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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.

1. Bartavelle

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1603 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94702
(510) 524-2473
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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.

2. Blue Bottle Coffee

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4270 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94611

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.

3. Coffee Bar

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1890 Bryant St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 551-8100
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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.

4. Devil's Teeth Baking Company

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3876 Noriega St
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 683-5533
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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.

5. Flywheel Coffee

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672 Stanyan St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 300-0671
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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.

6. Hole in the Wall Coffee

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524 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 305-9109

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.

7. Jane

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2123 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 931-5263
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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.

8. La Boulangerie de San Francisco

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1909 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 440-4450

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.

9. Marla Bakery

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3619 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 742-4379
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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.

10. Mazarine Coffee

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720 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 398-7700
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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.

11. Nook

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1500 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 447-4100
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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.

12. Pinhole Coffee

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231 Cortland Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110

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.

13. Provender

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1415 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 685-1722
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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.

14. Ritual/Smitten or Cafe La Vie

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432 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 865-0989
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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.

15. Samovar Tea Lounge

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730 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 227-9400
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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.

16. The Mill

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736 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 345-1953
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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.

17. Thorough Bread and Pastry

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248 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 558-0690
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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.

1. Bartavelle

1603 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702

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.

1603 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94702

2. Blue Bottle Coffee

4270 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611

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.

4270 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94611

3. Coffee Bar

1890 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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.

1890 Bryant St
San Francisco, CA 94110

4. Devil's Teeth Baking Company

3876 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

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.

3876 Noriega St
San Francisco, CA 94122

5. Flywheel Coffee

672 Stanyan St, San Francisco, CA 94117

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.

672 Stanyan St
San Francisco, CA 94117

6. Hole in the Wall Coffee

524 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94133

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.

524 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94133

7. Jane

2123 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

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.

2123 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115

8. La Boulangerie de San Francisco

1909 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94115

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.

1909 Union St
San Francisco, CA 94115

9. Marla Bakery

3619 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

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.

3619 Balboa St
San Francisco, CA 94121

10. Mazarine Coffee

720 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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.

720 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

11. Nook

1500 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109

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.

1500 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA 94109

12. Pinhole Coffee

231 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

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.

231 Cortland Ave
San Francisco, CA 94110

13. Provender

1415 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

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.

1415 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94107

14. Ritual/Smitten or Cafe La Vie

432 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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.

432 Octavia St
San Francisco, CA 94102

15. Samovar Tea Lounge

730 Howard St, San Francisco, CA 94103

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.

730 Howard St
San Francisco, CA 94103

Related Maps

16. The Mill

736 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

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.

736 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

17. Thorough Bread and Pastry

248 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

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.

248 Church St
San Francisco, CA 94114

Related Maps