Family owned coffee houses are a staple in San Francisco. Caffe Roma in North Beach is one of the best. The Azzollini brothers founded it in 1989. Which is not very long ago by local standards in this neighbourhood. When they opened a second location just across the street from the Courthouse on Bryant Street, it made paying traffic violations almost pleasurable. Almost.
You’ll find a short line most mornings and a long one on the weekends. Everyone enjoys the coffee. Some of the locals are North Beach favourites, those fun characters that have great stories about the city from decades ago. The brothers still work in the Caffe with extended family members. Irene, the sister, works mostly at the second location in the city in SOMA.
It’s just one block away from Liguria Bakery. I’ve written about their delicious focaccia also (check the Liguria Bakery article). Following that up with a cup of coffee from Caffe Roma makes a perfect pair on any morning. You can enjoy it in the cafe or across the street in Washington Square Park while watching groups of locals doing tai chi or qigong. Bring a hat and wear a warm jacket. The mornings are getting cooler.