Castro District News

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

Truth be told, SF has a serious obsession with chique places to dine and shop that are transformed from old houses, and have the ability to out-do a large chain.

Is it the excitement of being the first to try something fresh, while feeling as though you haven't left the couch? Or is it our constant love of speakeasies and the thrill of sipping your beverages in a venue less obvious?

One of the Castro's newest coffee spots is continuing to gain an audience as it embodies the tastiness of an upscale patisserie--without the boogie price tag--with the modern but inviting twist on decor and embience.

And is doing it all while competing with a corporate giant just a few doors down.

Enter Reveille Coffee: Your new favorite spot to get your coffee fix.

"When they first started out, there weren't very many people in there," patron Franklyn Schmelz commented as he basked just outside the cafe's sun-kissed patio area. "To see how busy it is now... You know they must be doing something right."

The 18th Street spot, which opened back in February, had a large crowd both inside and out in the front courtyard when I made my visit on an extra gorgeous Saturday afternoon. In fact, without the crowd you would have to keep your eyes peeled not to walk passed it all together: The cafe is, literally, just a few doors down from a Starbucks, and is tucked between houses and outdoor staircases. Thank the delightful aroma of bacon--yes, bacon and gruyere breakfast sanwiches!--wafting out the double doors and the happy patrons sipping their iced lattes at lightwood countertops out front for drawing you in.

Reveille's inside decor mimics that of the cafe's main post in North Beach: Neutral color palette with modern fixtures and a bar style high table running down the center of the room. The light metal light fixtures have a clean, angular quality, while the back wall giving way to a “fire wood display” gives the modern space a touch of warmth.

But despite its hip makeup, the cafe has an incredibly friendly and mixed crowd. "The food is amazing and not too expensive, and my kids will eat it!" One patron exclaimed while enjoying breakfast inside with her family. "And the service is great. Everyone is very friendly."

The baristas and waiters, on the day of MyCastro’s visit, did appear to be incredibly smiley and un-phased by the crowd at their counter. Or perhaps that was due to the Beach Boys playing over the sounds system, which gave the space an extra injection of “happy.”

In addition to one of the most affordable coffee and espresso menus you will see in the city, you can also choose to dig into a mixed fruit plate, or delightful lox salad complete with creme fraiche and poached eggs. Munch on a biscuit with jam and take advantage of the free wi-fi, or share an Americano with company as you people watch out on the patio.