Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Feb 5, 2014 04:17 PM

Great coffee in Union Square area? [San Francisco]

I'm going to be in San Fran next week....i'm looking for an excellent coffeehouse with great ambiance and even better coffee. Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Coffee Bar has great coffee. There's one on Montgomery and another one on Kearny near Pine - both are northeast of Union Square. However they aren't sit-down places.

    Cafe de la Presse has great ambiance. Nespresso cafe is also nice, if you like that kind of coffee (from Nespresso machines).

    4 Replies
    1. re: calumin

      Coffee Bar is a 5-6 block walk from Union Square. Is the coffee at the Emporio Rulli stand right in Union Square worthwhile?

      1. re: calumin

        I love Coffee Bar. Excellent coffee and a very, very nice staff at the Montgomery location!

        1. re: SFRunnerandTri

          The pour-overs at Coffee Bar are particularly good.

      2. I second Coffee Bar. If you don't mind walking a few blocks, Blue Bottle has a cafe on Mint Plaza, which has seating.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Rapini

          Good coffee near Union Square is thin on the ground.
          Coffee Bar on Montgomery is M-F only and only has limited outdoor seating under an overhang (not very soothing!) but I like their coffee (Mr Espresso out of Oakland) plus they have excellent pastries from Starter (kouign amann and others). Here's the link to the Kearny location (haven't been) which is also M-F only

          Blue Bottle Mint Plaza is our go to for fine coffee beverages and ambiance nearish Union Square. Great people watching in the always very long lines. I like their breaky offerings and sometimes there are food trucks in the plaza.

          Coffee Cultures might work for you too, again M-F only but it has some seating indoors as well as out. Coffee is not locally roasted if that matters to you (Counter Cultures, Marietta GA). I've only had a mocha to go from there but it was tasty and the pastries were edible:

          1. re: grayelf

            Thanks for the reply! Going to be there over the weekend....sounds like a lot of these place are m-f.
            I'm willing to travel to other neighborhoods for good coffee though!

            Thanks to everyone for the suggestions so far...

            1. re: yennyb

              Blue Bottle Mint Plaza is open on the weekend for sure, and it is both coffee- and destination-worthy.

        2. This topic seems to come up monthly.

          Add Farm Table and Sugar Cafe.

          I tend to visit Coffee Bar most often when in the area, but they're not about ambiance.

          La Boulangerie locations are convenient, and passable, as a preferable option to their parent company, Starbucks.
          They're actually well designed, ambiance wise.

          In terms of leaving the area, I think what you want is Sightglass.

          Second to that, North Beach has some options, and Contraband or Saint Frank come to mind, but both are better for coffee than the ambiance.

          In short, check our Farm Table, and Sightglass.

          1. hop on muni and go to Four Barrel on Valencia -- fab coffee, pastries, and full-on SF scene of 2014

            1. Hope I'm not too late - there's an amazing coffee shop hidden away in Mint Plaza (5th street between Mission and Market, right near the Westfield) called Blue Bottle Coffee
              check them out here: