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.