There’s no place like Home: a review of Home Cafe in San Francisco

Pariswi Tewari/Staff

If you’re a coffee connoisseur who frequents a short list of cafés that cater to a more refined palate, Home Cafe may not be on your radar. Home Cafe, located in San Francisco, caters to the aesthetically inclined, 20-something demographic, with its creative coffee combinations, intricate latte art, simple modern décor and friendly team of talented baristas. Perhaps, you’ve even stumbled across Home Cafe’s dazzling, vibrant latte art on your Instagram feed in passing!

If you’re interested in experimenting with a fun take on your average cup of joe or if you’re just looking for a new picture to throw up on the ‘gram, Home Cafe may be the next stop on your travel hit list.

Here are a few takeaways from my last trip “Home.”

“But first, coffee!”

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In spite of the various aesthetic elements that draw a crowd to this popular café, the coffee remains faithfully at the heart of this shop’s buzz.

In addition to your choices for a classic caffeine fix, this coffee shop has crafted a unique menu of specialty drinks. Some popular items on the menu include the Hangover (a sparkling Americano), Coke-tastic (espresso, Coca-Cola, sugar and vanilla ice cream), Young Coconut Juice (served in an actual coconut), Nutella Hot Chocolate and an assortment of lattes — including the shop’s Sea Salted Caramel Latte, Lavender Latte, Red Velvet Latte and even its Cookie Monster drink! There are so many tantalizing options available for you to try that the long line to the register seems to almost not give you enough time to decide. I tend to order the Birthday Cake drink, which is famous for its rainbow latte art. If that was tempting, just wait until you hear about the food.

Baked goods and toast

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Home Cafe is not as well-known for its food simply because its attention-grabbing coffee combos hog the social media spotlight. But, its toasts complement its offers of caffeine jolts splendidly. Depending on which of the two locations you visit (one is in the Sunset District, and the other is in the Richmond District), the menu may change, but some of the popular toasts include Cinnamon Sugar, Condensed Milk and Butter, Tomato, Truffle oil Pesto and lastly, the millennial heartthrob, Avotoast. Home Cafe also serves Mochi Donuts and other little baked goods in a glass case by the register, if you’re looking for a grab-and-go kind of deal. I’ve tried the Matcha Mochi Donut and the Avotoast before and would highly recommend both!

The atmosphere

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To align itself with the trendy, hipster café atmosphere, Home Cafe has crafted a minimalist, modern space defined by a pink center wall displaying the menu, with little plants positioned on each table and chairs strewn about the area (seating can sometimes be hard to come by). One thing that I really liked about this shop was that several tables have been designated “non-electronic device” tables; this is a practice promoted by the owners and baristas in order to discourage your social media appetite and, instead, centralize your focus on the food, drink and company in front of you.

All in all, Home Cafe accomplishes a task that would be considered almost purposeless in its ambition — to distinguish itself from the hundreds of other coffee shops in San Francisco. This coffee shop’s idiosyncrasies draw in people from across the country, and hopefully, you decide to check it out the next time you’re in the city, as well.

Contact Pariswi Tewari at [email protected].