Browsing Tag

Beach

Coffee Shop

#14 Java Beach Cafe


Java Beach Cafe

2650 Sloat Blvd.
San Francisco, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 415-731-2965

 

WWW.JAVABEACHCAFE.COM
IG @javabeachsf

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Date Visited
: September 16, 2019

What do you call a sad cup of coffee?
A depresso

Well, I was definitely not depressed! I parked right in front of Java Beach Cafe and headed in for a quick cup of coffee. This was a pretty large cafe and full of people. The inside is very reminiscent of the wooden beach cafes you may find on the East Coast. Wooden floors, tables, chairs, doors, and window frames. The windows were propped wide to let fresh air in. I really enjoyed all the sunlight coming in. Great place to sit and envision the wonderful day ahead.

I stepped up to the counter and conducted a quick interview knowing how busy everyone is. I was happy to learn that they roast their own beans because there were a bunch! Java Beach has been a staple in the community for well over 25 years, now that’s something to be proud of. There are people that have come back time and time again. This location that I’m at is actually only 10-11 years old but their older location is right up the road a few blocks. I enjoyed how friendly and willing the baristas were to answer my questions. My last question was, “Which roast would you recommend?” And Bella the barista responded, “Mix Colombian and Bernie’s Blend together, it tastes really good.”

I took my coffee cup over to the coffee bar and poured the barista’s recommendation with a splash of half-and-half. She was right, this is a very flavorful brew. This put a big smile on my face, I walked around and checked out the rest of the cafe. A fun set of artwork by Emily Fromm filled the walls, I couldn’t stop looking at them to see if I recognized some of the streets in San Francisco. Headed back to the front to scan their menu and found some delicious options for breakfast, sandwiches, hot subs, and salads. On the other side of the counter was a glass case full of fresh pastries. I couldn’t resist the classic blueberry muffin, quick snack before exploring more of San Francisco. Perfect place for a coffee or a wonderful place to come sit and enjoy the day, inside or outside.

The bathroom was nothing special but it has everything you need and for that, it gets a 10/10. Perfectly matched the coziness the cafe gave off and has a really cool California Cruis’n print on the wall. This place is worth checking out, come visit!

Coffee Shop

#13 Andytown Coffee Roasters


Andytown Coffee Roasters

3629 Taraval St.
San Francisco, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 415-571-8052

 

WWW.ANDYTOWNSF.COM
IG @andytownsf

Date Visited: September 16, 2019

More than a tiny hole in the wall. Andytown was a beautifully designed and constructed coffee shop a block from the beach. White walls, wood, and a very unique decorative tree coming out of the wall. It was designed as a friendly grab-and-go style neighborhood coffee shop. There is plenty of seating out back on the patio, but they don’t offer wifi. Great place to disconnect from the real-world and relax with a cup of coffee.

Andytown has tons of coffee options to fill everyone’s needs. Their most popular drink is the Snowy Plover – The Original Bird. This is their signature espresso cream soda with brown sugar syrup, soda water, topped with their homemade whipped cream. And for the non-coffee drinkers, they have tons of tea, matcha, and hot cocoa.

A great little place, super minimal! I ordered a drip coffee of their Wind & Sea blend. I loved the flavor! And whoever went for coffee the night before must’ve also enjoyed it, it appears to have knocked their shoes off! There was a pair of heels sitting on the bench out front LOL. If you plan to visit this location, tell Asia I said hi. She is the manager on duty at this location, super friendly and knowledgeable.

The bathroom gets a 10/10. Super clean and supplied with everything you may need. Something I happened to find cool was the Tetris pattern that wraps around the wall.

Coffee Shop

#12 Avenues


Avenues

3606 Taraval St.
San Francisco, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 415-702-9198

 

WWW.AVSF.CO
IG @avsf.co

Date Visited: September 16, 2019

Into Surfing? Are you in San Francisco? This is the place for you. The Avenue has everything you need before or after your surf session. From the outside, you’ll see a nice bench area, black paint, and a large window looking into the shop. This place is the perfect blend of minimalism, rustic, and surfing. Walking in you’ll see white walls stretching to the back, wooden shelving, and surfboard racks. I was digging it.

