This café was once highly regarded before a recent ownership change, but we never got around to trying their espresso until recently. It’s a sidewalk corner café located across of the SF Cable Car Museum. There is some outdoor seating along Mason and Washington Sts., and indoors there are several tables in a relatively quiet setting. Along Mason, there are interesting ‘carve-outs’ in the façade that house small tables surrounded by three sides of glass looking out over the street. There’s also some counter seating where they have beer on tap.

Scenery at the entrance to the Gallery Café Cubby-holes in the façade of the Gallery Café

Ordering at the counter, you’ll feel like you’re towering over the staff due to their lowered service area — where they’ve hooked up a three-group La Spaziale. They sell La Colombe’s Nizza medium roast here, and they are one of the few (but growing) La Colombe customers in the area. (In the past year, La Colombe Torrefaction opened distribution operations in Dogpatch, heating up the quality coffee roaster wars in the Bay Area.)

The Gallery Café pulls espresso shots with a thinner layer of medium brown crema. Flavorwise, it has a slightly bitter edge, but it’s predominantly herbal — a bit like cloves. And while they use a proper serving size and the cup doesn’t taste ‘diluted’ per se, it has a lighter mouthfeel nonetheless. Not a bad effort, but clearly not one of the city’s best.

Read the review of Gallery Café.

Bar seating at the Gallery Café The Gallery Café espresso