4 new San Francisco cafés that will rock your world

Seeking a new breakfast berth, lunch spot or coffee stop in San Francisco? You're in luck: we've found the freshest new cafes in the city to fill the bill. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you're in search of an easygoing eatery or coffee break near you.


500 Church St., Castro

Photo: Lara B./Yelp

German-inspired cafe Mauerpark has debuted at 500 Church St. in the Castro, formerly a laundromat. It's the project of German-American chef Salome Buelow, a veteran of Hayes Valley favorite Suppenkuche.

Its German-style board meals include a cheese and muesli offering, with Camembert, Emmental, bread, and yogurt or milk to go with the raw rolled oats of the muesli. Diners can also add a pretzel or boiled egg to any board.

German cakes and pastries round out the menu. The spot serves beer and wine as well as coffee. (You can check out the full menu here.)

Now that it's open, Yelp users are excited about the new cafe, which currently holds five stars out of 15 reviews on the site.

Yelper Emil W., who reviewed Mauerpark on October 21, wrote, "We ordered drinks (German sodas), a meat/cheese plate, a special (currywurst), and two desserts (a citrus/cassis cake and a hazelnut torte). It was all superb."

And Steiner A. approved of the "delicious, simple Berliner inspired menu with some very tasty biers on tap."

Mauerpark is open from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. on Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Monday.)

Platform 248

248 Ninth St., SoMa

Photo: Dino H./Yelp

Platform 248 is a gaming cafe which offers a large selection of modern board games and a few video games in addition to bubble tea and snacks, as we recently reported. You can find it at 248 Ninth St. (between Tehama and Folsom streets) in SoMa.

It charges a per-person fee for up to three hours of play from its selection of dozens of modern board games, from Power Grid and Pandemic: Legacy to the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

A PS4, a Nintendo Switch, and a set of VR goggles are also available for rent, and large groups can rent private rooms by the hour. Bubble tea and snacks are sold separately, with a focus on fried finger foods like crispy wings and popcorn chicken, as well as some pastas and rice bowls.

With a four-star rating out of 27 reviews on Yelp, the new gaming hub has been getting positive attention.

"Both food and drinks are delicious," Xueyan M. wrote, and praised the service as well. "Love the fact that they not only have huge variety of board game selections, but also offer professional advice and tutorials on which game to select and how to play."

And Yelper Steven W. recommended the mango dirty boba with fresh mango puree: "It's not too sweet, just the right amount of sugar, and the boba is sweet and chewy."

Platform 248 is open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sunday. (It's closed on Tuesday.)


600 S. Van Ness Ave., Mission

Photo: Sam P./Yelp

Headquartered in Hong Kong, BiteUnite is a combination of a cafe and a commercial co-working kitchen, offering cooking classes and space for aspiring chefs and entrepreneurs to hone their craft.

It's the project of Thailand-born Patta Arkaresvimun; due to the transient nature of its participants, offerings will change regularly. Right now, diners can find cookies from baker Dan Ponticello and chicken coconut soup from Kirstie Chow (of Sip Therapy) on the menu.

There are also pop-up dinners, lunches and cooking classes, which interested patrons can sign up for on the business's website.

The new business currently holds four stars out of three reviews on Yelp, indicating a positive reception in its early days.

Yelper Jimmy D., who was one of the first users to visit BiteUnite on August 25, wrote, "Nice baked goods, especially the Thai iced tea custard muffin."

Yelper Chris R. agreed: "One of the best chocolate croissants I've tasted in San Francisco since Patisserie Delanghe on Fillmore closed years ago."

BiteUnite is open from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday.


600 Fifth Ave., Inner Richmond

Photo: Tastebuds/Yelp

Tastebuds is an all-day, Southern-inflected cafe located at 600 Fifth Ave. (between Cabrillo and Balboa streets) in the Inner Richmond.

As we recently reported, owners Helen and Melvin Simmons took over the former Katia's Russian Tea Room space from Helen's mother, Katia Troosh, upon her retirement.

Breakfast is served from 7 a.m.-2 p.m., with options like shrimp and grits with toast and two eggs, or collard greens with smoked turkey and a sunny-side-up egg. After 11 a.m., diners can order up main dishes like salads, a burger and the Shrimp Lincoln sandwich: a combination of fried shrimp, hot links and gouda cheese accompanied by fries.

To accompany the meal, there are coffee drinks -- plain coffee, lattes, cappuccinos and mochas -- as well as tea and house-made lemonade. You can take a look at the full menu here.

The new cafe currently holds four stars out of 53 reviews on Yelp, indicating good reviews thus far.

Yelper Yodit M., who reviewed the soul food spot on September 26, called the shrimp and grits "some of the best I have tried," and was also impressed by the cappuccino and French toast.

And Yelper Samantha C. added, "I thought my shrimp and hot link sandwich was extremely delicious, although it did take a while for it to come."

Tastebuds is open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.