San Francisco Specialty
Smitten Ice Cream
2404 California St., Pacific Heights
You’ll be hard-pressed to find anybody who’s more passionate about ice cream than the folks behind Smitten, who actually built and patented a completely new technology to make what they claim to be the smoothest ice cream in the world. They started in San Francisco, selling ice cream out of a little red wagon (seriously), and while they’re beloved in their hometown—there are locations in Pacific Heights, Oakland, Hayes Valley, and more—they’ve just expanded to LA with a shop in El Segundo (Silver Lake is opening soon).
Trouble Coffee Company
1730 Yosemite Ave., Bayview
It's important to note that this weird little shop's full name is actually Trouble Coffee and Coconut Club. And yes, they do actually serve fresh coconut juice, which along with a small coffee (the only size available here) and fat slice of cinnamon toast constitutes the $8 "Build Your Own Damn House" combo. There's also the option to order a shot of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice a.k.a., "Yoko." The original Trouble is tiny and has a tree trunk in lieu of outdoor seating while the new one in Oakland, is done almost exclusively in white.
Ritual Coffee Roasters
1300 Haight St., Central Haight
Many credit Ritual with being the first truly gourmet coffee shop in the city. Now, 11 years and five bustling S.F. locations later, they still brew arguably the best cup in town. Because people have been known to get hooked on their meticulously sourced blends, a coffee club was launched to make sure out-of-towners can get their hands on the good stuff. There’s no WiFi here, but plenty of space.
1958 Polk St., Nob Hill
Basik got its start on the big island in Hawaii, where their original location is based (the Nob Hill store is actually their first location on the mainland), and from the staff to the menu, it definitely has an island vibe. The menu here offers souped-up acai bowls with add-ins like almond mylk, almond butter, bee pollen, and all kinds of fresh fruit, plus a full line-up of smoothies. Conveniently located on Polk Street, it's an easy stop before work or after a workout.
Asha Tea House
17 Kearny St., Financial District
The guys behind Asha are unabashedly obsessed with all varieties and types of tea. In fact, they're so into tea that they actually MacGyver-ed their own pour-over device that steeps their blends for the perfect amount of time; plus, you'll drink it out of a mug or cup specifically designed for your tea. The roomy space, with its tall ceilings and light wood, is a lovely place to spend an afternoon. The Berkeley flagship is the original location.
Project Juice Test Kitchen
364 Hayes St., Hayes Valley
Project Juice's little shops, which are in San Francisco and Southern California, make fresh juice and cleanses, but the real game-changer is their test kitchen, which also has a menu of clean, vegetable-based whole meals. Breakfast is particularly strong with smoothies and bowls both on offer.
3906 Judah St., Outer Sunset
There's something incredibly comforting about the old-school, down-to-earth health store vibe of Judahlicious, especially in San Francisco. The primarily raw, vegan dishes are packed full of classic health foods like sunflower seeds, sprouts, and avocado. Local favorites include the vegan pancakes, the "Dark Side of the Shroom" mushroom dish, the ridiculously good Dahnu wrap (basically a veggie wrap with almond pate), and the excellently named No Shirt, No Shoes rice bowl.
168 Sutter St., Financial District
Native Juice Co. has been a farmers market vendor for years, but it wasn't until recently that they opened their first-ever brick and mortar Downtown. Native sources their ingredients and builds their menu around food grown organically in California. Their ingredients are never pre-juiced in order to keep the nutritional integrity and fresh taste of their products intact. We've been fans for years, since they generously shared recipes with us for the annual detox.
3613 Sacramento St., Presidio
As Quoted is gorgeously clean and white, with a long marble bar and warm brass chandeliers hanging from the ceilings. And the menu has the added value that everything is delicious, healthy, and allergy conscious—excellent lattes (even a turmeric option), a smoked salmon sandwich on gluten-free bread, and a kale and avocado salad are all excellent picks. Plus, it's really easy to take meals to-go.
Living Greens (Closed)
331 Cortland Ave., Bernal Heights
The adorable origin story behind Living Greens follows the relationship between founders Brian and Michelle, who started writing juice recipes together when they were first dating. More than seven years later, their juice cleanses are some of the best in SF. Living Greens has a strong sustainability component to their business, serving all organic produce and working with local farms on top of operating a virtually zero waste kitchen. Plus, every quarter they donate a portion of their profits to a different nonprofit organization. They're three locations strong now, with stores in Cortland Kitchen and the Financial District.
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