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The Best Coffee Shops for First Dates in San Francisco

Ideal first date spots that allow for get-to-know-you conversation

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Thanks to the recent tech boom, San Francisco is absolutely teeming with single people looking for a match. Get-to-know-you conversation can only go so far on an app, and eventually you've got to take things offline. For when that happens, you need the perfect first date spot, which, if it's coffee you're looking for, should have friendly baristas, great drinks, and somewhere to sit. Bonus points for pastries and nearby places to take a stroll. These 17 coffee shops and cafes check off all the first date necessities, so based on which neighborhood you'll be meeting up in, take your pick.

Rather get drinks on your first date? No problem; these bars are ideal for first dates. First date go so well you're ready for a second? Head here for some moderately-priced options, and here for fancier vibes.

— Noelle Chun, Andrew Dalton, Ellen Fort, Anna Roth, and Stefanie Tuder contributed to this map.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Bartavelle

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Great coffee and the avocado toast of your dreams exist at this cute and tiny Berkeley gem. Formerly Alice Waters' Cafe Fanny for 28 years, Bartavelle picks up where Alice left off with a very Berkeley vibe and adorable patio. If coffee goes long, there's a selection of Kermit Lynch wines for sipping al fresco.

Blue Bottle Coffee

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Blue Bottle coffee, light snacks, and sugary waffles are the building blocks to any good relationship. Combined with high ceilings, huge windows, and gleaming white tile, this historic building is a pleasant place to get to know one another. Plus, the fact that there aren't hordes of laptoppers silently using Wi-Fi here (there isn't any) makes it fertile ground for conversation.

Coffee Bar

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No coffee shop has more seating than Coffee Bar, which will give you and your date plenty of options to choose from, whether it's at tables upstairs or downstairs, the second floor counter overlooking the space, or at tables out front. There are even some couches to cozy up on — should you be so lucky — while sipping the great Mr. Espresso brew.

Devil's Teeth Baking Company

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It’s not just that we’ll take any excuse to come here and eat their fabulous, oozy breakfast sandwiches. It’s also that this bakery on Noriega has a parklet outside where you can perch, people-watch, and get to know another human over Bicycle coffee and baked goods like beignets and kale-parmesan scones. And if the parklet is busy (or even if it isn’t), the beach and its romantic walk potential is a mere three blocks away.

Flywheel Coffee

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Grab a spot in the window, and gaze longingly at Golden Gate Park. If things are going well and you don't immediately want to run away, propose a stroll through the greenery.

Hole in the Wall Coffee

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The name of this quirky, hipster coffee shop is not an exaggeration — it's a literal hole in the wall — but the coffee is great, there are real coconuts for the buying (which can be a fun, if confusing, alternative to coffee), and it's right near Washington Square Park, which has top-notch people watching for bonding moments.

The bustling vibe and clean, modern decor make Jane an inviting place for getting to know each other over a pastry or two. Grab one of the banquette tables near the front, or stake out an intimate spot in the loungy mezzanine and talk about how ridiculous it is that toast is still a thing.

La Boulangerie de San Francisco

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San Franciscans all know and love this La Boulange reboot, with the same great sandwiches, salads, pastries, coffee, and tea. There are tons of tables to choose from and friendly vibes abound, though there will be a lot of people in workout clothes around you.

Marla Bakery

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The backyard of this adorable bakery was the site of owners’ Amy Brown and Joe Wolf’s 2014 wedding, so it’s infused with good romantic vibes. The multi-tiered deck and patio, designed by Paxton Gate, offer plenty of opportunity for privacy. Even if it ends up not being a love match, you’ve at least gotten a chance to eat Marla Bakery’s excellent sticky buns, cardamom coffee cake, and English muffins, or more substantial meals like salads and lamb confit soup.

Mazarine Coffee

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This being downtown, most coffee shops in this neighborhood are grab-and-go affairs. Not so with Mazarine, which has plenty of seating to choose from, an essential when it comes to date number one. Plus, if things really get going (or really go south, depending on your outlook), there's beer and wine on offer here, too.

Watch the cable cars go by and talk about how much you love San Francisco while getting to know this brand-new person. There are plenty of snacks to order if you're hungry, or just grab some coffee and call it a date.

Pinhole Coffee

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The colorful, quirky space has seating inside and out front, and the rotating coffee is always on point. Just beware of the children that often flood the space, though it's large enough that you can usually avoid them.

Provender

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This super-small, friendly coffeeshop will get your hearts racing with Andytown espresso drinks, and light snacks, if that's what you're after. Grab your drinks and take a stroll through the neighborhood overlooking San Francisco.

