Best Neighborhood Coffee Shop - 2011
Simple Pleasures Cafe
For many residents of the eastern half of San Francisco, the Outer Richmond might as well be another city. The public transit commute downtown from this far-flung coastal neighborhood takes longer than that from Oakland, and the district's laid-back atmosphere — if it weren't for the extraordinary number of good Chinese restaurants — might fool you into thinking you were in a Northern California beach town instead of a big city. This is, of course, the Outer Richmond's charm, and few establishments embody it as well as Simple Pleasures Cafe. A coffee shop adjacent to a coffee-roasting house of the same name, Simple Pleasures is the kind of takes-all-kinds neighborhood hangout that is, well, a simply pleasurable place to sit and have a cup of joe. Whole beans go for $9.99 per pound, but the real Simple Pleasures experience consists of installing yourself at a table or sofa on a foggy Outer Richmond morning, sipping java, and reading a newspaper as you overhear local surfers talking about the day's waves.