This is when I met Andrew, the barista who was manning the counter. He wanted to know if I was in the mood for coffee or tea. I told him I was a coffee-guy and he began raving about the roast they carry, they are serving Verve coffee. This is a well-known brand out of Santa Cruz, California. I was intrigued so I ordered a cup of their fresh brew. This roast was super smooth and perfectly nourished my craving.

Andrew began to ask about the meaning of my Find That Coffee shirt and what I was up to. I told him I was traveling to discover cool shops like this. He began to tell me all about the Avenue, it’s one and a half years old and has been doing really well. They teamed up with a company called AWAYCO that always people to rent surfboards. The majority of the boards in the back are in fact rentals but some are also for sale. Such a cool concept for people traveling through, it was my first time learning about this company.

I was staring at the food in the case and was curious of sushi burrito looking meal. Andrew informed me it’s called Musubi, a dish that originated from the troops in Hawaii during World War 2. It is a popular snack that is composed of a slice of grilled spam or tofu, in a block of rice, wrapped together in seaweed. Sounds pretty good but I had to pass for 10:00 in the morning. They also served avocado toast and pastries if you’re hungry, everything is made inhouse. Sweet little spot on Taraval street, definitely check it out.

The bathroom was simple yet perfect. I’ll give them a 10/10. Cool hexagonal floor tiles, white walls, and wooden mirror. I dig it.

Coffee Shop

#11 Soul Grind


Soul Grind

5400 CA-1
Pacifica, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 650-898-8660

 

WWW.SOULGRINDCOFFEE.COM

Date Visited: September 12, 2019

Young but bold. Soul Grind is an awesome coffee shop close to the ocean. And I mean close! The parking lot is plentiful, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get a spot right away on a nice summer day. No complaining at the beach though, you know the rules. I waited for maybe 30 seconds before a spot opened up, he was a friendly surfer who threw me a shaka as I pulled into his spot.

I walked up to what looks like a completely redesigned mechanic shop. There’s huge glass windows, wood paneling, and a great deep blue paint color. Their logo was simplistic, but at the same time it emphasized waves and good vibes, I was digging it. Woah! Talk about space, the ceiling is over two-stories high, covered in wood paneling. The floors are concrete, there are garage doors, a fireplace, and a freaking roastery in the back!

But it doesn’t stop there. They have a large coffee menu, a handful of fresh pastries, sandwiches, quiches, melts, and the tastiest looking breakfast bowl. Not hungry but you want to relax? They carry almost a dozen different beers and four different types of wine. I ordered a medium coffee and come to find out that it’s going to be my first pour-over on this coffee adventure. Pour-overs are known to bring out the flavor in the brew and enhance the notes.

I found a seat near the window and an outlet to charge my computer. Then I heard “Spencer!” My coffee was ready. Ah, now that was a delicious roast! I went up to compliment the coffee and ask if there was a manager I could speak with to find out more about Soul Grind. This is when I met Sophia, she was the manager on duty. I come to find out Soul Grind just had their first-anniversary last month. She informed me that a lot of the customers are in fact surfers. They come in every day, rain or shine, clothes or wetsuits, to grab a bite and a cup of coffee. Sophia stopped suddenly and said, “I have someone even better for you to talk to.”

A few sips of coffee later, here comes a surfer-looking guy coming right towards me. And he says, “Hey man, I’m Eddie.” He is the co-owner of this fine establishment and he treats Soul Grind as if it’s his baby. Eddie is a local surfer that found the need for a coffee shop in the area. Eddie was working in San Francisco for about 9-10 years and would drive to Pacifica to get away, he wanted a change. He and his business partner Ramin built this place from the ground up. They happened to come across this location and the timing lined up just right, it was meant to be. The planning of Soul Grind took about two years, but they gave it their all. They want people to know that they are, in fact, the closest roasters to surf break!

