New and Venerable Institutions: Caffe Trieste
Once a favorite hangout for Jack Kerouac and his Beat cronies, and with the best beans in town roasted right next door, Caffe Trieste is the ultimate Bohemian coffeehouse. Says neighbor Melvin Caesar Belli, "San Francisco is where gourmet coffee began long before the Buck from the North." Nowhere is the City's legacy as a haven for coffee lovers better celebrated than North Beach and Caffe Trieste. Family owned at 601 Vallejo Street since 1956, Caffe Trieste is especially atmospheric on gray days when locals ramble in for a warm-up while tourists beg off for the convenience of chain stands. The enthusiasm of the staff here is authentic. Any doubt of that can be dispelled by showing up on Saturdays, when strains of opera with accordion and brass lovingly compete with the aroma here to delight the senses. A mural inside that depicts a Sicilian port scene is also authentic and dates to 1957.

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