You are in San Francisco for DAC and you want a coffee. OK, if your booth duty is 5 minutes away you pretty much have to take the Moscone coffee. Tastes good, hot, has caffeine. As Meatloaf used to sing (showing my age here) two out of three ain’t bad.
Yes, there are Starbucks all over the city, one on 4th Street just by Moscone Center, from where Steve Jobs famously ordered 2000 lattes to go during the iPhone launch.
But better imho is Peets coffee, everywhere (founded in 1966), and who sold Starbucks their beans for their first year or two of operation. I find their coffee better than Starbucks and like Starbucks they have free wireless (but just for an hour per drink).
My favorite place for coffee is Four Barrel Coffee at 375 Valencia. They roast their own coffee in the store and it is incredibly good. They are pretty fast too, so even if the line is to the door you won’t have to wait long. I love the coffee but I’m perhaps biased since I live a block away. But it is regularly picked as the best coffee in the city. And the apparently the coffee blogs (who knew there were coffee blogs?) rate it amongst the best in the entire western US. They only play vinyl so all those LPs I used to have are fashionable again. The only minor niggle is that they are too hipster to let you know their wireless password.
But that’s a long way from Moscone and probably a long way from where you are staying (but it is just a block from Zeitgeist if you decide to go and grab a beer there).
Another great coffee place is Blue Bottle Coffee. They roast their own coffee too, but not in the stores. There are two near Moscone. One on Mint Plaza (66 Mint Street along Mission just past 5th Street). The other is in SFMOMA on the top floor, but you have to be visiting the museum to get to it. The Mint Plaza one can get very busy but the coffee is worth waiting for. There is one in the ferry building but don’t even think about trying to get a coffee there during the Saturday farmers’ market, you will have a 45 minute wait.
If you prefer your coffee with a bit of something extra, you should visit the Buena Vista Café at 2765 Hyde Street (near Fisherman’s Wharf and at the end of the Powell & Hyde cable car). This is the first place Irish coffee was served in the US and they still serve a lot, often making a dozen simultaneously (symmetric multiprocessing!). And the initials for Irish Coffee are IC. It sounds a little familiar…can’t think why.
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