Soul Grind was named after Eddie’s love for both roller skating and surfing. A soul grind is a trick when the front roller skate is grinding on the inside grind plate and the back skate is going the same direction. Additionally, they want the vibe of this coffee shop to be laid-back, low key, and a low-stress environment for customers. No matter what someone’s going through, this is a place for them to kick back and relax. Soul Grind offers tons of seating both inside and outside, they even have an amazing patio out back. 

As I was writing this review, Eddie came up to me again, super thrilled and thankful for everything I’m doing. He gave me a list of other coffee shops in California to checkout. Eddie then hands me a bag of his Ethiopian roast to take on the road with me, some stickers, and his personal business card. I couldn’t let his kind gesture go unanswered, I ran to the van and ripped it apart to find him one of my Find That Coffee stickers. When I came back and handed him the sticker, he handed it right back. Eddie insisted that I put it on his Ford F-150. He couldn’t be a nicer more genuine guy. Today I didn’t only meet a coffee shop owner, but I made a friend. Awesome day.

Soul Grind gets a perfect 10/10 rating for their bathrooms. They offer two bathrooms that were super clean, fully stocked, and well lit. I highly recommend checking this place out.

Coffee Shop

#9 Saltwater Bakery


Saltwater Bakery

1905 Palmetto Ave.
Pacifica, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 415-637-8946

 

WWW.HELLOBAKERYCO.COM

IG @saltwaterbakery
Facebook

Date Visited: September 12, 2019

A very cute shop, worth checking out. Located in downtown Pacifica, California and just a few blocks from the beach. Saltwater Bakery was started one and a half years ago. Tawnya has built a cafe that is both gluten and dairy-free. Her daughter has been facing dietary restrictions for years and Tawnya realized how many other people have been dealing with her same concerns. She stepped up to do something about it. 

I ordered a small coffee and come to find out that it’s locally-roasted and boy was it TASTY! I didn’t even have to add anything to it. I looked down and suddenly locked eyes on a slice of banana bread. It was so gluten-free, moist, and delicious. I was concerned because I have had gluten-free pastries before that were a bit dry, but Tawnya has perfected this recipe. She informed me that there were vegan options as well. Even the syrups were all locally handcrafted, along with the ceramic mugs that were displayed around the cafe.

As far as the bathroom goes, I’m not sure. I didn’t see one while I was visiting. Please, comment below if you find out the answer!

Coffee Shop

#8 Cafe Pacifica


Cafe Pacifica

1821 Palmetto Ave.
Pacifica, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 650-438-1808

 

IG @cafepacifica
Facebook

Date Visited: September 12, 2019

It was the crack of dawn. Early. My body has been trying to adjust to this Pacific Coast time but I think all the caffeine and lack of a real bed is throwing me off. Then I heard it. An elderly bunch on their morning stroll, the type that woke up before the sun. I could tell from their energy that they’ve had their coffee this morning. They were only a few cars away, narrowing in on my location and I hear, “Oh wow Texas plates!” And at this very moment, I knew she was going to lose her mind when she read “Maryland”. Boy was I right. Loud enough to wake every van-lifer on the block she goes, “Oh my goodness! This one is from Maryland!” It did leave me smiling realizing that I was not dreaming and I am actually in California living my dream.

With that, it was time to get up and grab some grub. Tried to fix up the bed a bit but I wasn’t kidding anyone, this is van life. Brushed my teeth, washed up, and started up the van. I was headed to a little place called Cafe Pacifica in Pacifica, California. Driving down the main street, I found the cute little cafe and a spot right in front! Knew it was going to be a good day. 

Walked up the ramp and admired all of the beautifully painted signage. This is a perfect little beach house with buoys and lights strung across the rafters. Headed inside where you can find a few tables and a comfy bench in the corner. It gave off an enjoyable beach vibe with boating, surfing, and ocean decor. Greeted by a very friendly barista, I placed my order for a medium coffee. She informed me that there was a minimum with credit cards, so I figured now’s probably the best time to have breakfast. 