Ritual/Smitten or Cafe La Vie

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Choose from Ritual coffee or Smitten ice cream in Patricias Green park, or — pro move — go to both and make an affogato to enjoy while you sit in the grass and learn everything there is to know about each other. Bad weather? Just walk on over to family-owned Cafe La Vie (514 Octavia St.), where charmingly small tables will get you appropriately close.

Samovar Tea Lounge

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At this San Francisco take on pan-Asian tea culture, you can choose from Zen-quiet seating inside among plush pillows, or the sunny patio overlooking the green Yerba Buena Gardens. Order from a wide and exotic menu of palatable Chinese, Japanese, and Indian teas. The vibe is chill and the ambiance is quiet, making it easy to hold a conversation and linger if you want — or dash if needed.

The Mill

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The Mill is a coffee shop workhorse, but there are tables to snag both inside and out on the parklet, so you can make it work for you. Get some $4 toast and a coffee, then talk about how ridiculous this toast trend is and you're set.

Thorough Bread and Pastry

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This sunny space has great coffee and traditional French pastries to give your first date an infusion of Parisian romance. There are plenty of tables to choose from, so park as needed.

Bartavelle

Great coffee and the avocado toast of your dreams exist at this cute and tiny Berkeley gem. Formerly Alice Waters' Cafe Fanny for 28 years, Bartavelle picks up where Alice left off with a very Berkeley vibe and adorable patio. If coffee goes long, there's a selection of Kermit Lynch wines for sipping al fresco.

Blue Bottle Coffee

Blue Bottle coffee, light snacks, and sugary waffles are the building blocks to any good relationship. Combined with high ceilings, huge windows, and gleaming white tile, this historic building is a pleasant place to get to know one another. Plus, the fact that there aren't hordes of laptoppers silently using Wi-Fi here (there isn't any) makes it fertile ground for conversation.

Coffee Bar

No coffee shop has more seating than Coffee Bar, which will give you and your date plenty of options to choose from, whether it's at tables upstairs or downstairs, the second floor counter overlooking the space, or at tables out front. There are even some couches to cozy up on — should you be so lucky — while sipping the great Mr. Espresso brew.

Devil's Teeth Baking Company

It’s not just that we’ll take any excuse to come here and eat their fabulous, oozy breakfast sandwiches. It’s also that this bakery on Noriega has a parklet outside where you can perch, people-watch, and get to know another human over Bicycle coffee and baked goods like beignets and kale-parmesan scones. And if the parklet is busy (or even if it isn’t), the beach and its romantic walk potential is a mere three blocks away.

Flywheel Coffee

Grab a spot in the window, and gaze longingly at Golden Gate Park. If things are going well and you don't immediately want to run away, propose a stroll through the greenery.

Hole in the Wall Coffee

The name of this quirky, hipster coffee shop is not an exaggeration — it's a literal hole in the wall — but the coffee is great, there are real coconuts for the buying (which can be a fun, if confusing, alternative to coffee), and it's right near Washington Square Park, which has top-notch people watching for bonding moments.

Jane

The bustling vibe and clean, modern decor make Jane an inviting place for getting to know each other over a pastry or two. Grab one of the banquette tables near the front, or stake out an intimate spot in the loungy mezzanine and talk about how ridiculous it is that toast is still a thing.

La Boulangerie de San Francisco

San Franciscans all know and love this La Boulange reboot, with the same great sandwiches, salads, pastries, coffee, and tea. There are tons of tables to choose from and friendly vibes abound, though there will be a lot of people in workout clothes around you.

Marla Bakery

The backyard of this adorable bakery was the site of owners’ Amy Brown and Joe Wolf’s 2014 wedding, so it’s infused with good romantic vibes. The multi-tiered deck and patio, designed by Paxton Gate, offer plenty of opportunity for privacy. Even if it ends up not being a love match, you’ve at least gotten a chance to eat Marla Bakery’s excellent sticky buns, cardamom coffee cake, and English muffins, or more substantial meals like salads and lamb confit soup.

Mazarine Coffee

This being downtown, most coffee shops in this neighborhood are grab-and-go affairs. Not so with Mazarine, which has plenty of seating to choose from, an essential when it comes to date number one. Plus, if things really get going (or really go south, depending on your outlook), there's beer and wine on offer here, too.

Nook

Watch the cable cars go by and talk about how much you love San Francisco while getting to know this brand-new person. There are plenty of snacks to order if you're hungry, or just grab some coffee and call it a date.

Pinhole Coffee

The colorful, quirky space has seating inside and out front, and the rotating coffee is always on point. Just beware of the children that often flood the space, though it's large enough that you can usually avoid them.

Provender

This super-small, friendly coffeeshop will get your hearts racing with Andytown espresso drinks, and light snacks, if that's what you're after. Grab your drinks and take a stroll through the neighborhood overlooking San Francisco.

Ritual/Smitten or Cafe La Vie