here’s my subjective ranking of the best espresso/coffee in the san francisco bay area, complete with a google map.
key: more crema = better. empty cup = not so good. Sorry about the funky anti-aliasing.
drinkable but not pleasant:
- farley’s (san francisco/oakland/emervyille, farley’s blend from sunshine? in san leandro) Recently had a not good one from the 65th st emeryville location. doh.
- peerless (oakland, peerless)
- woody’s cafe (oakland, ?)
- crepevine (oakland/berkeley, ?)
- riva (berkeley, ?)
- starbucks (starbucks)
- peets (peets)
- uncommon grounds cafe (berkeley, uncommon grounds)
- none yet. Maybe I have a high tolerance?
credit for working the google maps/wordpress hack: http://digwp.com/2010/01/google-maps-shortcode/ if you want to try this, don’t forget to add the &embed at the end of your link.
October 23rd, 2010
I recently checked out Local 123 (2049 San Pablo Avenue Berkeley, CA) and Farley’s East (33 Grand Avenue Oakland, CA). I also finally got around to visiting the blue bottle cafe near jack london square (300 Webster St Oakland, CA)
blue bottle cafe
espresso with blue bottle
the ristretto was predictably enjoyable – bright and with a bit of sweetness that lingered. I also had a sandwich with meat from boccalone and some cookie to go with. the space is nice – well-lit with natural light but pretty small – there’s a cupping area and then more space in the back for bags and bags of coffee bean storage and roasting.
Local 123 is just south of University Ave on San Pablo – near Lanesplitter and Acme.
espresso in the patio
(apologies for the iphone photos)
local 123 brews flying goat coffee and they made a tasty ristretto. I don’t remember details of the taste other than the fact that I really enjoyed it. the two people working there who we interacted with were super friendly and the barista offered another shot if this one wasn’t to my liking. the space is nice, with big prints of tasteful and uncheesy square-formatted naturey photos and a nice outdoor seating area.
they pull bottomless shots here from a la marzocco. The espresso was not bad, but not as good as I’d enjoyed from local 123 and blue bottle. compared to the two shots above, this one tasted a little staler and darker. still not bad though. they use beans roasted by sunrise coffee in san leandro.
espresso from farley's east
I liked their interior and the magazine selection and the friendly person at the counter who took my order. I got a cold turkey sandwich – it was good. there’s fun art on the walls and deception by blackalicious was playing as I picked up my sandwich.
it was a monday and the bakesale betty nearby was closed for the day. I wonder how much more business area cafes receive on mondays and if there’s a correlation. the windows of the subway next door were still broken as a result of the opportunistic rioting that took place after the mehserle verdict was announced.
subway window, broken
I saw quite a few windows being repaired in Oakland today:
July 12th, 2010