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Restaurants & Bars 12

Cherpa & King Knish @ CoffeeShop | Bernal Heights - San Francisco

Melanie Wong | Nov 14, 2015 01:30 PM

With a generic name like CoffeeShop, it's no surprise that this tiny cafe resides in an unmarked though bright green storefront just north of Cesar Chavez Street. Noticing the line out the door on many mornings, I finally pulled over to see what this might be. Three times.

Truly a hole-in-the-wall, the only seating is a couple of tables on the sidewalk. Inside to the right of the door is an honor bar for self-serve coffee with a cash box to leave payment. I was amused to observe that this is taken a step further with some regular customers flipping around the Square iPad to enter their own transactions by credit card when the barista is swamped.

Front and center on the counter though is what appeared to be an array of condiments. Ketchup, mustard, applesauce with raisins and sour cream.

Then I peered into the case displaying King Knishes, $5 each. All stuffed with potato and different flavors. The barista said he liked the pastrami one himself, so I picked that. Took about 5 minutes to heat in the oven. Light flaky pastry, rustic texture to the potatoes, and barely enough pastrami inside. I liked it just fine except for the price. I had a taste of the apples separately, and enjoyed the chunky style.

Beverage-wise, I've tried the Korean ginger tea, made with a honey-like reduction spiked with fresh slices of ginger, that was much too sweet. The iced coffee, made with cold brew and frozen coffee cubes to not dilute on melting, was top notch. My favorite drink so far is the Cherpa, a derivative of the Sherpa chai blended with Kerrygold butter and coconut oil with an added shot of espresso. The fragrant chai spices and depth of the Ubuntu espresso go one better on bulletproof coffee.

The snack/pastry offering also include gluten-free donuts, latkes, toast, and other treats. The very moist pumpkin bread was good, if on the small side.

Free wifi and restroom too. But really, the best amenity here is the staff . . . cheerful, friendly, competent with no holier-than-thou attitudes. A stop at the CoffeeShop is a great start to the day.

3139 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 368-3802

The Ubuntu Coffee Cooperative Inc.
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