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Fresh Eats: The Coffee Revolution Advances 

Wednesday, Mar 2 2016
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San Francisco's love affair with high-quality coffee shows no sign of stopping. If anything, the proliferation of gorgeous, third-wave cafes and roasteries is accelerating, as our budding chains have graduated to opening statement locations with impressive food menus — up to and including some high-quality bagels.

Blue Bottle Coffee

The lines are usually out the door, or down the block, or wrapping around the curvature of the earth in some way, but Blue Bottle added some healthful options to its eggy breakfast lineup. Starting with the Mint Plaza location — as well as in the W.C. Morse Building in Temescal and in Palo Alto — the 14-year-old coffee pioneer has rolled out chia pudding ($7), bacon-and-thyme scones ($3.50), and overnight oats with dried fruit ($6). For lunch, there's a $7 bowl of pumpkin soup with pepita labneh.


Six years ago Réveille's Tommy and Chris Newbury were selling coffee from a repurposed DHL truck north of the FiDi. The success of a standalone café on Columbus Avenue and a second location in the Castro have yielded a bigger Réveille in Mission Bay (610 Long Bridge Ave.) that puts its sisters to shame. Here, in addition to pour-over Costa Rican Tarrazu and the full panoply of beverages, there's strozzapreti ($12), a salmon tartine ($11), a flat-iron steak salad ($16), and even a cage-free fried chicken with cheddar, cornbread, and slaw ($18).


It's not especially new, having opened more than a year ago, but the Weaver's Coffee & Tea inside Fitness SF at 2301 Market St. has a coffee drink that deserves some attention. A "Jumper Cable" sounds like another name for a depth charge, red-eye, or a Mad Max, but it's an Americano made with coconut oil, vanilla, and butter. The oleaginous mouthfeel won't be to everyone's liking, but it's an unusual, flavorful drink that can't properly be called sweet — no precious latte art necessary.

Coffee Cultures

Jason Michael Paul co-founded Coffee Bar nearly a decade ago, and went on to create Coffee Cultures at 225 Bush St. (a former home of SF Weekly!). A walk-through of the forthcoming Coffee Cultures No. 2 (1301 Mission St.) revealed a bar-café that will surely please the art students who inhabit the micro-units upstairs in The Panoramic. With two barista stations, affordable wines by the glass, plenty of cheeses and salumi, and some sexy wheatpasted poster art, this will be their Peach Pit. And as the first West Coast client of North Carolina roaster Counter Culture, Coffee Cultures stands to benefit now that the company has opened up in Emeryville: "Now, not only are we getting the best coffee, but we're getting it fresher," Paul said.

Wise Sons Bagels

Back in the day — in 5771, by the Jewish calendar — Wise Sons began as a pop-up operating out of Coffee Bar. It's since branched out to 24th Street, the Ferry Building, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and now the long-awaited bagelry in the Fillmore is open, too. An expected production of around 1,500 bagels daily, many of them dressed with smoked salmon or smoked trout salad — glosses over the rugelach, the mandel bread (think biscotti), and other Jewish pastry. That California flag on the pole outside? It's there to declare independence from New York State's undeserved reputation as the sole province of the bagel. Eureka!


About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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