Jackson Place Cafe
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Jackson Square's Italian-New Orleans Hideaway
Look for the "Jackson Place Cafe" sign on the Sansome Street sidewalk between Jackson and Pacific. Turn down into the breezeway toward Battery Street and find this secluded, New Orleans-like courtyard. When the summer fog hasn't rolled in, the sun beams down between the historic buildings, creating a perfect place for a break from work (or sightseeing in nearby Chinatown and North Beach). Order an off-menu "Africano" aka "Gibraltar"--an intense espresso drink, between a macchiato and a cappuccino--or a New Orleans iced coffee. Either will spark up your afternoon. Earlier in the day, try the breakfast bagels and lunchtime panini. Giovanni, Gina, and Jenna will take care of you.
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The Perfect Afternoon Pick-Me-Up
As a corrective to overly milky and foamy cappuccinos in the "grande" age, the folks at this cafe, tucked into a Jackson Place courtyard near North Beach, will serve you this off-menu concoction if you know how to order it. With more steamed milk than a macchiato but less than a conventional cup, it's called either a "Gibraltar," for the squat glass it comes in, or an "Africano." (They grind Blue Bottle Coffee beans on site.) Now you know.
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