Thanks to a number of regular readers who pointed this café out to me. SF may not be a big city, but it is when you’re trying to cover all the coffee shops in town.

Velo Rouge Cafe is a popular corner café with six indoor tables with window counter seating and a couple outdoor tables along the McAllister sidewalk. The place carries a bicycling theme, which suits the many bicyclists who pass along Arguello on a daily basis. It’s also reflected in the bicycle-themed artwork on their red walls. In addition to serving coffee, this café also serves full-on meals.

Entering Velo Rouge Cafe Good espresso is definitely on the Velo Rouge Cafe menu

James Freeman and crew (of Oakland-based Blue Bottle Coffee Co.) provided some of the coffee consulting here. However, the bulk of the recommendations that put this place on the coffee map last year came from Andrew Hetzel of Cafemakers — from replacing their old UNIC espresso machine and grinder to their Illy beans, etc. Using Blue Bottle‘s Bella Donovan blend and a two-group La Marzocco Linea, they pull rich doppio shots with a full layer of darker brown crema. It has the potent flavor of some smoke and herbal pungency with a strong sweetness at the bottom of the cup.

For milk-based drinks, their microfoaming techinique is good — producing decent microfoam heart latte art. The baristas here may be a touch slow at times, but they are deliberate and careful — which is good in my book.

Read the review of Velo Rouge Cafe.

The Velo Rouge Cafe espresso The Velo Rouge Cafe cappuccino