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Saturday, January 9, 2016


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California is in the midst of a stormy winter.  Beach attendance is plummeting.  Rainfall totals are climbing thanks to El Nino, a climate phenomenon that reappears every decade or so.

In the face of so much wetness citizens are packing coffee houses across the state.  The following is next in a winter-long series of coffee house features, where one can ride out the tempest with great coffee, excellent décor and something to read.

Urbane. San Francisco’s Café de la Presse (near Chinatown gate @ Bush & Grant) is a favorite because it’s such a splendid amalgamation of experiences.  First of all, it’s a coffee house known for its excellent espresso.  The décor reminds me of classic Euro establishments, especially along Rue Cler in Paris.  Also, it is a delicious restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus it is a newsstand stocked with international design magazines. There you’ll find plenty of urban hustle and bustle abuzz complete with actual human conversations. Plenty of seats can be found because Café de la Presse is not a computer-on-the-table camp ground.
On a recent carpe diem trip to San Francisco we stayed at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, where we discovered Café de la Presse nearby.  We enjoyed the urban vacation so much that when we returned a year later, when we included our Bay Area natives (son and his family) for dinner at Café de la Presse. It was a pre-Christmas day when our grandsons were given free range to order any item(s) off the menu.  It made them feel very grown up and at the same time explored the world of escargot, fromage, frites, beouf Bourguignon, cassoulet and those wonderful French pastries du jour.  Seeing three generation share a holiday season meal at a classy bistro was genuinely priceless.

Enjoy coffee along one of the window tables along Grant Avenue. image.

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