Rumored to be the first place to serve espresso on the West Coast (in the '50s), this corner spot seems to have changed little since that then. The folks behind the counter are still serving up fine coffee, Italian sandwiches, and pastries. We say, if you must visit any old-school cafe in the area, make it this one.
Caffe Trieste, 609 Vallejo Street (at Grant Avenue); 415-982-2605.
Photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile