Tag Archives: Bay Area

#ElCafeDe2013 Coffee tip of the week: Return for More!

I’ve talked about when on the prowl for coffee to look for somewhere new to go whether traveling or at home. There is nothing like experiencing a place or a coffee that you haven’t before. At the same time though, if you find a place you love, especially in a part of the world you frequent, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go back. In other words…

Tip #23: …return for more!

I’m in San Francisco often and Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission District will be one of the first places I go to upon returning. Recently I made it to the area of 15th and Valencia and went through their non-descriptive entrance…

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

…and ordered a Cafรฉ Latte from the friendly barista.

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

That wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to experience more of Four Barrel. I ordered a Guatemala Cadejo made via a french press and got water alongside for the ride. ๐Ÿ™‚

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

They were using their vintage-german roaster on barrel after barrel of coffee beans right in front of me. While drinking the coffee deliciousness I decided to get a bag of coffee whole beans for the road. After experiencing and liking the Guatemala Cadejo, that was the choice.

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

Upon leaving I checked out the outside seating…

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

…and custom-built bike racks, some of which were vertical. Make note. Even with the popularity of biking in the city and the Mission, it would definitely be easier to use the bike rack then trying to find a parking spot even in the early morning.

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

The coffee beans wanted a picture too.

Four Barrel Coffee, Mission District, San Francisco, California

Checkout the post from my Four Barrel visit last year. You could say I “returned for more”! ๐Ÿ™‚ No doubt when my feet are on the ground in San Francisco again, Four Barrel will be on the itinerary.

In your travels or around home, what’s a spot that you’d recommend, that you keep going to over and over again?

#ElCafeDe2013 Coffee tip of the week: Planning the Java!

I’ll be returning to the Bay Area in California next week on an extended visit, part business, part personal. Some time in San Francisco will be had. There will be some coffee consumption and coffee shop exploration of course. This leads me to…

Tip #18: …planning the Java!

I’ve been to San Francisco many times, but have only really experienced the coffee scene during the last visit or two. I have been busy reaching out on Twitter and asking friends for recommendations.

Been checking out the trusty Google Maps to find out which places are closest to each other. It doesn’t come any closer than that of Ritual Coffee Roasters and the Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk in the Hayes Valley neighborhood!

My roaming will include returning to places that I have fallen in love with. Hi Four Barrel Coffee.

Four Barrel Coffee - San Francisco, California coffeehouse

A summarization of where I want my feet to take me:

  • Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission District
  • Blue Bottle Coffee Kiosk in Hayes Valley
  • Blue Bottle Coffee at the Ferry Building Marketplace
  • Ritual Coffee Roasters Coffee Cart in Hayes Valley
  • Sightglass Coffee in SoMa (South of Market).
  • The Mill in Alamo Square
  • farm:table in Nob Hill
  • The Buena Vista Cafe around Fisherman’s Wharf

What it looks like within Google Maps.

Some coffee fun will soon commence. I’m sure there will be some places I don’t make it to and some hidden gems that I’ll run into randomly while exploring. That’s all in the fun of traveling! Planning the Java is giving me goosebumps and it will help to make sure I don’t forget any of the places I want to get to. Hope to see you all out on the open caffeinated road!

Do you like to map out a plan of attack before traveling? Any recommended apps to do so? Any non-chain coffee shops and/or cafรฉ recommendations in San Francisco and the Bay Area?

Photo of the Week: The Palm Tree’s of Silicon Valley.

I was at technology conference in the Bay Area and in the heart of Silicon Valley in California. During a break, people were using the restroom, grabbing a coffee, checking e-mail, etc. What was I doing? I was outside checking out and capturing pictures of the palm trees. ๐Ÿ™‚ Home is sans palm trees, so I’m going to hover around them and smile whenever I have the chance. These are typical of the tall palm trees you’ll find throughout California.

Bay Area, Silicon Valley, California palm trees

Photo of the Week: U.S. Route 101 in Silicon Valley.

Silicon Valley and U.S. Route 101 go hand-in-hand. Rush hour, I’ve unfortunately experienced it many times. Basically it’s a parking lot. People on the move between San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and other points and their jobs at Yahoo, eBay, Cisco, Apple and all the other Internet-based companies that put up shop here.

I grabbed this shot in the Silicon Valley city of Santa Clara during lunch hour. That explains the quietness. Your looking towards the south and San Jose. Always mountains to be seen off the distance in these parts.

U.S. Route 101 in Silicon Valley, California

San Francisco: The Grove Chestnut’s Breakfast.

I was planning out my time in San Francisco and was looking for a place with a great breakfast and coffee to start the day. I was tipped off to checkout The Grove Cafe on Chestnut. One morning after hanging around the beach at sunrise I headed to the corner of Chestnut and Avila Streets in the Marina District.

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

It was before eight in the morning, so it was relatively quiet inside, minus some people grabbing some coffee or a quick bite before heading to work.

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

I proceeded to the counter and ordered “The Breakfast Special”. Two poached eggs, wheat toast, rosemary hash browns and saving the best for last, applewood smoked bacon was heading my way. I needed caffeine of course before a day of fun in the big city, so I ordered a Cafe Americano. Only a few minutes later this was in front of me.

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

A close up shot of each. The caffeine was definitely what the doctor ordered.

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

Their breakfast food was as good as advertised. Of course bacon makes every meal better. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

Before I dove in I visited the cream/sugar station. I don’t know what it is, but I love checking out the area in coffeehouses and cafes where they have all the additives. Went with low-fat milk and some regular sugar. Saw honey on the counter. Not a fan of adding it to coffee.

The Grove Cafe, Marin District, San Francisco, coffee, breakfast

The service was nice and friendly and the breakfast outstanding. Two things though. The pricing was a little higher and you can get free Wi-Fi access, but it’s based on how much you spend. I had never seen that before. It wasn’t an issue though because of the short amount of time I spent there. I had many other places to get to. My feelings might have been different had I needed to get a lot of stuff done.

Despite those I’d definitely recommend The Grove Chestnut for someone looking for a great breakfast and coffee to start the day. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was well worth spending a little more. I’m thankful for being pointed to The Grove Chestnut.

This was a continuation of my exploration of coffeehouses and cafes in San Francisco and the Bay Area, stay tuned for more. Checkout my previous post on Four Barrel Coffee in the Mission District.

Has any one ever been to The Grove Fillmore, The Grove Yerba Buena or The Grove Hayes? What other places in San Francisco or the Bay Area would you recommend for coffee and/or breakfast?