Caffe Trieste is hardly a "hidden gem" some may even say it's a tourist trap, but considering the amount of locals that came in, and I'm not talking about young hipsters only, it's worth ambling in.
Moody, atmospheric, original. Sit upfront by the window with the sunlight pouring in and watch the characters that congregate outside on the corner, or slouch at a single table in the back corner and look all brooding and serious. Accessorize with reading glasses, a grubby journal and a tortured artist expression. My old metal tea pot leaked, i didn't spend enough to warrant free wi fi usage, the jukebox was broken and the woman who served me was decidedly unfriendly, but, i really liked it, so, something must be in the air...
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A Cappuccino with Kerouac
Caffe Trieste, in the heart of North Beach just off Columbus, is an authentic San Francisco experience where little has changed since Kerouac's day. The North Beach location, which opened in 1956, is a great place to sit down, enjoy a coffee, and think on the finer things in life among the locals, many of whom have been coming to this little institution for decades.
Papa Gianni is known for the best espresso outside of Europe as well as the longest-running show in San Francisco.
"The Caffe Trieste Saturday Concert has evolved from a small, family show with guitar and mandolin ensemble into an Italian-flavored version of the Lawrence Welk show (one of the Giotta Family's favorite television indulgences from the 1950's through the 1970's)," reads the Caffe Trieste website. "Many new singers have joined the Trieste Musical Family in the last few years. Wonderful local singers such as Bruce Winslow, Steve Randolph, Irving Mok and Alfredo Tollis bring new facets of jazz, show tunes, ballads, and vaudeville, as well as songs by Piaf, Weill, and Dean Martin to the Trieste repertoire."