Yes, this one is one of the classics. It’s a bright North Beach café that’s been open since 1988. They have many small indoor café tables with a lot of that “Cinzano”-like print art, clean surfaces, and East-facing glass windows. They also have an adjoining room that’s available for a lot of overflow on popular evenings.

Up against the wall near the register you can take down a copy of the pink Italian daily sports pages, La Gazzetta dello Sport, to read about the latest in Italian soccer, Formula 1 racing, cycling, etc. However, the main attraction here is often the few people-watching outdoor tables along the sidewalk in front.

Outside Caffè Greco by the sidewalk café tables Caffè Greco's La Spaziale: is there enough Illy branding here?

Caffè Greco relies heavily on the Illy “system”: they serve Illy coffee in Illy logo IPA cups out of a large, shiny La Spaziale.

I’ve had better and worse espresso here. On bad days, the flavor can run a little sour and slightly medicinal. On better days — particularly if you request a short pour — it can have a fuller, robust herbal flavor that’s quite decent. They serve espresso with an even, dark brown crema runs a little thin. While they are capable of very good espresso at times, they are also inconsistent.

The Caffè Greco espresso Greco's back room with more monuments to Illy