601 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9413337.798685 -122.407302
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Telegraph Hill
Caffe Trieste Great experience, legacy of San Francisco – Trieste is an institution (and I do mean the Vallejo Street location.) Pavarotti has sung there. I had coffee there for 10 years in a row, one time.
After moving to Marin 7 years ago, I still am recognized and can order in Italian, which is really not necessary, since the barristo still remembers what I drink in the morning.
But like the rest of San Francisco, the scene shifts by the hour of the day, and the day of the week. In the early morning, the locals (and they are a colorful bunch) hang out. Later in the morning, tourists from around the world are there, and in the evening, jeeze, who drinks espresso at night?
Sometimes it is very loud, and sometimes the amazing collection of opera and Italian songs blares from the jukebox (actual 45 rpm records!)
Great pastries, great coffee (strong, roasted right there, honest-to-god espresso!), superior customer service; but not much tolerance for little princes and princesses with attitude. For everyone else, this is the birth of the North Beach Scene, which once was vibrant with literati and musicians .. a venerated museum.
Oh, and Paul rocks on.
The worst customer service I have seen in my whole life! – Terrible experience, they tried to overcharge me for a couple of expresso, then the guy at the bar yelled me saying that I was not clear about my order and told me that was my fault with a really nasty attitude.
After that when I made him notice that I am the customer and if there is an error he should try to set everything he gave me back the money and didn't make the two espresso I asked for!
I don't know about the other place, but AVOID caffe trieste in Vallejo St.
Go to one of the other plenty places around Columbus.
Worth the trip! – I recently vacationed in The Bay and was very excited to have some REAL coffee. I've been living in Las Vegas for almost three years now and it's nothing but commercial cookie cutter STARBUCKS. I've made due with that, but Caffe Trieste made the vacation! I normally drink straight espresso, but on the second visit I had a latte. To me, that's how you can tell what kind of coffee house you're at. It's tough to get the espresso wrong, but very easy to scald the milk and they made it to perfection! I was impressed also with the service. There was a line on every visit, but it much quicker than any of the Starbucks' lines at home. The menu was somewhat simple as far as coffee, but they had a pretty big selection of various foods from grilled cheese to sweet potato pie(which was excellent). They also made their whipped cream from scratch and it wasn't in some metal can or plastic tube it was a bowl of honest to goodness whipped cream-DELICIOUS! Definitly a must visit.
Unfriendly in North Beach – After all the recommendations to go to Trieste, I added it to me "must see" list but must say I was rather disappointed. The cafe was not only dark and a bit dingy, but the service was abrupt and unfriendly, the complete opposite of all the other cafe's I visited during my stay. I was on a bit of a caffeine high when I got there, having already patronized 3 other North Beach cafes so I simply ordered a hot milk toddy. It was delicious (hot milk with a splash of amaretto flavoring) but the server seemed practically annoyed that I was buying milk and not coffee.
Good & Bad – I like the history of Trieste, and the espresso is pretty good, but it is kind of a dark hole of a place and has a seriously sexist vibe going on. I don't think that is part of the old country in Italy that people want to experience in San Francisco.
Coffee-lovers dream spot! – after a recent trip to Italy, i stumbled upon this hidden coffee-drinkers dream in North Beach. for the most part, i have to admit that i find most american coffee houses bland and watered-down. there are a few exceptions, but with the overgrowth of Starbucks and Coffee Beans, i can't help but judge American coffee poorly. this place blew my opinions away. it's the closest coffee i could find that rivaled the coffee i drank in Italy, and part of me wishes i lived in SF so i could frequent this place more often. just don't expect to order a frappaccino at this small mom-and-pop's shop. the menu is small but the coffee is good.
A must for Espresso fanatics – This is one of the original espresso places in the USA and if you are a fan of cafes should be a stop on your itinerary. I've visiting everytime I've been in SF for 15-20 years or so, and many of the same regulars are still in attendance. Be sure to catch the concerts on the weekend, and check out the juke box that features opera. The roast is a dark Italian style and will appeal to those who like a full roast espresso.
Settle down with an espresso, soak up the bohemian North Beach ambience and think existential thoughts till sundown. – The ghosts of the Beat generation, clad in scruffy jeans and leather jackets, linger at the tables of this popular old-timer nestled in North Beach. Trieste is famous for its full-bodied Italian coffee, which it imports, roasts and packages. The front case is filled with pastries and desserts, and a few sandwiches, pizzas and salads are also available.
My favorite in town – I have been coming to Cafe Trieste since I could walk. After a long abscense I went back last weekend. The house special coffee, mocha, almond syrup, homemade whipped cream, is amazing. Great place to take people from out of town to get the true SF bohemian feel.
How it should be – Great coffee and espresso drinks prepared by skilled professionals who know how it's done. How many other places steam "extra-rich" milk any more? Dim lighting and sort of cosy but definitely not frou-frou. Fun place to hang and read but crowded on weekends and parking's a drag. Don't bother with Sausalito location unless you want only atmosphere;food may be better but coffee isn't and employees are snooty.
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