Ritual Coffee (Mission, San Francisco)
If nobody has caught on yet, I'm generally not a fan of Ritual Coffee. I don't really understand why so many people have hyped it up in San Francisco and its spreading like wildfire around LA coffee shops. I don't like the taste because it's generally a very high-note and tastes like someone put a lemon rind in my coffee (see my Cafe Demitasse review for a lemon rind story). Sadly, I'd rather see something like Sightglass make its rounds, but then again I can't always get what I want. *Sigh* So after I had a revolutionary experience at Linea Caffe, I decided to meander down Valencia Street until running in to Ritual Coffee and bring myself back down to earth. On the way I wandered in to a great book store--Dog Eared Bookshop-- and bought "Air Guitar" by Dave Hickey (I had read some of his essays for an art history class and loved them). And what better way to spend a Sunday in San Francisco than sitting in a coffee shop reading? Thankfully, my Ritual Coffee espresso was better than expected, their Seasonal Sugar Skull being pretty sweet, milk-chocolatey. I can't say I agree with the people I overheard talking about it being the "some of the best coffee in San Francisco", but overall I appreciated their espresso and spot at the bar to read on a lazy Sunday.
Recommend: Walk around Valencia St. and discover all the cool stores! San Francisco is full of them and the Mission still feels kind of authentic, not like most of the gentrified hipster areas of San Fran.
Note: Yes, parking will be difficult, and yes, you will probably have to drive around the block a few times.
Vibe: Traditional coffee shop, laptops, socializing, San Francisco obnoxious hipsters
Espresso Rating: 8/10
Overall Rating: 8/10
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6:00am - 10:00pm; Saturday: 7:00am - 10:00pm; Sunday: 7:00am - 9:00pm
Location: 1026 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110
(3 other locations in San Francisco)