After scanning the menu, the breakfast wrap was calling my name. I mean come on, what sounds better than 3 eggs, cheese, avocado, and mango peach salsa. Done deal.

I was handed a cup for coffee and headed over to the bar. There were three options for coffee: French roast, Cafe Pacifica “Kona”, and Italian roast. I went for the Kona and splashed a bit of milk in there so I could satisfy my craving sooner and cool it down. It was tasty.

I talked to the barista while I waited and found out a bit more than the eye could see. The coffee shop has been around for roughly 20 years, changing owners a couple of times. The current owner has been running the cafe for the past 4 years. I loved the aquamarine-colored walls, hand-painted murals, and the long list of food options. Mainly locals come in during the week, but travelers often trickled in more towards the weekend. 

Then I heard, “Spencer.” It was like a calling from the food Gods. Picked up the wrap and headed out to the patio to destroy this thing. Sun coming down, seagulls overhead, and coffee in hand, things are good. After celebrating 26 birthdays you would think I could figure out how to unwrap this thing. I finally figured it out and damn did it looked good. Counted my blessings and chowed down.

 

If you come through this spot, get the wrap! You will be very pleased. You know when you can taste the freshness of the ingredients, well this gets a personal rating of 10/10. I am hungry again just writing about it.  A perfect little spot to take the pup, a date, or the family.

Do they have a bathroom? Yes, they do! And a very cool one. A full underwater mural of sharks and fish swimming around the room. Some real talent went into painting this bathroom and with that, I give it a 10/10. And don’t worry, if you fall in there’s a buoy hanging above the toilet!

Coffee Shop

#7 Chit-Chat Cafe at the Pier


Chit Chat at the Pier

2100 Beach Blvd.
Pacifica, CA
Get Directions

Contact: 650-359-7025

 
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Date Visited
: September 11, 2019

Sounds of the waves, the sun was shining. I could not resist stopping in at Chit-Chat Cafe at the Pier. I know I was at the sister location previously, but every coffee shop has a different story to tell from what I’m learning. I parked about half a mile down the street and made my way to the pier. A small little building propped right on the entrance of the pier. With more signs selling bait than coffee, I was worried I was walking into the wrong place.

Entered the octagon-shaped building, they too offered everything I could imagine. A friendly barista behind the counter named Sammy quickly showed me around and told me all the little details of this fine establishment. It’s been here for about 15-20 years and before the cafe, it was a tackle shop and before that an ice cream parlor.

The coolest thing about this coffee shop is that they sell bait! Not just one or two things either. They sell squid, mackerel, shrimp, ghost shrimp, and their most popular baits are anchovies and sardines. You could even purchase equipment like tape measures, snares, weights, hooks, fishing lines, and buckets. You could also find a $40 crabbing kit in the corner. If you’re into fishing, this is the place to be.

I was just about to ask what one may catch off the pier, but then I saw the wall of winners. They have pictures of the fish people have reeled in over the years and DAMN there have been some big fish. The most recent was August 10, 2019, with a 14 lb. salmon! And before that a 34″ 16lb. striped bass caught by a young kid on the pier.

Sammy kindly told me everything she knows about this place. Her biggest takeaway for me was that the regulars make this place. The older customers tend to congregate here and spend their days together enjoying everything the pier has to offer. The owners of the coffee shop Paul and Amy are big into supporting local and hang paintings from artists in the area. There are some gorgeous paintings of the pier and the coffee shop in all sorts of mediums. Even if you aren’t big into fishing, this would make a wonderful coffee date. The pier itself is open from 4 AM to 10 PM.

Okay, time to explore the bathroom! There is no bathroom directly in the coffee shop, but right around the other side of the building, there are public restrooms. I have to rank them a 4/10.