With more coffee shops per capita than Portland, Seattle and every other city in the country, it’s clearly no secret that San Francisco loves its coffee. With National Coffee Day just days away and the City enjoying its best weather of the year, now is the perfect time to venture out to a friendly neighborhood coffee shop to indulge in a delicious cup of iced coffee. The following are five of the best places in San Francisco for gourmet coffees and particularly for its iced versions.
Located a few blocks from the notoriously foggy Ocean Beach, Andytown is a welcome sight for a deliciously warm and finely crafted cup of artisan coffee. But what may be one of the most coveted choices from this nationally acclaimed roastery and bakery is the Snowy Plover, a cold brew named after the little shorebirds that scurry across the beaches nearby. A wickedly tasty coffee concoction that’s reasonably priced and capable of drawing lines out the door, it consists of a double shot of home-roasted espresso, Pellegrino sparkling water, simple syrup, a couple tablespoons of whipped cream and served in a tall glass filled with ice. Founded in 2014 by Belfast native Michael McCrory and his wife Lauren Crabbe, Andytown quickly drew national attention, having been named one of Zagat’s Hottest Coffee Shops in the U.S. and this year was named Best Coffee Shop by San Francisco Magazine. While the original location is not far away at the corner of Lawton and 43rd Avenue, the newer and larger Taraval shop also features a café with impressive menu items like grilled Irish soda bread, cheddar scallion scones and other exceptionally tasty baked treats.
One of the leading names in the third wave of coffee, Blue Bottle has been known to serve some of the best iced coffee in the country. In fact, it was named America’s top rated spot last year in a poll conducted by Business Insider. Moreover, their single origin Cold Brew and New Orleans iced coffee have been so immensely popular, both are commercially available in carton or aluminum cans at several local stores, such as Bi-Rite Market and Andronico’s Community Market. While the refreshing Cold Brew with just 5 calories and the New Orleans, with milk cane sugar and roasted chicory are typically available at all locations, Blue Bottle’s South Park café in SoMa features its first-ever Cold Bar, with inventive selections like the Oji Old Fashioned, a Japanese style of slow-drip brewing and a Flight of Iced, with Oji and of course, the signature Cold Brew and New Orleans iced coffee. Founded in 2002 by James Freeman, Blue Bottle Coffee has several other Bay Area locations, including Mint Plaza, Pacific Heights, Sansome Street and the Ferry Building, allowing new customers to easily visit a new and unexplored coffee shop.
Named after the oldest public library in France, Mazarine Coffee may just be serving the most lavishly delicious nitro cold brews in the city, as evidenced by customer reviews from Foursquare. Located near one of the busiest intersections in the city with plenty of foot traffic daily, Mazarine Coffee was founded by tech entrepreneur and coffee aficionado Hamid Rafati just a few years ago, yet quickly drew immediate raves not only for its sourced gourmet coffees from So Cal-based Klatch and San Francisco’s Ritual, but also for its Instagram-friendly food items, including finely crafted sandwiches, fresh salads and the highly recommended toast selections, such as the Beet Hummus & Avocado and Fig Jam & Ricotta. In addition to the much raved about nitro cold brew, Mazarine Coffee also offers iced versions of espressos, matcha and chai lattes and hot chocolate.
Due to its prime location near the San Francisco Caltrain station and AT&T Park, this particular Philz coffee shop is perpetually busy. But because the sweet and creamy Mint Mojito Iced Coffee is so good, it’s well worth the wait for the regulars and passerbys. Philz also serves up other elaborate iced coffee creations, including the Ecstatic with nuts, toffee and toast, the sweet and creamy Gingersnap, with spices and the superb Mocha Tesora with dark chocolate, caramel and cocoa and also served as a hot item. One of the most influential companies of the third wave coffee movement, San Francisco-based Philz has multiple locations in the city, including the very popular Castro Street store, Van Ness between Turk and Eddy and the original Philz in the Mission District.
Brothers Jerad and Justin Morrison have a great thing going with Sightglass Coffee, with a prominent investor in Twitter co-founder and CEO and founder and CEO of Square Jack Dorsey, and having just opened their newest location on Divisadero, in addition to a high profile spot inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). But it’s their headquarters and flagship space that deserves immediate attention, especially for vanilla iced cold brews or the rich and slightly bitter single-origin espressos with artisanal ice cream known as affogato, which essentially translates to “drown” in Italian. These exceptional choices and more can be found at San Francisco’s first Affogato Bar, located on the mezzanine level of this industrial-chic structure in the SoMa district. Still, the new Divisadero store from this independently-owned coffee company should not be overlooked, especially for customers on the go, who can enjoy the added convenience of a walk-up window. Sightglass Coffee also has a coffee bar and roastery in the Mission District and a space in front of the Ferry Building during the Farmer’s Markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays.