Linea Caffe (Mission, San Francisco)
When I begin to have doubts in the existence of fantastic espresso, San Francisco is always there for me. I had first heard about the confirmed rumors of the opening of Linea Caffe back in March through Sprudge.com and I have wanted to go ever since. Although I had never heard of the great duo, coffee-expert and founder of Ecco Caffe, Andrew Barnett and chef (Mission Street Foods) Anthony Myint, were preparing to open something great... serving Coffee, Salads and Waffles. Off of 18th and Mission St, Linea Caffe is largely unassuming--like most fantastic coffee shops. The indoor space is large enough for probably five or six people to be comfortably ordering coffee or picking up an order, so I was eternally grateful for the sunny, warm day in November in San Francisco to sit outside. The walls are beautiful patterned wood and the cafe is simple and approachable. The espresso, made from their La Marzocco Linea machine (hence the name), came in a beautiful Heath ceramic demitasse (I think the same ones I've seen at Weekend Coffee in Dallas). And I'd like to describe the espresso in Andrew Barnett's words himself: "There's a certain kind of espresso that I've been dreaming of for years, super sweet, super balanced and clean, very approachable. I've wanted to create this profile and Linea Caffe is my opportunity to showcase this espresso." I LOVE his description! The espresso was exactly that--something I could drink every single day without cringing at the Ritual-like lemon squeeze taste every sip. I had fallen for Linea Caffe even before my waffle came. I ordered a Greek Yogurt, Orange slices, and marmalade waffle. The only waffle I've ever tasted that has compared to this was actually from Blue Bottle in New York City. This waffle, though, was a perfect cloud doused in not-too-sweet, orange tangy fresh goodness. Every bite was perfection. Luckily, I could enjoy both the waffle and coffee separately, neither overpowering each other because I got them at different times. Bravo, Linea Caffe. Truly some of the best espressos and waffles I've ever had. Overall, this place is perfection on a nice day to sit outside, and closes by 3 pm, so don't sleep too late.
Recommend: Walk around the Mission after having some great coffee and waffles (or salads). Literally any of those waffles are heaven. On weekends in the afternoon, lots of couples and families are walking around to all the stores and whatnot. I really enjoyed spending time in the Dog-Eared Bookshop!
Note: Probably gets crowded on a rainy or cold day. And parking is slightly difficult, but c'est la vie in San Francisco!
Vibe: San Francisco hipster, Mission district, laid-back
Espresso Rating: 9.5/10 (I'm drooling still)
Overall Rating: 9.5/10
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 am - 3 pm; Sat-Sun 8 am - 4 pm
Address: 3417 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110