North Beach has somehow maintained its authenticity after all these years; one of its best examples is the most intellectual of all San Francisco coffee shops, Caffe Trieste. Said to be the first espresso bar on the West Coast, it was established in 1956 to fuel the crush of bohemian poets and beatniks overrunning the hill. Nothing much has changed since then. Say what you will about the scruffy décor-this is the true San Francisco. Grab your macchiato and croissant, open a European novel in translation, strike a thoughtful pose, and wait for a good moment to join the inevitable debate among the locals, who seem to have hours to contemplate their cappuccino. The mood is convivial and intellectual, and chatting up your neighbour is definitely allowed.
Photo: Flickr/p0ps Harlow“