too chilly for a snowy plover (just bring mittens and a snow coat if you get cold easily).
They also serve some other great coffee, if the snowy plover doesn't sound like your cup of tea (coffee or any other beverage you bless your belly with). We ordered an array of drinks and not a single one disappointed! My personal favorite coffee from them is the Ethiopian Natural Misty Valley, which was a wonderful, juicy, and mouthwatering coffee with notes of ripe berries, a tart sweetness, and an overall happy journey. I personally also love when a coffee shop does a simple drink very well (I know that's a bit of a weird statement but, hear me out). I have gotten some pretty horrendous americanos in my day, so when a coffee shop makes one really well, I am overjoyed. Andytown does americanos well. Hot, iced, in your hand or thrown at your face (whatever you want I guess right?). Stop by and let us know what you think!
2340 Polk St
San Francisco, CA 94109
Saint Frank has a special place in my heart as the shop that introduced me to the world of specialty coffee. Once upon a time I took a coffee trip with a few friends of mine (one of them is now another barista here at Fourscore-so rad!). I had a coffee tasting flight which blew the socks off my tasting pallet. It came with a barista selected coffee served in 4 different drinks: a latte, espresso, iced (as a cold brew), and a hot brew. The drinks finally made me realize that coffee has nuanced and beautiful flavors to it. There's depth; there's not just sweetness but, sweetness from berries or a citrus tartness! So, yes I have quite the spot in my heart for Saint Frank. The reason it's on the list is because, we’ve had nothing but years of stellar coffees and experiences from here.
They have amazing coffees, the baristas are kind and very helpful (which is sometimes hard to find in specialty coffee), and I am always excited with what I got. If you're wondering... yes! It does pass my americano test (If you weren’t wondering, I’m telling you anyway). I have only had stellar, sweet, bold in flavor yet light bodied americanos from here. I had an amazing Colombian coffee just a few weeks ago and it was unusual and exciting. It had a sweetness to it that wasn't overpowering, a great blackberry tartness and a smooth finish. Saint Frank is the coffeeshop that stands the test of time in my love of coffee, it's a go-to-must when you're in the city.
301 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
This is another shop that we've loved for years, and have only had great coffee from. The reason it's on our list is because, it has some of our favorite coffee experiences. The main thing with all these spots has been extraordinary and stellar experiences which Sightglass has truly accomplished in our hearts over the years. One of the things that they do really well is, pour overs. I have had quite a few pour overs and am never disappointed. I love asking the barista what their current favorite coffee is and giving them a bit of creative freedom to make something delicious for me.
I got a Guatemalan pour over from the Las Terrazas region and was blown away. I loved the excitement that it created in my mouth! I got juicy and mouthwatering stone fruit sweetness with a touch of tartness to liven up the pallet. The pour over was fantastic and I left feeling excited with coffee and the fact that it can have such fun and flavorful notes.
P.S. I think an honorable mention is deserved for Blue Bottle Coffee. Please don't send me angry letters for not writing about it! It came up in our conversations so much and it was an obvious duh! It's like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. Do yourself (and Lincoln) a favor and go to Blue Bottle at least once in your life.
When it comes to exploring, San Francisco is really the city to walk around, people watch, gaze at the glorious high rises and find fun parks to go to. In old lady fashion, I will share some favorite spots of mine.
George Sterling Park
Hyde St & Greenwich St
San Francisco, CA 94109
This little site is a park, and is attached to a huge tennis court area that is open to the public. From this spot is a great view of the city on all sides. You end up being right next to Lombard Street (a windy street that attracts a lot (repeat A LOT) of tourists. Go here if you’re trying to play tennis with your coffee drinks in hand or if you’re like me and like to sit and stare at the city in awe.
680 Point Lobos Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94121
I love coming here for a glorified walk (that’s what I call really easy hikes). I don’t recommend coming here with shoes that don’t like dirt, mud, or dust. Other than your shoes, you can wear whatever pleases your soul (yes… even your neon parka and fanny pack). It’s a lovely view of the ocean, Marin County, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Also, you can smell that intoxicating smell of eucalyptus from the trees and it really is something you need to experience.
The moment you’ve really been waiting for.
4542 Irving St
San Francisco, CA 94122
Alright here’s the truth: this place serves the best fish dishes. Tacos, burritos, ceviche, literally ANYTHING you get will make you think you’ve stopped time for that moment that the food touches your mouth. Hot sauce? They have it. Beer? They have stellar and refreshing beers. Now you’re wondering… BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FISH AND CHIPS?! Oh don’t worry, I’m getting there. They have the best fish and chips i’ve had. Not to toot my own horn but, I am a fish and chips connoisseur. I’ve had fish and chips from all the famous cities, all the greatest dive holes, pubs in London and any other place that sells fish and chips. Under the free way? Check. Just kidding, that’s terrible. Don’t do that, you’ll get very ill. Unless it’s Portland, then it’s a fifty-fifty chance that it’s either a hipster or a homeless man trying to throw stale fish at you.
Okay back to the real story here. Amazing place, with great service. No pretentious attitudes, just damn good fish. The fish and chips are crispy, juicy, and break apart like a magical vile of pixie dust disguised as the catch of the day. Just go here. You will not regret it.
4001 Judah St
San Francisco, CA 94122
I had to add a breakfast place for you guys since that’s my favorite meal of the day. Can we just eat breakfast food all day? Well, you can eat breakfast until 3pm any day here. I hear it’s also a dinner spot with great cocktails but, I have yet to come back after 5pm (they’re closed from 3-5pm daily). So, I’ve been here a few times and have fallen in love with their breakfast food. They don’t serve big portions but, you do leave full and the food doesn’t make you feel heavy. When I came here, I had one of my favorite quiche’s. It was absolutely divine! The crust was light and flakey, the eggs cooked just right and let me just say when you add gouda to a dish, you have won in life. Cheese, especially gouda is essential in life (Sorry if you’re vegan. Veggies are also yummy). My friend ordered eggs-in-jail which looked and tasted amazing. Honestly, I don’t think you can go wrong with any dish here.
2201 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
Okay, I know what you’re going to say… ice cream isn’t food. Well, let me just tell you that you are wrong. Ice cream is all good things. Including food. Now that we got that settled, this place is so good. They also have vegan options, if you’re living that veggie life! This place is great because, not only is the ice cream itself amazing but, their flavor selection is NUTS! There’s a huge menu of wild flavors and even some seasonal/experimental offerings. I can honestly live here. Also, get a cone. Just do it. Ice cream should be eaten in a cone.
My favorite foggy city. The city of the scariest hills if you drive a manual car (or a motorcycle). Also, the city of amazing coffee and the city where my love for coffee began. I highly recommend coming here and exploring. Let the fog come in and enjoy the crisp air. Take a stroll on Ocean Beach with your coffee or just jump right in the ocean. What I’m trying to say is, San Francisco is the city where you can do literally anything. Hike through eucalyptus trees, walk with ice cream in one hand and fish and chips in the other (who knows maybe that’s a great combo), or just have a cup of tea and call it a day. Either way…
Stay classy coffee tribe.